For now at least I’ve removed a shelf and just lowered the level the plants are sitting on. Hopefully the space will work out since we’re not THAT much short of average last frost and the weather is looking like it might be warming up.
You can’t quite see it, due to the color of the plastic cover on the new greenhouse, but the tallest tomato plants are about to hit the top of it. Less than an inch to go. At that point I guess I’ll have to look at pulling them out to sit on the porch during the day or risk them scorching on the top of the greenhouse. My other option is to lose another shelf and drop them down a row. And although right now I have lots of space to do that I’m about to start the seeds for the melons. I guess I could pull the poppy pots and put that shelf back in, and add the poppies to the routine with the baby tree, which is inside for the cold nights and on the porch otherwise. Despite the warm spring I just don’t dare plant anything sensitive out now, it’s still 3 weeks short of average last frost! I do have frost covers, but the taller they get the harder it is to make sure they’re covered.
Sugar snap peas are sprouted (I’m trying a bush variety this year instead of a vine), lettuce and radishes are also up. And it looks like most of the carrots are also sprouted. I need to plant out the broccoli seedlings in the near future.
I actually took this picture a week ago and forgot to post it, but you get the idea. The big pot on the bottom shelf is an American Chestnut seedling that I found at Tractor Supply for $6 and couldn’t resist. They’re one of the trees I’ve been considering putting along the front line as a privacy screen at some point in the future. Next to it are a couple pots of Icelandic Poppies from work that I couldn’t pass up.
I spent yesterday setting up a 2nd greenhouse (btw, for anyone who’s looking for a greenhouse like this, my local Tractor Supply has them for $20), and dividing the tallest plants between the top shelves of the two. The seedling tree is now tall enough that it had to come out of the greenhouse, and is on the back porch, being brought in and out every night. Almost all of my current batch of seedlings are out in the greenhouses now, only a couple tiny late starts are still inside. I’ll probably be starting the melons and squash in the next week or so.
Remember me talking last year about a tomato plant that sprouted out of my compost pile? I still have no idea how it thrived there, constantly saturated ground and almost no sun and the coolest place in the yard, but the plant ended up taller than me, and although it wasn’t prolific, it DID produce a fair bit of fruit (which appeared to be Black Plum tomatoes). I saved seeds from it and started seedlings this year, with the intention of planting them in the compost pile again to see what I get. I’d been treating them just like every other seedling though, and they went out to the greenhouse. Turns out that might not have been the best idea. They sprouted well, and were the tallest of the tomato seedlings…..till the greenhouse turned warm due to the weather. While every other tomato plant is thriving in the very warm greenhouse the compost tomato seedlings died! I’ve re-started with new seeds and this time I’ll keep them inside under lights till I can plant it out. It really looks like they just couldn’t handle the heat after having been grown in the cool last year!
One of the two carrots that survived the winter died in the cold snap we had. The other however is thriving:
I’m still shaking my head over how it possibly survived, but it’s very cool!
Weather wise we’ve gone from snow and almost record breaking cold just two weeks ago, to lovely above average warm and sunny and everything in the yard is trying to sprout leaves. It’s a little scary, it’s still entirely possible for us to get another good freeze before the season ends, but if we get one now after this week of warm it’ll kill an awful lot of plants. This coming week will be closer to the “average”, but still nice and sunny with lows well above freezing.
The biggest seedlings are out in the greenhouse. I’m having more trouble keeping the greenhouse from overheating than I am with it getting to cold this year. Usually thats not a problem till closer to the end of April, not March!
In comparison to last years pictures I definitely started the seeds later this year. I was having trouble last year with the tallest of the tomatoes scorching themselves on the top of the greenhouse, cause they were just too tall, by the time I could put them in the ground. Its still some trial and error to tell when I should be starting them. Not at all helped by the screwy springs we have here.
I’ve added a new post category, 2016 garden, in hopes of helping keep track of things better this year.