Tag Archives: greenhouse

The Seeds Arrived

The Seed Box for keeping cool and in the dark.

The fourth shipment of seeds arrived and I’m still looking at some more that I would really like to try. I have inside and direct sow seeds now with over 75 different varieties. No I won’t plant every seed in every packet but I do have a plan and got my hands dirty a little yesterday afternoon.

The Seed Box holds all of the new seeds, flower and vegetable.
This is three of the four catalogs I ordered from this year.
New shelving in the greenhouse this year and more support for the frame of the greenhouse.. It’s hard to see all of the shelving with the table top of my transition tables stacked against it at the moment.

Today my son is coming to the farm to help hubby set up a solar-powered thermostat controlled exhaust fan in the greenhouse. The temperatures inside the greenhouse are now ranging from 30* to 120* any given day. It can be 40’s at 8:00 a.m. and within an hour it’s over 80* and continues to raise with the open windows in the top.

All of my planting containers have space of their own. The cups and flats have all been sterilized and the ProMix has arrived along with the peat moss.

I learned so much from my mistakes last year and I’m absolutely sure that will continue this year. Yesterday I planted 8-10 broccoli, cabbage, and one new pepper with eight seeds of it. I also planted 10 Rose of Sharon and twelve Moonflower seeds and 8 Mr. Stripey tomatoes (craved these all winter).

On the bottom shelf are seeds I planted last fall and kept over the winter. They are perennials call Sweet William. On the top shelf are some pots of fruit seeds I started last fall and the seeds planted yesterday.

Over the winter I made a binder of growing help and specific instructions for everything I want to grow this year. It’s a five inch binder and it’s FULL!! I have two charts with different data I’m going to collect over the gardening season so that I can keep up with what works, timing & planting, germination & planting and comments I don’t want to forget.

My very own gardening knowledge book.
New chart started this year to nourish my memory!!

I have an old rose bush below the garage that I want to take slips from and try the propagation instructions for six different ways of keeping it going. It’s a beautiful red rose with blooms the size of a dime, heavenly scented, and an over abundance of blooms. I hope I can get at least one or two started to add to my rose garden.

The solar panel and fan have been installed and I’m checking hourly to see how it’s working. New post for that later, maybe tomorrow!!

It feels so grand to play in the dirt in a warm space!!!

The Work That Never Ends

The pandemic that we are witnessing is a very real reason to stay home. We stay home most all the time anyway so it hasn’t hindered our life much at all. You see, there is ALWAYS something to do on the farm that keeps us busy during the day and at night we’re usually too tired to much anyway!!

Wintertime keeps us busy with feeding and caring for the cattle and small animals on the farm. Everyday finds us hauling firewood out of the woodhouse into the house or to the front porch when there’s pending bad weather. It’s also a time for restocking the wood stores for the next winter and checking the fencing for downed trees that have broken the fences that keep the cattle where they belong.

Some winters are much worse than others.

This winter we are dealing with a lot of ice and over the last two months we’ve had a total of about 12 inches of snow. We’ve expected to lose power but only had one outage early that was fixed and back on within about five hours, we were asleep during most of that.

Our next big issue is calving time which begins again on March 18th through May. We’re hoping that the bad winds, ice, below freezing temps and snow are over for the most part then or we could end up with a couple orphans like these to take care of.

This was George and Prissy born in 2015, adorable and saved during a winter ice storm on the same night.

A few more work projects coming up are fruit tree pruning, making maple syrup and opening the greenhouse (unheated), building new fence and repairing old, restocking chicks, introducing more ducks and maybe turkeys to the farm, and fixing roads that have developed deep ruts and gulleys wherever the tractor tires dig in. This is all before we start the garden!!! There are no lazy days or boredom when you’re a farmer!!!

The Greenhouse

Greenhouse at the end of 2020 and preparing for winter!!

We added an additional tarp on top of this blue one back in November to protect my new hobby as much as possible from the wind and ice. We surrounded it with ropes and prayed!!

So far so good as of February 17, 2021 but there’s another storm headed our way tomorrow. This didn’t stop hubby and I from making some more plans for changes to the interior before April.

There will be new stair-step shelving on the two sides and we’ll bring the tables I used last year outside for “hardening off” before final planting in gardens and flower beds.

