Monday, May 7, 2012

Tender Starts~ Beginners luck in the Greenhouse

As with most new beginnings there are always some nerves, a little nail biting, and small worries in hopes that all your hard work and sweat will pay off... I've been holding my breath as I waited for the seeds I planted on April 28th and 29th to sprout in the greenhouse. After a week of gray skies, off and on rain and cooler temps the Zinnias, Cosmos and Sunflowers have sprouted! WHEW! I'll admit I was obsessing about whether I should have started them on a heat mat instead, but, so far the seeds have sprouted within the proper germination time for each variety.  Thank goodness! I'm a newbie at growing from seed and my flower farm dreams hinge on those tender starts growing strong and tall!

The average temp inside the greenhouse last week was 50 degrees during the day but the prior week when it was quite a bit warmer it was as high as 90 one day.The greenhouse has two windows that can be opened ( plus a door ) to let out heat and allow fresh air to circulate.

Yesterday, I planted all of my tomatoes... It's a little late as we New Englanders go by Memorial Weekend as our last frost date but a few extra weeks won't hurt in the greenhouse and it'll allow me more time to figure out where I'm planting all of them! I chose two large varieties, Beefsteak and Brandywine Red and Yellow, as well as Ace for canning. I have to have cherry tomatoes too so I selected Gardner's delight. Don't you love to just pop'm in your mouth on a hot summer day for a tasty sweet and juicy fix?

Just for fun I also planted Pumpkin on a Stick. An ornamental cut flower for fall arrangements! I thought it would be cute mixed in with sunflowers and other late summer bloomers!

I also discovered Seed Savors Exchange . They are an organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.  If you don't already know about them click on the link and enjoy learning more!
 I have a few more flower varieties on order from Seed Savors. The soil is warm enough outside to plant cool weather loving plants such as bush beans, pole beans, sweet peas, lettuce, onions and Swiss chard.

Supplies List:
Greenhouse ( Shelter Logic ) 10x10x8
Two tall plastic shelving units for holding seeds
Seeds ( Botanical Interest )
Organic Seed Starter ( 8 bags)
Seed trays and inserts
Watering Can with a wide sprinkle tip
Plastic Wrap for covering seed trays ( you can also use plastic bags from the grocery store or bubble wrap )
Garden Gloves  ~ One waterproof and two all purpose garden gloves for doing light work in the yard.
One seed planter

I would love any tips for greenhouse growing from any of you experienced growers out there!

Do you heat your greenhouse or use heating mats?
What month do you begin planting seeds in your unheated greenhouse? 

One kind reader suggested I leave the watering can inside the greenhouse filled with water so it would stay warm for soaking dry potting soil. This has worked out great so thanks for that tip! 

That's all for today friends! The sun is out and I've got plenty to keep me busy outside today!
Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'm hopping over to the Homestead Barn Hop with this post and Heidi's Country Garden Showcase! Maybe I'll see ya there!

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