Planting Time

I use a variety of different kinds and brands of seeds.

February might seem too early in the year to plant seeds but having a greenhouse gives me a longer growing season. I’ve been trying to take advantage of the spring-like temperatures inside my greenhouse by getting some seeds either into the ground or started in containers.

Our new greenhouse stands next to our barn. You can see the left side rolled down a little.

I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never used a greenhouse before and have limited experience with gardening. My thumb is definitely not green, and what I seem most proficient at growing are weeds. 

However, all that being said, I am trying. I know it will take time, trial and error, to get this right. Great expectations I have not. It’s more like great apprehensions at this point.

I have some plants, such as dill, already growing inside the greenhouse.

In the little experience I do have, I’ve found certain plants that grow well in this area. They are either plants that love the heat or are very easy to grow anywhere. These include okra, hot peppers, bell peppers, radishes, arugula, and basil. I’m planning to grow all of these in my greenhouse (except okra). My list does not stop there though. Not by a long shot.

I admit that I am most likely overreaching my first year in, but I’m going to plant a whole host of vegetables, a few flowers, and some herbs. My hope is for a productive greenhouse afterall! Bring in the bounty!

Some plants have started sprouting in containers.

The nice thing about having a 30 by 48 foot greenhouse is that I have plenty of space to plant. Plotting where each plant should go inside the space I have has been difficult for me. I found a companion planting chart online that was helpful. However, I feel that mostly I’m just guessing at how much space I need and where the best location for each plant would be. 

If all goes as planned, I should have the following growing in the greenhouse at some point this year: basil (three different varieties), beets, bell peppers, bok choy, borage, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, collards, cucumber, dill, green onions, jalapenos, lettuce (several varieties), marigolds, mint, nasturtium, onions, parsley, radishes, sugar and snow peas, spinach, squash, strawberries, Swiss chard, Thai chili peppers, tomatoes (several varieties), and zucchini.     

My son Brance, 5, helps out in the greenhouse.

If the sun is out, the inside of the greenhouse gets extremely warm. Thankfully, the sides of my greenhouse house can roll down with the use of a crank. It’s quite easy and allows not only fresh air to come in but also future pollinators. I can then close up the sides before the day starts to cool and trap in the warm air. 

The biggest drawback to the warm temperatures that I’ve found so far is that while outside my greenhouse it is winter, and we are receiving a short reprieve from irritating insects, inside, the fire ants are having a heyday and setting up camp everywhere. I’m really not sure how to remedy that situation. If you don’t have to deal with fire ants, you don’t know how blessed you are.

Eventually, we plan to set up irrigation through rainwater catchment, add heaters for when it freezes outside, and add a fan for circulation. But, for now, our new greenhouse should be able to sustain a garden, so I’m going to give it my best shot.

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