Now Appearing….seedlings!

I have baby seedlings in my seed flats in the makeshift greenhouse. I wanted to share the little guys with you.

Since I built the greenhouse, we have had windy days with 50 MPH winds and aside from having to push the staples back into the ground and run a strip of duct tape in a few places, it has survived. I know, I’m amazed too.

Then we had a downpour and the mud to get to it was pretty bad so I moved some of the stepping stones from my garden areas to give me some safe places to step.

stepping stones

The seeds that are making their debut are tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, alyssum, calendula, green tassel amaranth, foxgloves, primrose, cleome & zinnias. I have some seeds that need to be direct seeding into the garden because they don’t transplant well. And it won’t be long before I can put the peas out so that we can have a few fresh peas in the spring.

We have had several really pretty days that have allowed me to work on my flower beds to get them ready for the new plants. And a couple of days the temperatures inside the greenhouse have been well over 100 degrees so I have to be careful that I allow some air flow into it to keep it from cooking my new little seedlings. So far, they are loving the heat and show no signs of wilting, but I am keeping a watchful eye on them.

I have purchased some larger compostable pots to transplant the seedlings into once they reach the stage where they need a bigger space. I have tried to avoid plastic pots. While they are recyclable, I would prefer using something that I can just plant into the ground to avoid the plant having the shock of transplanting.

Foxgloves

So far everyone is happy and hoping that the wind doesn’t return. We just started March though and it is the windy month so we’ll see how the little plastic covered house holds up.

My Makeshift Greenhouse

Spring is just around the corner and I always get excited about starting my plants. Sometimes too soon. A couple of years ago I had built a bean arbor from some rebar and cattle fence and it was really handy to grow beans on because you could just walk under the arbor and pick the beans and not have to deal so much with the vines. Last fall, as I was building my cold frames, and needed some shade to work up my compost for the boxes, I used my boys’ old trampoline as a shade structure under that same arbor. That got me thinking that I could enclose the arbor and use it to start seeds in a makeshift greenhouse. A few online purchases later from greenhouse suppliers, I have a small greenhouse that I have started my spring flowers and tomatoes. Here is how I did it…

First, I moved the arbor to the location that we have tried unsuccessfully to grow potatoes  and moved a table I had built to work on inside the frame. Perfect fit.

arbor with table inside

Then, I had the idea to sew the plastic to create a tent to cover the arbor. This idea was eventually scrapped due to 50 mph winds that decided to use the seams as perforations and take the tent off the frame.

attempting to sew the cover

After having a frustrating start, I started over, this time without the wind and a roll of duct tape. Much better. I used binder clips to clip the plastic to the frame to fit the frame like a dressmaker and cut from there. Better fit and held in place.

white duct tape

I am lucky enough to have an electrical outlet close by that is in a flexible conduit and it fits into one corner so that I could purchase a small greenhouse heater to keep the temperature consistent as the spring gets closer. The heater has a thermostat and a tip safety feature so that it is a very safe little guy and blows a quiet stream of warm air into the little room. I had an old door that fit perfectly onto the bottom shelf of the table so that I can keep the heater up off the ground and in a protected space.

power

Once every thing was in place I could start the seeds. Today I started zinnias, calendulas, basil, amaranth, false queen annes lace, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Now it is a waiting game to see if the wind allows it to stay put and the seeds to emerge.

Dayton Convection Heater

My sources for supplies were Charley’s Green House and Johnny’s Seeds. I spent roughly $250 for all the supplies and now have a place to start seeds for a few years to come.