Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

Early spring -and around here that means it's time for dirty hands, little cups of soil, and lots of crossed fingers.

Last year, planting took place in a large number of peat pots placed on a small stacked shelving organizer in front of my south facing French doors.  We did OK - but I was looking for A) more space and B) a way to keep my seedlings a bit warmer during the day when we are away and the heat is set back.

Early this spring, I found this shelving unit at our local Wegmans.  It was the PERFECT size for the space - and the vinyl cover would give us a little greenhouse inside the house.  Hubby outfitted it with a thermometer to track humidity and hi/lo temperature - and we were off and running!

The Munchkin and I carefully selected our seeds from my big seed tub - and picked out the ones that could be planted this early in the season (we are about 6 weeks before our last frost now).  Some were old packets from years past, some new - we went heavily for tomatoes and peppers for this first round and planted them in long-saved egg cartons - the kind made from compressed paper, so we will be able to drop them right in to the ground.  I planted heavily - as I was not sure what the shallow planting container and the age of the seeds would produce.  (plus we have another trick up our sleeves for this season to give us more capacity outside - more on that to come later!)

And then the rains came!   I failed to calculate what the addition of all that wet soil in a warm environment would do - and came home to water running down the inside of the cover.  I also was noticing that days with direct sun through this window would soon spike our temps over 90, and I was afraid I was cooking the seeds instead of warming them.  I opted to open up the cover and tent some plastic wrap over the trays instead.  It still stays warmer in there as it is enclosed on 3 sides, but the air can still move about and the humidity stays closer to the soil surface.

Shortly after planting, and while the Munchkin was counting the days until germination - carefully marked with big stars on the calendar and varying depending on what plant and what variety - we awoke to a return to winter.  It's tough to see past the seed trays and through the windows - but that is not flash glare out there -it is a covering of freshly fallen snow.... snow that stayed with us for a few days.

I am happy to report though that the snow is now gone, the tomatoes have sprouted (all 72 of them!!!) and a 2nd round of seedlings has been planted.  We have hops and rhubarb and onions/chives sprouting outside, and peas and salad greens newly in the ground.  More planting is to come - and with it more hope for a bountiful harvest this year.

Although my best harvest is watching the Munchkin take an interest in the process, and want to learn how seeds grow.

1 comment:

jillquilts said...

That looks like a fantastic set up! And it sounds like it is working wonderfully! I knew that you would come up with something that would work and let you start the planting and gardening process early. HOORAY!!!