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Monday, November 27, 2023

You want to see what's growing under my lights this fall?

I didn't get to planting buckets of salad greens for the light garden in time this fall. Instead, I pulled some herbs and one pot of lettuce indoors to grow during the very coldest part of fall and winter.

Top shelf, the big pot of lettuce. I have yet to harvest any. Perhaps in a week or two, we'll do taco salads with this lettuce.

Middle shelf, I have the herb pots from our grill station, the rosemary, sage, and thyme. I wasn't sure how these thin can pots would do for insulating plant roots in sub-freezing temps. In hopes of keeping these three herbs alive for a second season, I've moved them indoors under the lights. As soon as the temps moderate from this cold snap, I'll move them back to the deck during daytime.

On the bottom shelf I have the cilantro that has been waiting for me to use it in salsa. I didn't have the motivation or energy to make a large batch of salsa earlier. I usually make 2 or 3 batches of salsa using the recipe in this post in August or September, using cilantro from my garden. Fortunately, I planted this cilantro in a pot. It was easy to move under lights that way. I had noticed that it was about to flower, so I knew I had to make a batch of salsa right away. This morning I went to Walmart to pick up milk, eggs, carrots, and bananas, so I also bought 5 large jalapeño peppers.

Oh man, the salsa smells so good. The batch made just just under 8 pints. I'll need to do one more batch in a week or two, when the cilantro has had a chance to grow more leaves. 15 to 16 pints of salsa should do for us until next summer.

So, that's what's growing under the lights this fall. After we use the lettuce, the cilantro bolts, and I move the pots of herbs back out to the deck, I'll give the lights a rest until late January when I start seeds for next spring and summer's garden.


  1. I'm trying something different this year. I planted all of the herbs in big pots outside that I've moved into the garage by a window to see if they will survive the winter. I don't have high hopes for the parsley, but I think the others might survive the cold. When it gets really cold, I may have to protect them some. I have some leaf lettuce and spinach outside that have survived the freezes we've had so far, but it may not last much longer. I don't think I'll be moving that.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I hope your herbs survive in the garage. They may do better than you think.
      My one last head of cabbage doesn't look like it'll survive our freezing rain and cold. But the Brussel sprouts, turnips, kale, and mache still okay. I'd like to have a cold frame like Kris's hubby has for growing lettuce in the cold.

  2. I found a plant at my parent's house that has not been watered for more than a year and a half. It was very dry, wilted and barely alive. Mom has been gone for 1.5 years and I only recently discovered the plant. I asked if I could take it home and try to revive and dad said OK. I replanted it in new soil and put it outside this summer keeping it lightly watered. It survived and so when it got cooler I took it inside and put it under a grow light along with a geranium. They both are thriving. I was hoping to do the same with a combine herb pot but I just didn't have time so they unfortunately won't survive with the cold temps we are having. Although, I do see the sage looks good yet.


    1. Hi Alice,
      This made me a little bit teary. I'm so glad you could rehab your mother's plant. Is it a plant that you could take cuttings from to share with your kids (if they keep plants), your dad, and any sibs of yours?

      I hope your sage overwinters in the cold for you.

  3. My niece does a lot of indoor vegetable gardening. She has a Facebook page where she posts a few videos. Her page is called gardeningindoors. She seems to spend a lot of money on this, but it might give you some ideas lol.


    1. Hi Diane,
      I will check your niece's fb page out. Thanks for sharing! I think you could spend a small fortune growing indoors, so no surprise to me that your niece's indoor gardening is costly.

  4. It looks fantastic, Lili! It's nice to enjoy fresh produce out of season. My husband picked lettuce from his cold frame yesterday but I suspect we are winding down on the season for that.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm green with envy over your husband's cold frame. I'm glad you're still enjoying lettuce from it.
      It's good to have a season wind down. For me, the time off from active gardening helps me appreciate having the garden just in time for spring planting. Enjoy the lettuce while you can!


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