Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cole Crops on the Porch

It never fails, every year I start running out of space to grow my seedlings under lights.  And for the brassicae family, they are sometimes not so happy to be in the house because its a bit too warm for them (as I need to have my lights nearby the wood stove due to space restrictions).  Oh, what is a gardener to do?

Well this year, I decided: they were moving onto the porch.  This past weekend, I set up a mini greenhouse (the kind you find for $20 at the local hardware store) and made a couple modifications.  I added grow lights ($13 each) and a spare radiator-type heater to keep the temperature above freezing (because it still is chilly on the porch this time of year).  I moved the alliums and the brassicae out there, gave them a little misting of water, and hopefully they'll keep ticking over and growing slowly until it's time to plant them out.  With any luck, I can get the alliums out in early May (they do just fine even if we get a late snow/heavy frost) and then the cole crops will follow a couple weeks later.
I've got a little temperature sensor remote inside the contraption, so I can keep an eye on the greenhouse temperature and turn off the heater as needed.  It is on very very low, as I only need it to stay above freezing at night, and it doesn't take too much heat to accomplish that.  Hopefully the cat won't decide it's a new spot to climb into and take a nap!

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