Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Putting the Greenhouse to Work!"

After sowing many seeds in the little water absorbing Jiffy Pods, it became time to move them from the "seed starter domed tray" and into peat pots of their own so they could expand their root systems.

Since I now had benches in the greenhouse, and had run out of windowsill space in the house, it was time to try moving some of those transplanted seedlings into the greenhouse full time.  It still has been getting very cold at night.......down into the low 30's, so I needed to experiment by putting several peat pots of the heritage tomatoes (one of each variety), plus a peat pot of Sweet basil, and several newly sprouted Kale seedlings, into the greenhouse to see if they could withstand the cooler temperatures.  The first night I just had them sitting on the bench, uncovered, and found them little worse for wear the next morning, although the Sweet basil was a "little" droopy.  I then had this idea of covering the seedlings with towels to see if they faired better.  The 2nd night, I brought in a laundry basket to cover the plants and then covered it with towels.  The plants looked very good the following morning (no droopy Basil), so that brought about my need to make a more permanent and larger frame to cover with towels because more seedlings would be joining the "experiment" group.

I built this frame yesterday.  Unfortunately, I did not take into account the slant of the greenhouse roof and my original frame wouldn't fit due to the ends hitting the roof, so instead of taking it all apart and cutting the pieces shorter, I decided to cut each of the horizontal supports of the front and back frame, and slide the ends towards each other.  After finding the "sweet spot", I then just screwed the overlapped pieces together.  :)  Last night was in the low 30's again, but once again, all the plants looked great this morning.  As an afterthought, I added the string lacing across the top this morning to better support the insulating towels, keeping them from sagging down into the seedlings headspace.

Notice also my new high/low thermometer on the back support of the frame.  After reading what the low and high temperature was, it uses a magnet to reset the gage.  The original digital thermometer on the left left me somewhat confused each morning with what the low temperature had been so I asked Don to order the simpler thermometer for me.  It is very similar to the one we had in our greenhouse in Madison.

As I said, the "experiment" plants all looked very good this morning, so I decided to take more seedlings from the house windowsills and move them to their new home in the greenhouse.  It is a beautifully sunny day so I thought this would be a good time to begin "filling the greenhouse".......and according to the weather forecast, the nighttime temperatures are supposed to be in the 40's (and maybe even the 50's!) for the next week, so I feel safe in adding more plants.

I also plan on planting a couple of our Golden Grape Tomatoes into their hanging basket now, too.  The baskets hanger will act as their "tent" support when covered with towels.  ;)

Keep your fingers crossed for me that we don't have a sudden, super low temperature, cold snap!  ;)


Carol from MN said...

Mike... my brother plants tomatoes very very VERY early in northern MN.... Christmas lights..... that is what you need to keep the greenhouse temp warm at night......

KarenInTheWoods Karen Pfundtner said...

Love the Santa Beard.. it's filling in quite well. By December are you gonna weave up some red fabric for a suit?


Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard