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Debating Seed Starting

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Debating Seed Starting

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:25 pm

So, I've still got several feet of snow covering everything in the garden area. There is literally at least 3-4 feet drifted on most of my raised beds. I want to cover them with plastic to get them warming up but I don't want to shovel the garden.  Sad  Maybe I'll have my DS shovel out around the 2 beds with the least amount of snow while I spray the fruit trees.

I'm debating getting my cold crops started in milk jugs and setting them out in my makeshift greenhouse setup. I'm thinking mainly of starting my cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. Maybe also a few jugs of peppers, tomatoes, some leeks from seed and onion from seed. I'm thinking the seeds will have extra protection from being sown in milk jugs then placed on a metal shelving unit covered by heavy clear plastic. This setup will be placed directly against my house on a South facing wall. The snow has already melted from this area of my yard.

I'm afraid this goofy weather is just going to skip Spring and I won't have anything started in time. The weathermen say we are supposed to have below average temperatures for the next three months due to the heavy amount of ice covering the Great Lakes. I live within a few miles from a shipping canal that feeds into Lake Michigan. Do you think that will affect the temperatures in my area?

What would you do to get plants ready for when the garden warms up? My usual last frost date is around May 15th. Any suggestions or ideas? BTW,  I do have some heavy greenhouse plastic sheeting to cover a couple of my raised beds along with PVC pipes to create hoop houses. 1 bed is set up with the pipes in place but not the plastic. Do you think I'd be better setting that up than using the shelving unit for starting my seeds in?
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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by Farmfresh on Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:18 pm

The PVC hoop house is the way I would go for sure.
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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:37 pm

The only reason I was second guessing it was because of all the snow in the garden. It's definitely warmer by the house as the snow has already melted  there.
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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by Farmfresh on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:33 pm

Get that plastic up and it will warm up fast.  Plus you can keep the plastic on longer with them in "position" they will have better growth.
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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:51 pm

it's hard to say how the ice pack on the Great Lakes (all of 'em, if I remember correctly, are 90% covered) will affect your and our weather. It depends on the jet stream. A hoop house is the way to go, but I would recommend starting with a black plastic for some quick heating, then changing to a clear plastic when the soil has warmed up to around 50 degrees

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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:35 am

Thanks guys.  Would it hurt to lay black plastic down directly on the bed then put the clear plastic on the hoops to warm it more quickly?
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Re: Debating Seed Starting

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:54 am

shouldn't hurt anything, as long as you remember to take up the black before it gets too hot

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Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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