We’ve also looked at our early heating options which will be using propane tank top radiant heater with an addition of a indoor tarp to hold the heat closer to the plants instead of in the roof top. It’ll be a tarp that can be rolled up 8 ft. up on warm days and rolled back out before the weather cools in the evenings.

We’re going to use a AC converter to handle fan’s to push out the excess heat out the top of the east and west ends of the greenhouse. Last summer I lost so many plants due to not realizing how hot it gets in the greenhouse. I think the hottest day was 128* with the roof vents open.

I still got some gorgeous plants out just in time to produce and I learned some serious lessons on the work and expense of having a greenhouse. I’m looking forward to starting it up again and ordered most of the seeds and supplies I’ll need except for the potting soil which is next on my list!!

These two photos show the best I had when I really needed so much more in growth and germination.

Hopefully 2021 will be a better spring and gardening season!!

Greenhouse Update

What a challenging project my greenhouse became!!

We had to cover the greenhouse mid summer because the temperatures were registering well over 1008 and the vegetable plants were dying!!

I loved getting the greenhouse started, planting seeds, watching them sprout, growing and wilting!!  I got started in April but the weather was always too cold or too wet. We had to run propane heat lamps when the weather was freezing at night.  We didn’t get any of the garden started until early June.

Nearly all of my seeds germinated but when it started getting warm everything  either died or stopped growing.  I knew the heat was the problem but I had all four vent windows open and the entry door was open as well. I found out to late that I needed fans to circulate the hot air and give the plants some artificial wind.  I don’t have electricity in the greenhouse but will have in 2021.  We’re currently looking at solar power just for the greenhouse.  We plan to put a fan in the back upper window of the greenhouse to pull in air and one in the front upper window to exhaust the heat.  We decided to put a tarp over the top of the roof to reflect the heat and that helped some.  I decided to put my tomato and cabbage plants on the floor and under the potting tables and they started growing but not in time to make it to the garden.

I had 8 foot tables on each side wall and a stainless steel table on the back wall.  The stainless steel table will come out in 2021 because it reflected the heat and at times was hot enough to burn you.  It will be an outdoor transition table for 2021 with a vinyl cover on the surface so it doesn’t burn the plant roots.

These plants just wilted everyday and we finally went to our favorite greenhouse lady in town and got some Mr. Stripeys and some San Marazano’s and put them in the garden in mid-June.  They did well from being planted so late and August was full of canning all sorts of sauces and tomatoes.

In September I cleaned the greenhouse out except for some perennial flowers that were doing quite well and bloom in their second season and some apple trees I started from seed to plant as root stock in 2021.  I also cleaned out all of the pots, trays, etc. with white vinegar and they are resting until spring 2021.  

Now I anxiously await my seed catalogs to while away the winter browsing!!

Seed Catalogs

I spent a lot of my down time during the winter months browsing seed catalogs. Hubby bought me a greenhouse for Christmas and my mouth was watering going through every catalog that came in.

Jung Seeds & Plants was the first to arrive!
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange was next!
Gurneys is one of my favorites along with SeedsNSuch.
R H Shumway is another that I received.

These are only the top ones that I perused every night while watching TV. I was so anxious to pop the first seed in the ground.

The weather put a big delay on putting up the greenhouse and then the Covid-19 delayed orders. You would think this would have delayed the garden but I know that nothing is put in the garden around here until late May and early June. Hubby and the kids got the greenhouse erected but rain, ice, and cold winds prevented much from growing because the greenhouse is not heated, nor does it have electricity. BUT it has been so much fun digging in the dirt and planting cold weather seeds.

The seed catalogs are still coming in and I’ve found more to send for. This will give me many months of pleasure planning and saving for next year. I started a diary that I keep records of everything that has to do with the greenhouse.

The wind tore off one of the window vents a week after we got it set up. It’s been fixed and all of the four vents are now chained down on the inside. The walls have been caulked on the outside at the top and bottom and we plan to double the panel clips to hold it all together through next winter’s storms.
Small but built for our garden. It’s full of vegetable and flowers just for us.
We are using our maple sap tank for hauling the water I will use throughout the summer.
I’m using 55 gallon drums for the watering inside and for heating up during the day and holding heat for the cold nights. I’ll probably paint them black when the growing season is over to draw more heat.

More pictures and posts on the greenhouse, flowerbeds and garden after the weather turns sunny!!