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What if we went into a vegetable garden in the middle of winter ?
The benefits of nature on our well-being are undeniable! Being surrounded by greenery relaxes the mind, promotes positive energy and even improves the quality of sleep. The contact with the earth is a return to the essential, a real anti-stress! And why not make your little garden a place of relaxation... Have you ever been proud to see your first seedlings come out of the ground?!
We'll give you some tips on how to sow vegetables in the middle of winter, even on your balcony!
Before taking out your seeds it will be necessary to prepare a small shelter or mini greenhouse so that they support the cold and grow in good conditions...
Hopefully, no need for a greenhouse! Here are several ideas for "homemade" objects made from recycled materials :
- If you are in the country, you can set up a small greenhouse with a few bales of straw and a tarp to unroll or with old windows. Practical & eco-friendly!
- For smaller spaces, keep your seedlings warm in a flower pot covered by a transparent umbrella that you no longer use, your seedlings will enjoy the sun without getting cold!
- Destined to be thrown away, an egg carton will make a perfect mini greenhouse that's easy, free and not bulky. You can even replant your seedlings directly in the ground because the cardboard will decompose when in contact with moist soil ;-)
The whole thing should be stored in a well-lit area.
Where to get seeds ???
Nothing beats a good organic seed! Avoid buying your seeds from the big international firms ( hybrid and sterile varieties.
Every year, many organic seed drives get organized! Some networks also guarantee the purchase of organic and reproductive seeds. And if this is not your first garden, consider collecting your seeds from one year to the next, they will be all the more productive because they are well acclimated :-)
Tips for successful seeding :
To sow large seeds, you can make a hole in the ground with a pencil beforehand. For small seeds, it can be helpful to use a craft seeder, simply folding a sheet in half to slide your seeds into each cup. Cover with a thin layer of potting soil, tamp down with your finger and drizzle lightly with water. Remember to moisten your pots until the plants emerge (ideal with a spray bottle), and yes the seed to germinate must be in contact with the moist soil (but not too much or the seed will rot!).
A selection of winter seeds for a vegetable garden even in winter !
- Lamb's lettuce. known as "the good mood salad" rich in vitamin B9 it acts on the nervous system as anti-stress and improves sleep! Source of vitamin C & vitamin A, it is an excellent antioxidant that will slow down cellular aging. Lamb's lettuce is part of our ancestral salads and grows easily all winter ... to be enjoyed freshly picked sprinkled with nuts it is a treat !
- Winter Lettuce. The "Winter Gem" or the chicory salad, for example, have the advantage of being rich in minerals andantioxidants. They grow very well in pots even at low temperatures because their leaves are tougher than lettuces (in addition to being very decorative on plates!) which will allow them to resist winter frosts well.
- Onions and garlic. Their many nutritional benefits (antioxidant, antiseptic) make them an ideal ally for our health. Their consumption is excellent for skin and hair health!!!
These are easy to grow (bulb) plants, here on the other hand we don't recommend growing them in pots. By sowing them in December, your bulbs will have a head start on those usually sown in February, so you'll have larger bulbs at the summer harvest !
- Mustard greens. The vitamin C is naturally present in this plant with tonifying qualities, it is also a source of beta-carotene which helps maintain nice skin :-) Mustard greens will grow perfectly on the windowsill all winter long. Cut the very young leaves as you go along to eat them raw in salads, or more mature you can add them to your soups, or curries! Yummy!
We all need a breath of fresh air, let's go green :-)