Saturday, May 30, 2015

Reverse Season Gardening

We have undertaken a new project after enjoying the Memorial Day weekend away from the computer. I have previously alluded to the idea of "reverse season" gardening, that is, growing veggies and herbs that would normally be cool season crops during the warm season. This is accomplished by moving the plants indoors, where the air conditioning keeps temperatures pleasant, and utilizing the same lighting system that we have used earlier in the season for starting plants and producing a few winter crops.

Anyone who uses artificial lighting for growing during the cold days of January and February can get extra use out of their indoor garden by using it as additional growing space in the summertime.

On May 27, we seeded a rectangular plastic planter box with 'Atlas' carrots and 'Cherry Belle' radishes. The carrot strain produces roots about the size of a golf ball, while the radish is harvested with roots the size and color of a Bing cherry. Both are great choices for container growing. We have grown 'Cherry Belle' from several sources and prefer the seed we obtained from our own Mayo Seed Company in Knoxville.

Carrots and radishes are good container companions because their maturity times and other characteristics are complementary. The radishes germinate quickly and will be ready to harvest a month later, at which time the carrots will be large enough to thin, as they will have taken up to three weeks to germinate.

We will keep you posted on this and other container gardening adventures this summer.

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