If you're like me, in summer you've got the outdoor vegetable garden going full tilt in summer. Why would you grow indoors with all that wonderful free sunlight available? Here are some useful summer indoor growing projects, if you have energy left over from your weeding and watering chores.
Lettuce. Lettuce doesn't take much light, and it doesn't do well in the heat of summer. And you want great lettuce to go with all your summer cukes and tomatoes.
Herbs. Sure, you can grow them outside – but then you need to wash them. And like everything else, outdoor herbs are subject to fungal diseases and bugs. My local farm market had no basil at all last week. Everyone's basil turned black and died in the field recently. Clean healthy basil and parsley, oregano and dill, or whatever your favorite leafy herbs are, go great with summer harvests. Cilantro and rosemary are better off left outside, though.
Indoor tomatoes – for winter. It takes a good four months for peppers and tomatoes to reach harvest size. By the way, I never bring outdoor veggies in at the end of the season. Too many bugs and diseases come in with them.
Autumn and winter crops. Yes, you could plant next season's crops directly in the ground – if you've got the space. If not, you can start autumn transplants just like spring transplants, indoors. Then when the cucumber plants die of powdery mildew, or the tomatoes succumb to blight, you have half-grown lettuce, cabbage, kale, or whatever transplants well, to plug into their spot.
One tip on those autumn leafy crops, though. In spring, bugs are scarce. But in Indian summer, the bugs are voracious, especially cabbage white butterfly caterpillars and aphids. At the moment, I'm using floating row cover over my outdoor brassicas, a lightweight blanket that lets enough sun and rain through. I prefer that to using pesticides, organic or not.
New Book Out!
I've got a new book out, E-Cigarettes 101: How to Start Vaping, a smoker-friendly quick-start guide to becoming a happy vaper. And quit smoking, if desired. Written to be maximally palatable to the still-smoking, as a gift without rancor, showing a way out without nagging or lectures.
The book features vaper stories. Smoking (and vaping) is an emotional thing. I believe stories are how people best handle anxiety-producing issues. The book also includes a Glossary to help with the bewildering e-cig vocabulary.