In the unheated greenhouse

It’s mid-March and there’s still almost a foot of snow on the ground. We’ve had some days in the upper 50s this month, but then it dropped back into single digits!

Every year around this time, I take a chance on some cold-tolerant plant seeds. If it works out, I get a little head start on the early spring garden. Otherwise, I just have to start over with those plants.

I keep track each year how the really early stuff goes. The Brassicas that would normally come up in 2 to 4 days can take three weeks…but they come up. Then I have to get them outside so they don’t bolt when the greenhouse temps hit the 80s.

This year, I got a soil thermometer, so I actually know what’s going on when I do these plantings. I was amazed that the soil in the containers in the greenhouse had gotten up to 60°F as of a few days ago. The min/max thermometer said the air wasn’t going below freezing in there from around the 10th to the 12th of March (when the outside lows were in the 20s). But then… the weather went back down to single digits, which brought the greenhouse’s air temp down to 9°F, and the soil temp to about 40°F. Sigh…

This year’s list of seeds planted either in the unheated greenhouse, or in a taped-up milk jug for winter sowing outside:

  • Echinacea Purpura
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Chives
  • Onions, nodding
  • Onions, bunching (old seed, thickly planted_
  • Feverfew (also really old seed)
  • Garlic, wild
  • Spinach, Bloomsdale Long Standing
  • Good King Henry
  • Chives, Garlic
  • Claytonia
  • Lettuce, Kweit
  • Lovage
  • Swiss Chard, Ruby
  • Escarole
  • Lemon Balm
  • Butterflyweed
  • Celery, Amsterdam Seasoning
  • Watercress, English

Added to that list are the mâche seeds I put in the ground back in December, and some older thyme seeds I put in a pot in the house.

Let’s see how they do. The rest of the week is going to be much warmer; we might be done with single digits for the season!

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