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March 3, 2010 - Kathie Evanoff
It’s time to start the seeds.
Last weekend, I did just that, and started several cool weather crops in the small greenhouse raised bed. As of now, we haven’t yet turned on the heat in the greenhouse, so seeds of lettuce, spinach, radishes and beets are currently hiding beneath a shade cloth (for warmth). I haven’t gone out to look at them all week, but am waiting for the weekend, when daytime temperatures outdoors are supposed to rise out of the freezing zone and the sun is expected to heat up the greenhouse.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve read of others, mostly commercial farmers with portable hoop houses, who have continuous plantings year-round, even in the dead of winter when there is more than a foot of snow outside the hoop house door.
I’m hoping to get the same effect with the greenhouse this year and will be posting photos as soon as I see germination.
I wish the greenhouse bed was larger. If it was, I also would be starting onions, leeks, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
I’m hoping, that like the other year-round gardeners, the heat from the sun during the day is enough to keep the greenhouse temperatures above freezing throughout the nights until our nights warm up a bit.
You can do it without a greenhouse. All you need is a wooden frame with old windows or heavy plastic to cover it at night. The more layers you put on, the warmer it stays inside.
You can use either heavy plastic, floating row cover or in my case, the shade cloth that normally goes over the roof of the greenhouse in summer to avoid burning the plants when the sun is at its hottest, to cover the seeds a second time beneath the glass or top cover.
I can’t wait to go out to the greenhouse this weekend to see if anything is poking up yet. One week isn’t much and germination could be delayed by cooler temperatures, but we’ll see how well the cover worked.
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