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This Year's Spring Garden Projects

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This Year's Spring Garden Projects

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:50 am

I wish I had a green house because I can see the kitchen counter is going to be playing host to my plant starts again this year, and I just don't have enough counter space for everything. The kitchen, bathroom and son's bedroom are my only South facing windows in the house. I need to get another roll of clear plastic sheeting to use with an old metal shelving unit to make a greenhouse. I can't use it all the time yet because it's still dipping into the 30's overnight. Next month I'll be able to get more use out of it. I place it against the South facing wall, just off of the patio, in my backyard. It is somewhat sheltered from heavy winds, but I get very strong gusts because our property backs up to an open field and a farmer's field just beyond that.

Last year I started everything in the house, on the kitchen counter under a grow light. When the plants were big enough, I transplanted them into bigger pots and moved them outside to the shelving unit. I covered the shelving unit, as best as possible, with some heavy weight plastic, I wrapped it around the shelf uprights and clipped it in place with those black binder clips from the office supply store. I didn't have enough plastic to go all the way around the unit, so the back was open up against the house. I hope it will work again this year. I would place some bricks in the sun during the day and then place them on the shelves with the plants to radiate heat during the night.

I'm going to get more plastic sheeting to go all the way around the shelving unit so that it can help hold the heat in at night. Maybe I'll take a trip over to the fabric store and just buy some of the clear vinyl for making tableclothes, then use my sewing machine to try to sew a cover to fit over the shelves. I would then just have to keep a few bricks on the top shelf to help hold it in place, instead of clipping it on to the uprights.

Two years ago I used heavy weight landscape fabric to sew some grow bags. I grew my potatoes in them on our gravel driveway. They worked out really well, except that my DH ran into one of them with the lawn mower. Sad I'll probably sew a few more of them this year too. Last year I tried the potatoes in the garden but they all had scab from too much chicken manure, so it's back to the grow bags this year.

I may also try to turn a 5 gallon bucket into a strawberry pot by cutting slits into the side of the bucket, heating it and forcing a 2x2 wedge into the softened plastic to form a lip on the side of the bucket. I watched how it was done on U Tube. They did it on 5 gallon buckets and 55 gallon drums. It looks pretty simple and I have everything I need to give it a try. I really would like to grow strawberries, but I'm running out of room in the yard, so I thought about giving this a try.

I also need to make some repairs to the roof/covering over the chicken run this Spring. It is sagging and coming apart where I had nailed it together. I'm going to have to purchase a new drill so I can use screws to put it back together properly. I also need to reinforce the supports that hold the roofing material to the framing. I also need to look at getting the 2 end cap pieces to cover the gaps where the roofing meets the 2x4 framing
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Re: This Year's Spring Garden Projects

Post by Sonshine on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:26 am

We bought a small greenhouse with our tax returns a few years ago. It has been such a blessing. It's not heated though, so like you, I usually get the seeds started in the house. We have a skylight in our kitchen and a kitchen island under it. It's been the perfect place for starting seeds. I have some tomatoe plants that have 3 to 4 leaves now. We should be able to plant tomatoes the end of this month or sometime next month. I'm hoping we'll be able to build some kind of hoop house next year so we can maybe find a way to heat it and have the space to start even more seeds.

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Re: This Year's Spring Garden Projects

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:32 am

I've been toying with that idea also and heating it with fresh chicken manure from the chicken coop.
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Re: This Year's Spring Garden Projects

Post by Sonshine on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:13 am

I had never thought of adding chicken manure to heat it, but it'll probaby work out great.

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