Mar 3, 2016

2016 Summer & Fall Garden: And It Begins

Let's see. The last time I worked in the garden in 2015 was toward the end of October, where I was still harvesting tomatoes until the oven died while baking Sydney's birthday cake. In mid-January, I started planning our Summer & Fall garden for 2016. I got about 2 1/2 months break altogether. Not that a lot goes on in these early months. But we've already had to re-seed all the tomatoes and peppers we are planning to plant this year. 

And I'm sad to say, I already feel behind. In mid-January we ordered all the seeds we needed. And the first week in February, I planted all the tomatoes and peppers, as I wanted to start these from seed, indoors (kind of), because we didn't have good luck starting these types of seeds directly in the ground last year. 

Except, this year, instead of starting the seeds indoors, we started the seeds in trays inside a temporary greenhouse we bought off Wayfair. We set it up in a windstorm, and had initial fear it wouldn't survive the night. But it did. But, almost two weeks later, we still didn't have any sprouts.

I suspected the reason we didn't have sprouts yet may have had to do with the temperature inside the greenhouse. While it was plenty warm in there during the day, my guess is it was dipping below 50-degrees each night. Most mornings were between 38-45 degrees outside. 

And then a storm hit on President's Day. Literally the day after I planted my basil seeds and placed inside the greenhouse. By Tuesday morning, the greenhouse was no more. I checked and felt we were on the cusp of missing out on starting any of these plants indoors this year, so we ran out to Walmart, got new trays and soil starting pellets. This is because my second concern for the seeds not sprouting was the soil, as we got potting mix versus seed-starting mix. 

See the green string just below the Orange bucket...That was what was holding the greenhouse down. As you can see it failed. 
More failed green string

That white spot is the clear plastic of the green house. It was blown about 20 feet away into the fence. I had already picked up all the metal poles that constructed the frame at this point. 
Now we have the three new trays in our laundry room, where the seeds will get sunlight and where the temperature doesn't dip below 50-degrees. Plus, we have had success seed starting in here before with the same kind of seed trays and soil pellets. My efforts have already paid off. Both the basil and tomato seeds sprouted last week. Just waiting on the peppers now - only 2 have sprouted this far. 

Tomato plants
And the peppers...Hopefully they sprout soon.
Cameron has also turned the soil over in the same spot as our garden last year and created my rows. He did this just in time, as I already have Sugar Snap and Snow pea seeds in the ground. This year, we planned ahead for these types of plants, too. We placed tomato cages over the seed plantings for the peas so they have something to grow up immediately. The previous two years we kept forgetting to set something up in time, or what we had set up wasn't strong enough, both resulting in more difficult pea pod retrieval than it should be. 

The girls joined me on Monday when we planted the second round of Snow and Snap peas. I may have some helpers on my hands this year!

Pea sprouts!
Oh, and I was right about temperature being the deciding factor with the seeds in  the greenhouse not sprouting. I went out into the yard the day of the storm and gathered what was left of my trays and seed plantings. I had quickly just placed them in the house, thinking I would re-use the trays before we zipped off to Walmart for new ones. Some of the cups still had dirt in them and a few days later I noticed sprouts!

This is after not sprouting in the green house, getting damaged in a wind storm and then not being watered for over a week!
All this is a learning experience in my mind. I was never much of a gardener before we moved to our property - I left the small gardens we had at other homes to Cameron. But since moving here and having the space to truly plant what I want (PUMPKINS), I've found a new hobby (and combined it with canning and preserving). I don't see anything as a true failure. Yes, at times, it can be frustrating and depressing, but all I can do it learn from it and correct the issue next time.  

This time we learned that temperature is truly a factor for starting certain types of seeds and if it's not permanent structure, it doesn't belong on our property. I'll be even more prepared for next year's planning based off my learning, planning and preparing for this year - trust me, given my love of lists and organizing, our 2017 garden prep is already started. 

1 comment:

  1. oh wow.. look at all those wonderful little seedlings sprout!