Catherine over at A Gardener in Progress, asked me ‘Where you been, haven’t seen you for a while- working in your greenhouse?’ Well, she’s right- I’ve been busy. Too busy! I have really been trying to grow a lot of food this year- but my eyes always go for the beauty too, and I’ve started a lot of flowers as well. I’m praying that our spring isn’t like last year and things will be able to go in the ground when it’s time! I also decided to try starting some perennials in January, which is a lot earlier than I usually do it. Going by suggestions of other gardeners with greenhouses, I jumped in. Just in case the spring doesn’t cooperate, I’ve covered a couple of my 4x4s with plastic. One of them I covered a few weeks back, and good thing I did because I’ve been using it to hold lettuce seedlings, 4 flats of them, when the greenhouse gets too hot on the sunny days. It’s too early to put the shade cloth on, but there have been a few days that the sun decided to grace us with its presence! So, back and forth I go moving this, and moving that.
Lettuce and Broccoli
I also planted my peas last week- a little past the usual Presidents Day sowing, but it will do. I actually got the trellis in before planting them, like a good girl!
Yesterday, I harvested a big, yummy bowl of salad greens that included 3 different kinds of lettuce and some spinach. That reminds me, anyone know what the gritty, sand like stuff is on Spinach? It’s seen (and tasted, if you don’t wash it good- Yuck! ) mostly around the center rosette if you cut it right at soil level. I hate crunching down on it- It’s like finding a shell in your eggs! So, is it...
Grit like stuff produced by the Spinach itself. Probably for protection of some kind.
Sandy soil particles the Spinach just picks up from your soil.
Never mind what it is, wash it and eat it anyway!
I have no idea, but have wondered the same thing!
It’s like a pearl- it just grows, so deal with it!
‘Red Star’, ‘Salad Bowl Blend’, ‘Focea’, Spinach ‘Tyee’- Sown Sept. ‘08
In the greenhouse, things are getting a little bit crowded- okay, I’m running out of room! I have a bunch of metal pipes, the pvc connectors and the metal shelf material left over from a little pop-up greenhouse I had before the one I have now. I am so glad I kept these! I made a shelf for the greenhouse- only for one side, but for now it will work...it was time to go up! It doesn’t look like it, but there is plenty room above the plants and the roof- at least for a little while!
The shelf takes up more than half the length of the bench- I can now put 3 flats in the same space that two fit. Yes, that’s duck tape you see...fashionable, I know. What is a garden without a little duck tape? It’s better than them falling on the seedlings below- I would cry if that happened! This shelf is only temporary- I’ll make a much more stable pvc one later.
I got lucky and didn’t have to cut the metal pipes, which ended up being just right, so the shelf is high enough that the plants on the bottom won’t get shaded too much. I tipped them a little forward toward the South too. The other side is getting packed also, and with more plants coming out soon from the house, I’ll need to make a shelf there too. If I keep this up I’ll have to make some under the benches, and rotate them so they all get some really good light. With the sun still low in the sky, it will be fine for a while. A lot of these plants will go in the garden under cover, in mid-march, so space will clear up for the heat lovers and more flowers. The broccoli will only spend the nights in here for a week, and outside during the day, before they go in the ground mid-March, or I may pop them in the cold frame to harden off. All weather permitting, of course!
Indoors, there are a few things going on. The Broccoli looks really good. I have them under the double light shelf and they really love it! The below pics where taken on the 23rd. I put the broccoli in the greenhouse and sometimes in a tunnel outside, if the weather is sunny.
Here is the broccoli on the 17th.
The tomato is doing well too. Everyone I know loves tomato, so I probably should sow some more!
I have some other things in the house including Cypress Vine, and the 2 different kinds of Black-Eyed Susan. I also managed to find those Lantana seeds I was searching for and have sown them. They are on a heat mat, and under the double light fixtures. It will be very interesting to see if they germinate. I have read, all over the internet, that they are kind-if hard to start. From what I’ve read, they take 40-62 days to germinate! I’ll be sure to let you know how these do!
I forgot to add that I have some Sweet Pea that I started in the greenhouse. I’m growing them the same way I started the Peas last year, except I used Perlite instead of Vermiculite. I started them on the 15th and they came up yesterday! We’ll see how they do when I plant them out. I just love the smell of sweet pea!
And finally, here is a list of actual food that I plan on growing this year- some of which is already growing. Some are grow in succession, and the cycle has already started. Wish me luck!
Just a quick note- I’ve added the seed starting schedule for winter consumption in the box.net files- hope they are helpful to you!