I am still learning to garden but I am getting better at it. After moving to Northern Nevada it was quite a learning curve. High desert is not a great place for a garden, especially when your soil is pretty much a beach without the water. We also have serious winds and rapid temperature changes. Unless you are growing sagebrush, Russian olive trees or cactus, be prepared for high maintenance or creating your own climate zone with a greenhouse, or lots and lots of mulch like Jake Mace the Vegan Athlete (one of my favorite You Tube channels).
Since I like to recycle and do things on the cheap, I saved some organic bell pepper seeds to see if I could grow them. Using peat moss, azomite rock dust (thanks for the tip Jake), worm castings from my home made worm farm, and some of the abundant sand around here, I accidentally created some really great potting soil! If you don’t want to make your own, my husband and I have had great success with Happy Frog soil.
I had washed and dried my saved seeds, then carefully made an envelope out of a brown paper bag for storage. I shook some out into the soil and placed them in the sunny windowsill.
Now I had a problem. My bell peppers would never survive the winter outside. So now I had to keep them indoors. Luckily my master bathroom has a huge jacuzzi tub in a corner with east and south facing windows. It became a perfect spot for an indoor garden and hangout for our kitten Sweetie. Although I would not be able to feed my family, it was an inexpensive way to work on my green thumb.
I was so excited at my success, I ended up sprouting about 50 plants. Since I don’t have enough space to grow all of them up, I decided to use recycled plastic bottles to create small planters and give them away to co-workers.
Bell peppers taste so much better when you grow them yourself, even better than the organic bell peppers I saved the seeds from originally. They do take a long time to grow so I don’t rely on them as a food source, they’re more of a treat. For a regular source of healthy greens, I am learning to sprout sunflower seeds.