Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Starting My Garden

My little garden is finally in progress. I made a trip to K-mart which had a sale on seeds, and chose tomato, basil, marigold (I just like them, plus they have some insecticidal properties) and lavender to be used for aromatherapy purposes. After doing some research on the Web, I decided to put the planted seed flats on a heating pad kept on low. I planted some tomato and basil seeds only, due to not having a lot of seed flats, then managed to mix them up before labeling! However, doing a quick Google search, I just found a fantastic website,, which has some great tips and photos on growing tomatoes. So, it looks like my tomatoes (Brandywine) are growing wonderfully (three out of four have sprouted) and my basil seeds flopped, literally. One sprouted up and then fell over. Another sprouted but doesn't seem to be growing. I'm trying to decide if I should give up on the basil seeds and buy a plant at the local grocery store or try again. I want to get the flowers started. My strawberry planter has been seeded, but according to the information on the package it will take quite a while for those seeds to germinate. I check it often and keep the soil moist. I also have a store bought pineapple mint which desperately needs to be transplanted to a larger pot. Maybe tomorrow.

My little sunroom seems to be just the trick for growing plants. At least, the tomatoes and mint think so. It is getting full sun for a large part of the day - well, when it's sunny. I live in Chicago and snow is predicted for this weekend! Aaarrrggh. I like cool weather, but this has been one long winter. (We broke a record a while ago of the longest expanse between 70 degree weather days.)

While searching for writing jobs, I found a couple of good sites for us urban gardeners, with a wealth of information on growing food. The first one is and the second, which has a more intensive approach is Both are worth checking out and have multiple links to sites about many different subjects. I even found out how to make a very simple food dryer (

Growing food indoors, or on a rooftop or patio -what can bring you back to the country more than that?

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