Garden

Seedlings and Storms

Look what happened here today!

After a few weeks of warm, sunny weather, we’re back in a cycle of rainstorms, complete with bonus hail. Frozen stuff doesn’t often fall from the sky around here, so it’s pretty exciting.

Last month, I did a post about starting seeds, including information about the fungus attack that threatened my new sprouts. I thought I’d follow up to let you know that everyone is doing fine.

No more fungus!

I transplanted all of my starts from cell packs into bigger pots about a week ago, after they had developed one or two sets of true leaves. (True leaves appear after the the sprouts put out their two baby leaves, called “cotyledon” leaves.) You’d better believe that this time I washed all my recycled containers well, to minimize the chances of recycling diseases along with the pots.

Now I am tackling a new experiment, which is trying to raise them in this pop-up greenhouse that my mom lent to me . . .

In recent years, I have raised seedlings in the sunroom off our kitchen, which  has worked great but can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz: You just know those dozens of plants are watching you. I thought it would be nice to set up a space where the plants could spread out and I could make a mess if I had to.

So far the greenhouse is great, except in last night’s storm it almost blew right off the deck. (Again with the Wizard of Oz theme; it’s been a long time since I watched the cyclone scene.) Inside, a set of metal shelves fell over and very nearly crushed my table of seedlings. I did lose two plants — and my celery starts tumbled to the ground, but somehow they landed right side up and I think they’ll be fine.

Survivors!

When I set up the greenhouse, I thought I had sufficiently weighted down the edges, but now I know differently. The thing is like a big balloon. (The instructions warned about this, but did I listen?) Stewart was outside with me at 10 o’clock last night in the pouring rain, driving big screws into the surface of his beautiful redwood deck to hold everything in place. (I know how much he loves that deck. Who needs Valentine’s Day?)

All in all, I think the greenhouse is great, and I’ll report on how it works out as spring progresses. (If you want to check them out, these greenhouses are available in lots of shapes and sizes from FlowerHouse.) I put a ceramic heater with a temperature regulator in there and I’m also trying to keep the space appropriately ventilated so things don’t get soggy. I can tell it’s going to take some practice to get the climate just right and I hope my seedlings turn out to be hardy and forgiving!

Finally, while I’m here talking about vegetables, I should mention that I have not forsaken my monthly veggie challenge.  February’s veggie is bok choy! I kind of like bok choy, but I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. If you’ve got a favorite way to serve it, I’m open to suggestions!

Bok Choy

Creative Commons License via Flickr: arsheffield

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