Gardening – 8 months later…


Okay, I lied.  I never got around to following up on my April post.  I have been busy, however, in learning how my new greenhouse works (or doesn’t work without a lot of help!).

Starting out, I invested in some “seed starting kits”, which are like little greenhouses.  They contain individual cells in the base and a plastic cover.  You can buy various sizes (number of cells).    The most important part of this process is the soil you choose to start your seeds.

Because I was planning on a larger operation (for me), I  tried some of the generic bags of soil from places like Dollar General, etc., but found the mixture crude with large chunks of mulch and whatever else is in it and my seeds did not thrive.  So, I decided my best bet was to stick with my tried and true Miracle Gro that I have been using for years.  This starter soil has all the nutrients your seeds need to sprout and grow.  Within 2 weeks almost all of my seeds sprouted.

I should mention here that my greenhouse was not yet erected, so this was taking place in my “potting” shed – a former garage, rabbitry and antique shop (at various times of its existence).  Yes, it’s had a lot of incarnations over the years!  I simply moved in some tables and hung some shop lights above each one.  I did NOT invest in those expensive “grow” lights many folks buy, but did try to stick with the “natural sunlight” bulbs for my hanging shop fixtures.  Anyway, these worked fine and my plants did well, as you can see from these photos:

You will notice that some of these plants are in peat pots.  I tried a little bit of everything over this past spring and summer in an effort to find the absolute best way to handle things.  This spring (2019), I’m hoping to streamline everything (including advertising) so I can have some healthy plants ready to plant in May.

Unfortunately, I didn’t sell anything last year and had an abundance of cabbage,  tomato, and broccoli plants to put in my garden.  Also unfortunately, it was an extremely hot summer and my garden did not do well, even with a shade cover.  On the plus side, I did actually have some nice, late tomato plants that I was able to put in my greenhouse in August/September.  I currently have a very nice crop of tomatoes coming along that I will be canning, if all goes well!  They will be extremely EXPENSIVE tomatoes since I’m having to run a heater to maintain a good temperature in the GH 24/7.  I just hate to shut it down now that I actually have some tomatoes!  These photos show my greenhouse before it was in use (very neat, huh?) and the inside now (not so neat!)  The plants that look sad are shade-loving coleus and impatiens.  I put them in just to see if they will survive.  Also my Christmas Cactus is there and is full of blossoms.  Unfortunately, the ferns may not make it, but I didn’t expect them to.

I’d appreciate any input to this post – good or bad!  Even though I’m 70-ish, it’s never too late to learn!

 

GARDENING

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I’ve been gardening for the better part of 50 years, but do NOT consider myself an expert!  Trial and error have been my teachers, but I am now embarking on selling plants, both vegetable and floral, from my farm.  Let’s see how it goes!  I will greatly appreciate any input/ideas from readers, so don’t be shy!

Here are some photos of plants I started this spring from seed.  They include tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, some coleus and anemones.

My next post will show you how I did it!