gardening 2011 – part 1
I am happy to report that the seedlings in my light box are doing very well! So far everything except one pepper varieties has sprouted and most seedlings are just getting their first set of true leaves. I am watering them with chamomile tea to prevent damping off.
We also got a new addition to our balcony: 2 small greenhouses. I initially wanted to build a cold frame (read: wanted my boyfriend to build me a cold frame), but these greenhouses were cheap and use our space very efficiently on 3 adjustable levels. While they’re not exactly pretty they were cheaper and more flexible than anything we could have built ourselves.
The only plants that haven’t worked out in the light box so far have been the zucchini seedlings. It became clear after a few days that they just didn’t get enough light. So, being short on time, I did what every book tells you to never ever do with seedlings: I put them outdoors in the greenhouse without hardening them off or letting them get used to the temperatures (mind you, we still have nights below freezing). I was pretty sure they’d die but I had no other space to put them. Surprisingly, they are still alive and very healthy after a couple of days outside and are finally getting the light they were craving.
They greenhouses are housing a great variety of plants right now. I popped in a few tomato and pepper and herb seeds to experiment but they are also great for these chives that survived the winter and the sweet woodruff that I bought the other day on a whim.
Each shelf of the greenhouses can also take 4 of these small flower boxes and I am experimenting with direct sowing salad seeds here. This is mizuna and arugula, and I also sowed butterhead and loose leaf and iceberg lettuce and spinach and there will be mâche later in the season:
In May, the greenhouses will be used for hardening off the indoor seedlings and come summer, I am planning to take out the top shelves and use them as a rain cover for the tomatoes. In winter they will be very useful for extending the season with salad greens and other cold weather crops.
I have it all in my head.