Starting from Seeds – Progress Report

We started a bunch of seeds way back in January, getting things going on the kitchen counter, and then moving them to the back porch. They stalled out on the back porch, so we moved them to the portable greenhouse hoping that some warmth would perk things up. You’ll see a photo from 3 weeks ago, and bunch from today, and you can indeed see that despite the miserable weather here in Seattle, the plants are thriving in there. Plus, the lettuce that Hannah and I planted awhile back is ready to start eating… starting with a salad or three from thinning the rows. (Look at how small the lettuce is in the background of the first picture).

A bunch of the plants are in pots made from newspaper (thanks ReadyMade magazine) and ready for the seedling exchange I’m going to in a few weeks. We have tons of tomatoes, peppers, and squash, along with a couple different kinds of cucumbers and some swiss chard; way more than we have room for.

{ 2 posts today because I always get excited when I see we’re being linked from somewhere… thanks to Trudy’s friend Emily for finding this one from Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest. Onward and upward! }


Hoorah for the Hoop House

We’ve been talking about our plans for a hoop house ever since we visited our friend Yuka’s parents’ garden last summer and saw their prospering tomatoes in a makeshift greenhouse. We decided on the back bed to keep the somewhat unsightly contraption out of the view from the street. The construction was pretty simple — just 1/2″ and 3/4″ PVC pipe, some hardware to hold it to the garden bed, and some 6 mil plastic.

You’ll see from one of the photos below how we have the bed set up. We laid a soaker hose on top of the bed, then rolled on black plastic sheeting. Lastly we cut holes through the plastic to plant our starters in. The goal is to minimize weeds and also to retain moisture and keep evaporation to a minimum. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

It’s also designed to be easy to get at the plants, so the walls fold up 8 feet at a time to make tending and harvesting a little more convenient. We’re putting tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant back there, and there’s room for one or two more things if something fancy comes along.

The other benefit of this whole setup is that it will keep the chickens out of the back garden bed, which they have really been loving of late, since it’s full of worms.

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Starting from Seeds

The days are getting longer and it’s time to start thinking about putting things in the ground (but not too soon, if last year is any indication). We had been talking about setting up some kind of seed starting operation in the basement under flourescent lights, when out of the blue my dad showed up with what he called his “economic stimulus plan.” That is to say, he got us a pop-up greenhouse.

So we’re in the seed starting business. Hannah and I started with a bunch of egg cartons, and planted the seeds we saved from last year. Now the question is if anything will come up. We’ll have to wait and see.

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