Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Greenhouse

We got our greenhouse up today!  Yay!!!  We had to wait a few weeks to put it up because the last two Saturdays in a row, we had high winds and we thought it would make it kinda hard to put up.  Like last week, I think it was 50 mile an hour gusts.  Way to strong to be messing around with building something like this. lol!!!  We got the greenhouse from Big Lots.  I'll admit, I was a bit concerned, but so far I like it.  Hubby and the boys put it together.  They didn't seem to have any major problems and it went together pretty quick.  I'd say it was up in probably an hour.  The plastic seems sturdier than I was worried it would be and the zipper works smoothly.  I just hope it stands up to a strong wind.  We set it up against a north fence.  I hope the fence helps keep it upright.  We also anchored the thing down with some rocks.  The only thing I'm not sure about is the shelves don't fit on real well, but Hubby thinks they will be ok once they have some weight on them so we just left them sitting inside the greenhouse until I have some things to put on them.  I went into the greenhouse about an hour after it was put together and it was really warm in there.  It was probably about 50 degrees outside, but it felt I would guess at least 70 degrees in there.  At least it was warm enough that I would get very uncomfortable pretty soon if I stayed in there for awhile with a jacket on.  That is the best I can describe it.  I am hoping it is warm enough to start my pepper seedlings in there because it does not look like growing in my home is going to work out.  I guess we will see.

Like I said, I got mine at Big Lots, but this one at Amazon looks a lot like it if you want to check it out.  I do not think it is the exact same one, but it looks awful close. The biggest differences that I see is the plastic looks more greenish on the Amazon one and the dimensions I think are different. I think the Amazon one may be a bit smaller.  Also, mine has 6 shelves (2 on the bottom almost on the ground) instead of 4, but it looks like you could just put the plants on the ground in the Amazon one, so the space could still be utilized. 


The second day I used the greenhouse, the zipper got off track a bit, but I was able to correct it.  Around the bottom, it get's hard to zip, because it is tried around the pole.  Since then, I just leave about an inch and a half unzipped.  Hopefully, I won't have anymore troubles.  Also I have noticed a lot of condensation building up in it.  I will have to be careful to open it up when it gets warm to let it air out.

This post is connected to Tuesday Garden Party

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What I Have Learned So Far This Year

1.  Light can be problematic for growing starters inside and if the sprouts don't get enough light, they will become very spindly.  It appears that it is much harder to get the proper lighting than it seems.  I have a 60 watt grow light hanging over the plants (still too far away, though), a blue light above the other lamp (less direct) and they are in front of a partially shaded patio window.  Apparently this is still not enough light because the plants are growing spindly.  I am going to have to find a way to get more light in there.

2.  It is extremely important to test your soil even if you believe there is no reason to test.  I had brand new organic top soil, manure, peat and green sand on the garden beds, but apparently the soil is still not in good shape.  The test for the PH said that the soil was alkaline.  The tests for the nutrients said that the soil was low in nitrogen, potassium and was inconclusive on potash.  I almost didn't test.  I am so glad I did.  It looks like I have a lot of work to do. 

3.  Even if the soil is "workable", it doesn't mean it is ready to plant in.  I planted some lettuce, carrots, radishes and green onions outside on February 27th and there were still no sprouts as of March 6th, not one! The weather has been unseasonable warm, but I guess not warm enough.  Hopefully they will sprout soon. 

I am still in the learning stages on this gardening thing.  Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged.  I have to keep reminding myself, that even "failures" are important, because I learn from them.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Gardener's New Year's Resolutions

  • I will weed the garden this year.
  • I will trellis the vining vegetables this year. 
  • I will patiently teach my kids to garden. 
  • I will learn to grow all year round. 
  • I will use cold frames and garden hoop covers.
  • I will weigh my harvest and take pictures of it this year. 
  • I will blog about my harvest.
These are a few of my New Year's Resolutions.  What are some of yours?  I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!  I can't wait to see your gardens over the next year. :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!!!  I will be celebrating with my family.  Talk to you after the holidays.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Online Garden Seed Sites

I love getting seed catalogs!  I never knew how interesting they could be until they started arriving last year.  I'm addicted!  But they are some seed companies that do not send out catalogs.  Here are a few I found:

Victory Seeds
Seven Acres Seeds
Granny's Heirloom Seeds
Boundary Garlic Farm
Orchard House Heirlooms
Natural Gardening Company

And of course there is always Amazon!  I love ordering from Amazon.  I sometimes forget that I can order seeds from them.  Here is a handy search box for them.

Do you have any favorites that are not here? Please leave me a comment and tell me about them. Thanks!

Gift Ideas for Gardeners

My little guy enjoying his gardening gloves. 

Not sure what to get your gardener as a gift?  Well here are a few ideas! 
You can see the ideas below: 

    Here are a few more ideas to choose from:

    So there you have it, gifts that a gardener would love to get. :) So do you have any gardening loved ones or gardening friends to buy for? What do you plan to get them?

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Goals for Next Year...

    • Nice rich compost... I am really hopeful that I will have compost for spring to put on the gardens.  I will continue to put stuff in my second compost bin over the winter.
    • Make tomato cages... I think I have settled on making some of the cages from a 6" wire fencing material and attached to a wooden stake.  I may make some smaller ones for my determinate tomatoes out of plastic fencing material.
    • Start growing lettuce early inside or in the cold frames.  I am thinking maybe by January trying to grow some indoors and maybe late February or early March, in cold frames.
    • Grow a large variety of lettuce and other greens. 
    • Grow several types of tomatoes.  Grow some early ones, cherries, big beefy ones, mid summer ones and paste tomatoes.  There is a variety that I found called Siberia that is suppose to be a 40 day tomato and can grow in cooler weather.  I am definitely going to give them a try!
    • Grow several varieties of beans, including some for drying.  
    • Trying growing a few varieties of potatoes.  I think I am going to take a circle of plastic fencing and grow then in.  I may make a circle of fencing for each variety.  
    • I want to try several types of bell peppers, a banana pepper and maybe an Early Jalapeno pepper. 
    Well, I'm sure I will narrow down my goals more and come up with some more.  But that is my goals for now.  So what are your goals in the garden for next year?