When I purchased my Rise Garden, it was the dead of winter in Canada. I was bundled up inside, longing for warmer weather and looking forward to the start of gardening season.  As I impatiently waited out the snowy winter months, I stumbled upon Rise Gardens and the thought of being able to enjoy gardening year-round immediately sparked my interest. I would no longer need to wait until the last frost in the spring to plant a garden. I could enjoy fresh greens every day of the year and my gardening season would grow from 4 months to 12 months! 

Fast forward a few more months and spring had arrived in the Canadian prairies and it was time to start thinking about my outdoor garden. With my Rise Garden flourishing, I found myself wondering how this indoor hydroponic garden was going to fit with my outdoor gardening plans. Thoughts of the indoor garden being redundant with an outdoor garden crossed my mind and I wondered if I should put my indoor gardening on hold for the summer.  After some consideration, I decided that using the strengths of my indoor garden to complement my outdoor garden would be the best course of action. 

First up on my list of using my Rise Garden to supplement my outdoor gardening would be to use it to start some transplants to move outside.  To maximize the number of seedlings I can start inside, I use the 12 pod trays, which gives me a total of 36 transplants per level in the Family Rise Garden. My go-to transplants in the garden are tomatoes and peppers, which I start about 8 weeks before the last frost, but anything that needs to be started before the last frost can be started in your Rise Garden! I have even used the seedless pods to start my own favorite seed varieties. When using my garden for transplants, I make sure to start new pods for my garden about 2 weeks before I intend to transplant outside so I will have established seedlings to put back into my Rise Garden after. Once all of the transplants have been moved out of my Rise Garden, I take the time to give it a good deep spring cleaning for a fresh start. 

 

   

I find that that the summer months for my Rise Garden are for growing a few staples as well as a time to experiment with new plants and varieties and be a bit more creative than usual. One staple that I grow year-round in my Rise Garden is kale. I could absolutely grow this outside, but find that aside from it growing so well inside, there are too many pests outside that enjoy eating it before I can, so it will forever have a place inside where it’s safe! I also like to continue to grow herbs inside for quick and easy access when cooking or making drinks rather than having to go outside for them. I do find that I switch up my herbs seasonally to complement the types of dishes I’m making. My must-have herbs for the summer are mint, cilantro, and dill, as their bright flavors are found in so many summer dishes and drinks. 

 

 

Lastly, I use the summer to experiment with new plants or different varieties to see what works best for my garden and family. I know I always enjoy watching new plants grow!  This summer, I am trying eggplant, microgreens, and strawberries.  The strawberries had to be added to the garden after I saw several other Rise Gardeners experimenting with these fun plants and I had to try them for myself.  Eggplant was a plant that I wanted to try out for a while now, but the plants are quite large and I didn’t want to part with such previous real-estate in my Rise Garden during the winter. Summer is the perfect time to try them out. And, microgreens (coming this fall!) are a great way to add some extra brightness to all of our patio dining this summer. So far, our new endeavors haven’t disappointed. 

The more I use my Rise Garden, the more ways I find to complement my outdoor garden. Now, not only do I look forward to starting my outdoor garden during the summer months, but I also look forward to the new things to try out in my Rise Garden. And honestly, is there such a thing as growing too many plants?! (The answer is no!)