Readers, meet Claire and Aman—an inspiring green couple from Austin. For starters, they're avid recyclers, drive a hybrid, and harvest rainwater; I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the solar start-up. For the last couple of months, they have been planning their first raised bed. Starting from seed, they've documented every step of the way to share lessons learned with you. This year, they took an all-organic and natural approach, from the seeds to the compost to the wood they've built their beautiful beds from. Take a look at step one of their garden, which started in the guest bedroom.
Here's what Claire has to say about her indoor gardening ventures:
I ended up doing some indoor gardening this year, because I wanted to start plants from seeds. I'm not sure why I felt the need to start 30 tomatoes from seed when I could just go buy the six plants my garden can accommodate once the weather warms up. (Editor's note: to share seedlings with friends, of course!)
Starting plants from seeds is just really exciting to me, and it's fun to experience the whole process, too. Especially with seedlings, you can see their progress every day. I also don't have any trouble giving the extras away when I'm out of room for more plants.
I put my seed trays in our upstairs bedroom, because it has three large windows and the best sunlight. Besides, of all the rooms in the house, it seems to always be the warmest. The warmth more than anything is great for helping the seeds germinate. I also learned that if you set a seed tray on top of a warm cable box, the seeds will germinate very quickly. ;-)
As the seedlings kept growing, and the weather was still cool, I had to pot up the tomatoes, basil, eggplant, okra, and peppers. They outgrew the [compostable] seed trays, and the bigger containers just required more room. The next thing I knew, the beans had to be potted up as well, and I was left with no choice but to construct a 6-foot-tall bamboo trellis for them to climb. At least that's how I described it to Aman :-)
Claire and Aman spent weeks planning, gathering materials, and finally one long weekend making their raised bed dream a reality. Trust us, you'll want to see the stunning end result!
Stay tuned as we bring you step 2 of their raised bed: schematics. Then we'll show you before and after photos of their gardening area, and round it all up with a budget breakdown and resources.
(Images: Claire Tyler, used with permission)