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More seeding

March 17, 2009


These babies are ready to move off the heat mat, and make room for the next round of seeding.

However with snow on the ground, the chickadees love to sneak in the green house and snack on the tender leaves.  So on the sunny days when the cover is off the flats, I protect the newly sprouted plants with the deer netting that we have come to love.

I use the 200 cell flats for my tomatoes, peppers, and fine seeds like celery, celeriac and some herbs.  It seems too cold to be thinking of tomatoes and peppers but I usually start them the second weekend in March, so I’ll follow the calendar on this – since I’m providing artificial heat and un-natural conditions with the greenhouse.

We still are having snow and freezing weather, so the newly sown seeds get the heat mat and the seedlings from two weeks ago move over.  The seedlings are tender, so they get a plastic cover on cool days and nights.

All tucked in – the makeshift cover acts as a mini greenhouse and provides a little warmth for the flats that aren’t on the heat mat.

Gee, how do you like the look of my new “low” tunnel??  I’m thinking we won’t totally dismantle the greenhouses until after the growing season.  A quick reality check while pricing replacement parts, gives you a whole new outlook :(It seems the sky is the limit as far as the local greenhouse suppliers are concerned. 

Attitude adjustment here.  I’m working on stopping my greenhouse whining.  I should feel fortunate, I have more usable space undercover to grow in, than some people have available for their entire gardens.  So we’ll just have to find a way to make this work.  And with the covers off and pipes removed, I will have two great, already fenced, deer proof garden spots!  Just not what I had pictured last year at this time… .

Speaking of seeding, I will be teaching several gardening classes in Portland at Lost Arts Kitchen at the end of March and mid-April.  Here is how to sign up if you are in my area.
I had the pleasure of dining with Chris and her family last week for lunch and she served a killer borscht made from lacto-fermented beets accompanied by some of her beautiful homemade bread.  I tire of cooking, and a delicious home cooked meal prepared by Chris was  a delight.  I can see why her cooking classes are so popular!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 12:52 am

    It is such a relief to see the pics of your seeds – my lettuce/greens are in the same state and I have been so worried they are going to keep growing straight and skinny without filling out. But seeing an experienced gardener with similar seed starts makes me feel like they will be okay. Your undercover looks very helpful for the plants/starts – do you have to clamp/attach it down in any way?

  2. March 17, 2009 3:14 am

    I surely wish we lived closer. I have a 20 by 90 greenhouse sitting unused that I would like to sell you very reasonably. I have Lupus which sunlight makes worse and there is a LOT of light in a greenhouse. I hate to see it sit unused and I hate not being able to garden the way I used to. Maybe I can rig enough lighting that I can garden at night. My neighbors will really think I’m crazy then.
    One year we built small greenhouses 20 by 20 with PVC pipe. I have a friend who built them from cattle panels. Where there is a will, there is a way. Good growing!

  3. March 17, 2009 5:09 am

    Beautiful! 🙂

  4. March 17, 2009 5:53 am

    How exciting. I love the seed starting season! I need to get my tomato seeds in flats. I love your big 200 cell flats, I need to find myself some of those.

    This spring I built myself some small hoop houses to cover my raised beds. I’m hoping they’re small enough I won’t have trouble with them collapsing like yours did.

  5. Rita permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:57 am

    Bummer, I’m visiting Portland but after your first class and leaving before the last class, would have loved to come just to meet my favorite blogger.

  6. March 17, 2009 6:57 am

    I wish I lived close enough to come to your classes!

  7. March 17, 2009 8:48 am

    I want to come live with you, I’ll be a good assistant, I promise. Please!

    (I’m just kidding, but I would love to learn from you. Those who do are very lucky!)


  8. March 18, 2009 2:34 pm

    Oh man, I ‘d LOVE to go to those classes! (the commute would kill me, though, ha!) I’m again resisting the urge to bang my head against the keyboard… 🙂

  9. March 18, 2009 7:36 pm

    Seedlings are so nice- all that promise and potential.

    Here’s a site you might like:
    Unlike our ancestors, many of whom lived on traditional homesteads and small farms, most of us today have the apparent “luxury” of buying all our food in the marketplace. The decision to forego that luxury and work hard to produce more of our own food is a fundamental one. We are thus making not simply one more selection from the Lazy Susan of available food choices, but choosing a way of life, a new direction.

  10. March 18, 2009 9:23 pm

    I didn’t know the chicadees would do that. Those darn cute little black capped characters. ha ha.

    Never heard of lacto fermentation. on my way to google it.

  11. March 18, 2009 9:25 pm

    okay – now I feel stupid. We made sauerkraut when I was a kid — and I know that some of the asian foods have those kind of ferments too.

    I guess I knew what it was – but didn’t know what it was called.

  12. March 19, 2009 1:25 pm

    Our kitchen table is a sea of seedlings every evening as we bring them in to protect them from the frosty nights we’re having at the moment.
    I so agree about a home cooked meal prepared by someone else…so delicious, so welcome, such a break!

  13. March 19, 2009 3:25 pm

    Ooooh, look at those little purple stems! Hey, that tunnel looks pretty good! Is the cover overhead intact? It could serve a tidy micro greenhouse! Do both greenhouses have usable space like this? I suspect there is more growing space in that nook than in all of my garden! 🙂 Sounds like you had a great lunch visit with your friend! Good luck with your class … you’ll totally rock!


  1. Dropstone Farms » links for 2009-03-19

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