Its mid-March here in the mountains, and we’re about two weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But, we are not a news site at Tub to Table. Here, we are just an indoor gardening site. So…as much as I would love to forge a path to world peace here, I’ll have to be satisfied talking about whirled peas. Which we have! Peas are back in the indoor garden!
The Peas are Back In the Indoor Garden!
For those of you who follow this blog, you may remember I was lamenting that all of the peas had been growing like enormous bushy weeds, but they inexplicably stopped forming flowers, and therefore stopped forming peas. Which was the whole reason I was growing pea plants. Otherwise you just have a huge tangle of really messy vines in your bathroom… as I did.
Well, after some brief investigating, it turned out that my light timers had gone rogue and were giving the garden 21 hours of light per day. You may also be good at math and realize that only leaves 3 hours of darkness. Which is apparently not enough sleep for peas. So I changed the lights back to their original settings of 18 hours daylight/6 hours darkness. I planted some new peas, and, voila! We have a huge tangle of weeds that are producing peas again. That was a simple fix.
Plus, we have some cool Dragon’s Tongue beans that decided they would flower now that they were getting their sack time, too. I am very interested in what these exotic looking beans are going to taste like. Hopefully not like actual Dragon’s Tongues.
This little mishap just highlights the importance of the day/night cycle in your indoor garden or grow room. To encourage your plants to fruit or flower, they need periods of rest from the light.
Rutabagas. Grown Indoors.
Rutabagases? Rutabagi? Let’s just call them Swedes.
The other very fun vegetable we’ve been growing indoors here lately is the Rutabaga, or the Swede. They are just as pretty and easy a vegetable as you could ask for. They take a while to grow in the indoor garden but…they don’t take up too much room, so they’re tolerable.
But then, a lot of people don’t really know what to cook with rutabagas. And I was the same. In fact, they sat in the fridge for a few weeks before we figured out something to do with them. (They finally made their way into a nice sheet-pan veggie roast, actually.)
Charles Dowding, the no-dig gardening super hero, has done a few collaborations lately with a very cool London-based urban gardener, Alessandro, A.K.A. Spicy Moustache. And they put out a farm-to-table rutabega recipe! Check it out here.
I felt instantly cooler for having grown rutabagas after watching this video. And you will too. Maybe it’s all the tattoos. Either way, I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I guess now I’ll have to wait eight months to grow and harvest my next batch. Maybe I’ll leave the lights on super long to speed things up. Like 21 hours…
The rutabagas in these outdoor gardens from the video are admittedly huge, but ours are a decent size too, considering they were grown indoors. I also always try to get at least three to four of these little guys to be ready at the same time for harvest. It makes cooking with them much easier, if you have at least a few! So I plant about 6 at a time and pick the top 3 when the time comes to harvest…
Asparaguses. Grown Indoors.
Asparaguses? That’s right. Believe it or not, it turns out Asparagus (as the plural) or Asparaguses are both correct.
I finally stopped chopping the asparagi (latin) back and I let them go wild a little bit to see what they would do. Since they were so persistent. Plus they are so cute. If a vegetable can be cute.
And look at that, they have flowered with the most delicate, little, tea-cup flowers and become quite fern-like. In fact, this process is called” ferning out” and is part of the expected life cycle of the asparagus. After a few years of “ferning out”, and growing back, the asparagus may just end up being edible after all. I planted these asparagus about 4 years ago and they just keep popping back up. Maybe I never should have doubted them.
The problem is, with the ever-constant indoor-garden conditions – with no seasonal changes in day length – I fear they may not go through a normal fall/winter dormant cycle. So who knows if this “ferning out” is a good sign, or if it’s a signal that the plant is just going to plop over and die next. I’ll keep you posted.
But at least we’ve gotten them back in to a normal day/night cycle, here in the Tub Garden. Who knows what those 21 hour days did to them when the light timers went wonky for a few months and they only were getting 3 hours of asparagus sleep. I’m sure they got quite cranky and weren’t making rational decisions. That’s probably when they decided to “fern out” in the first place.
Regardless, I hope that you, like my now-corrected garden, are getting at least more than 3 hours of sleep. Even with everything that’s in the news these days. Just like the plants, our own down time is so important for us to bloom and grow. Hopefully, you’re eating your vegetables, and maybe even finding time to garden a bit. So you can clear your head, look to nature (even in whatever odd places you may find it, like a bathroom garden) and find your own peace.
And if not, well, at least you’ll know where to find some peas.