Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dreaming of springtime...

Christmas is over and the days are getting longer, so I'm dreaming of next season's garden and starting seedlings. For years and years I've needed some kind of indoor growing space with good lighting so I'm not constantly carrying seedling trays from the daytime sunny greenhouse to the house at night for protection from cold. Veseys Seeds sells a deluxe 3 tier lighted steel stand for $629.00 plus tax and shipping..a bit out of my league, so finally I got around to building one. For about $80.00















Which could be done a lot cheaper but the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store was out of fluorescent light fixtures, and I was impatient and bought  them new. The 2x2 frame was $11.00 and the 5/8" plywood pieces came to about $10.00 The dimensions are 4'x20", 5'8" tall. On the back side I pinned one of those foil emergency blankets to reflect light back towards the plants and after things are up and running I'll put another on the front. Also some angled white deflectors made of flashing will go on the top of each light fixture.
Every home should be blessed with a friendly handy neighbor who can be called upon to do tricky and dangerous things like plumbing and wiring. Here is our multi talented Jean-Marc from down the road doing an efficient and safe job of wiring up the unit for me.

I have a new toy to play with, it's a soil block maker. It will make compressed soil blocks, 4 at a time.  A standard plastic plant tray will hold 50 blocks. From my favorite seed nursery, Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine.
I'm experimenting to find the right mix of compost, peat and soil for them to hold together well. Each block has a dimple to receive the seed. Today the first leek seeds went in, as I just had to plant something! With the sun shining it was T shirt weather in the greenhouse today, perfect for playing in the dirt. If the weatherman is being truthful we are in for a milder than average winter, so I hope to get little leeks into the garden in late march.



7 comments:

Gwen Buchanan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
organic-momma said...

Wow Kathi it looks awesome! Hope your christmas was wonderful and I hope your new year is as well! : )

Shelley said...

Wonderful Kathi - we will pop over for a home-grown stew once they are ready :)

henbogle said...

Nice shelf! I love the fact is has on off switches. We use a found shelf the we make work for us, a key feature last year was adding rope lights to warm flats for germination.

I also got a soil block maker and am looking forward to giving it a try over the weekend. I need to pick up some soil mix at Johnny's this week.
I will be looking for some posts on the hoophouse project!

Ali

kathi dunphy said...

Thanks for looking in everyone, Ali you are so lucky to live near Johnnys. I would love to go wander around there for a day.

Rose said...

Wow, what a great set-up for indoor seed starting! You're going to have a good start on your garden with so many seedlings. Do you also grow vegetables in your greenhouse during the winter?

kathi dunphy said...

Yes Rose, spinach, lettuces, kale, parsley, arugula, herbs. There is a hoop house bed inside the glass greenhouse. I pull layers of plastic over the hoops at night and push it back on sunny days.