Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Starting seeds

I have a greenhouse!  Hooray!  It just arrived moments ago, purchased new off ebay on New Year's Eve.  In anticipation of its arrival (and some very good weather forecasted for the next week), I planted a whole host of spring seeds.  But before I get into my own personal record keeping, let me tell you about my greenhouse.  We'd been planning to get one since May and just didn't.  I started to dither about the size of the original one we planned to get: 18"x30" foot print with 4 shelves.  Yes, I could do seeds, but little else.  So, in hunting some more I found several options that were much bigger for the same price or slightly more.  What I eventually settled on was a 10'x6.6' footprint, 6' tall in the center with movable shelves included.  I can plop this baby over a garden bed of something cold sensitive and put my shelves of pots or seedlings in the walkway or around the planted items.  I'm a bit dubious how well it will hold up to wind, but we decided to give this a try and if it needs replacing in a couple years, we'll know that much better what we need before buying a super good quality one.  Merry Christmas to me!!!

I had a BLAST this morning outside pretending its spring.  With the current weather, the imagination doesn't have to work very hard.  The older 2 kids helped me clear some room in the seed boxes by planting the remaining stuff in the pretty patch.  Then they "helped" me plant the seeds.  I use window boxes for seeds, splitting each into 2-4 sections for each type of seed.  When we're working on one particular seed, for example bok choy, I'll show them the section in the box those seeds will go in to.  I'll put a few seeds into farmer girl's hand (4.5 yrs) and have her lay them, one at a time, on top of the dirt.  I'll put a 1 or 2 seeds onto farmer boy's flat palm (almost 3yrs) and he just dumps them onto the dirt.  Then, depending on the size of the seed, I'll allow them to push it down and cover or I'll push it down and let them sprinkle dirt on top.  Between anticipating all these new foods I'm planting so early and doing it all with 2 of my very favorite people, I was in heaven all morning! 

Now on to boring record keeping:
1. Chinese Cabbage: Michihli (fall plantings didn't head likely due to heat late in fall.  leaves still good to cook and eat)
2. Bok Choy: Ching Chang
3. Asian Greens: Large Leaf Tong Ho (fall plantings slightly bitter)
4. Hot peppers: Tam Jalapeno*
5. Bell Peppers: Sweet Chocolate, Emerald Giant
6. Chichiquelite Huckleberry*
7. Jelly Melon Kiwano*
8. Melocoton Cassabanana*
9. Wonderberry*
10. Eggplant: Pandora Striped Rose*, and Ping Tung*
11. Parsley: Giant of Italy
12: Mustard Greens: Southern Giant Curled
13: Celery: Tendercrisp (fall planting grew very pretty flowers similar to zinnias- either my mistake or Baker Creeks?)
14: Tomatoes: Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Chocolate, and Green Zebra

*Denotes first time planting

Without a greenhouse, most of these I'd have to wait another 6 weeks to plant.  This way I can get a jump on the bugs and heat.  I'll get 6 weeks more fruit out of my tomatoes before the bugs, fungus, heat and disease wipe them out.  I'll start my squash, melons and cucumbers in about 3 weeks so I can get that much more out of them before the pickleworm eats them all.  I'd love to start them now, but I can't imagine containing a 6 week old squash vine to a pot inside a greenhouse!

1 comment:

  1. You had asked about planting zones so I thought I'd better answer before I forget. Zone 5.

    & we had plans for a greenhouse for next winter. Our stove is puts out too much heat for our house so we frequently open a window to cool us off. We're thinking about closing in the front porch and heating that rather than the great outdoors.

    Hope you enjoy your greenhouse!