Saturday, October 3, 2009

Season Extension 101 - Container Growing

potted salad
Two weeks ago, I seeded a couple of pots with wild arugula purchased from Johnny's Selected Seed and some Rouge D'Hiver (red romaine) lettuce kindly given to me by Kelly from How My Garden Grows. Though I have both growing in the garden currently, I wanted to compare the rate at which these potted specimens grew with the ones planted in my garden. These pots are located in the front of our house, which tends to get a bit more sun than our backyard. Already, I can tell that my potted plants are growing faster.

As the weather gets colder, I plan on taking these inside at night. This is the simplest form of season extension I can think of- leaving cold weather crops out during the day when the temperature is above freezing and bringing them inside at night. I have quite a few swiss chard seedlings (also given to me by Kelly) growing in my garden as well. These will eventually be covered by some plastic as the season progresses, but I think I might transplant a few into coffee cans well. The way I see it, it can't hurt to hedge your bets as the weather grows colder.


  1. I have really bad luck with houseplants - which is what they would become in the winter. I have a tendency to neglect. My aloe survives this treatment quite well but I think lettuce would die on me. I will have one new potted plant to bring in this fall. My rosemary. I've never attempted to overwinter a rosemary inside, but I'm going to try. Rosemary is one of my favorite hers and starting anew every year just isn't giving me enough.

  2. Edible houseplants need lots of light, in my experience. I've trundled little plants into the shed at night and out into the sunshine for many seasons.

  3. Daphne, I overwintered my rosemary last year and will do so again with the same plant this year. Mine grew very leggy in the house last year entangling itself many times over but as the temperature warmed up in March, I gave it an extreme hair cut and set it outside. Though the stems were very woody this summer, the rosemary was still VERY pungent.

    Nell Jean - yes, you're right, edible house plants do need a lot of light. I have meyer lemon, kaffir lime and starfish trees that did very well last winter but we had so much light in our apartment. Unfortunately, our new home does not get much light and I do worry that they will not make it through the winter this year. Also, my lemons that are will be ready in a month or two grew from flowers that bloom last January. I'm afraid that because of the diminished light, the plant will not flower as much this year.