By now, many of us have settled into our strange new normal. We’ve spent the last few weeks stopping almost everything we normally do. So, this week is the time to start something.
We’ve got some good ways to get your hands dirty, with the vegetables you can plant right now (even if you don’t have a yard). And if you do have a yard, we’ve got a to-do list to make sure it’s as luscious a green space as you can make it. Go ahead and get your hands dirty. Just wash them after.
Before we get there:
Under the stay-at-home order, we’re still allowed to go outside for outdoor activity, and getting some sun on our faces doesn’t feel like the worst idea right now.
You can get seeds and supplies at a variety of places, including supermarkets, hardware stores, and online.
If you have access to a garden, a variety of veggies — beets, carrots, radishes, peas, spinach, kale, and collards — can all be planted now. If you live in Philadelphia or South Jersey, you can also get a start on lettuce and radicchio. Those in cooler parts of the region can test their luck against frosts or wait a week or two.
If you don’t have garden space but have a balcony or patio, there is a lot you can still plant in containers. Just make sure to cut or drill drainage holes, give the containers the most amount of sun you can, and place the containers close together. (It will help keep the humidity higher between the plants and help the soil from drying out.
If you don’t have a balcony, you can still grow sprouts. Pantry items like chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas, mung beans, and soybeans can all be turned into sprouts. The legumes need to be dried (i.e., not out of can), and they need to be whole (i.e., split peas won’t work). Thoroughly rinse the legumes before placing them in a jar with water, and cover the top with cheesecloth or other breathable material, like a sheet of paper towel. Then, the sprouting process begins.
If you do have access to a garden, now’s the time to act to make it the best oasis possible as the weather warms up. Here’s some of what you can do, right now, to make that happen: