Plant a Terrarium
A terrarium is a miniature garden in a glass container-and they're back in style, according to Betty Howell, co-owner of House of Plants Florist in Akron, Ohio. And they can be open or “closed” (with a lid). “If you decide on an open container, choose one with an opening that's 5-6 inches wide (big enough to fit a hand inside).”
Tovah Martin, author of “The New Terrarium” also says that an open container will still help contain humidity to a degree. She advises that “Vases, bowls, glass domes and even canning jars can be used for containers. Choose plants that like shade, can take high humidity and won't grow too large.”
There's not much upkeep to worry about with a terrarium; “just water very lightly, remove any yellowed or damaged leaves, get rid of any mold immediately and rotate your terrarium occasionally so all parts will get light. And you don't need to fertilize!”
VivaTerra has some of the coolest-looking terrariums around; they're pear and apple-shaped, made from recycled glass, with sand and four air plants included. The kit can be quickly and easily assembled and there's little maintenance needed. For more info, check out www.vivaterra.com or call 800-233-6011.
Planting Garden Seeds Indoors
Many garden centers have seed-starting kits available; they'll give you instructions on when and how to plant. But generally, sow the seeds in small containers filled with soil-less potting mix that you've already moistened with water. Then cover the containers with clear plastic (or opaque if the seed kit says the particular seeds should grow in the dark). Then set the containers in or near a sunny window.
Uncover the containers daily to check for growth; spritz the plants if necessary (for watering without disturbing the seeds), but don't let the soil dry out.
As soon as you see the first signs of growth, crack the plastic covering for 1 day to allow airflow. The next day, remove the plastic for good.
The next couple of days, keep the soil moist, then keep watering as needed. Start feeding the plants a diluted solution of a fertilizer or plant food once they get their first set of true leaves (these leaves will have a different look than the oval or round ones the plant will sprout first).
Thin out some of the seedlings to allow for growing space.
Source: “Winter Doldrums?” by Mary Beth Breckenridge-Akron Beacon Journal, Feb. 6, 2011
Special Note: Do you live in the Northeast region? Start sowing seeds indoors; most summer annual veggies and flowers should be started six-eight weeks before the last average frost.
Source: “This Month in the Garden”-Garden Know-how segment, Better Homes and Gardens, Feb. 2011