Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Our Greenhouse is Bursting!

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Our Greenhouse is Bursting!

During these turbulent and scary times we are choosing to stay busy and grow more food than normal. I've been out in the greenhouse everyday...planting...transplanting!

I had to step outside to take this photo. There really is a narrow pathway, around the heater, to get into the greenhouse. There still is a bit of space here and there, which is good, because I have other seeds to start, mostly flowers.

Today is cloudy with rain and the greenhouse is 60ish degrees with the heater on 1/4 power. 

We really DO have a lot going on in here. 

Big success is the broccoli which is thick and really ready to transplant now to outside. Temps are still pretty erratic, so I will have to save them for another week or two. We will put them where we can tent if necessary for a heavy frost. Broccoli is pretty hardy as are cabbages and Brussel sprouts.
The black trays hold bachaelor buttons, sunflowers, Coreopsis, and Zinnias.

Our greenhouse is crazy right now, stacked high with plants and trays. Some things sprout immediately and others take forever. Not everything is a success though.

Pansies, started the first week of March. I doubt these will even make it? I had to take off the lid because of the mossy/mold? stuff growing. See the teensie leaves. OY...7 weeks and this is it?

Echinacea (Cone flowers) taken from old seed heads I had saved. Doing well. I planted seeds thick so getting any is free. And, they are perennials.

Larger Caladiums are finally sprouting, they were planted mid-March. 

Here's a closeup on the smaller Caladiums.

Tall Zinnias are looking great. I plant 3-4 seeds a pot. With our wind here, I've found that multiples hold up better in the ground for support.

Front is Fiesta Sun Flowers(a rusty red). Back is Tomatoes. (The only tomatoes we have had issues with this year were the San Marzano, and I have reseeded some of those.)

Eggplants(long skinny purple) and Serrano Peppers are doing pretty well. Peppers and eggplant are slow to germinate, almost a full month or longer.

We run the fan now in the greenhouse when it is warm, which helps the plants thicken up. I turn the trays every other day or so plants don't lean one way.

Dill from an old package of seeds...notice my note---If these don't sprout by May 1, dump...LOL. They are doing very well though! I did plant some in Fall by spreading the dried stalks/seeds across a wide area. But, with a freeze thaw cycle, you never know what Fall sows will do in Chicagoland. I have lots of wildflower seeds to plant outside---soon!

Overall, I have had good luck sowing old seeds, just sow them heavier. And, keep your seeds inside in a cool dark place, sealed up.

Bibb lettuce--roughly three weeks old...!

Mystery tray that has lost its label. Probably a flower, maybe sunflowers or some sort of zinnia.  (I should have started my journal sooner...LOL. I thought I kept all the empty packages, apparently not.

 Forget Me Nots...doing well, I stirred up between the plants and added a bit more dirt.

Here's my Cilantro, Italian Parsley and Parsley.

I'm thrilled with the Coleus which is usually they are established and should take off. I do have to water these small packs almost everyday.

This is a package of 2017 Sunflower seeds...and they came up in like 5 days. Looking great. (These are the Giant tall ones) 

More Tomatoes...I will share which ones do the best as they produce in the garden. Now they all look great!

On the ground in the greenhouse are planters which will go on our railings. (Bunny proof, LOL). Lettuce and onions. These are doing well, and it's a little cooler on the floor. These were planted first week in April.

Monday April 20, I planted 120 pots of: 4 kinds of pumpkins, 6 kinds squash, 2 species of summer squash(yellow), zucchini 2 kinds, Cucumbers 3 kinds, Swiss Chard-2 kinds. Plus I filled in empty spots in fails of flowers, and added more lettuce. 

Tuesday April 21, we stopped at our local lumberyard for Peat Moss. And, I planted another 80 bulbs, Alliums, Liatris, Acidanthera, Freesia, and Stargazer Lilies; all butterfly loving. 

 I snagged some seed Geraniums and two multi-packs of alyssum and some purple Salvia to liven up the place. And, some herbs, since seeds take forever..and are very fussy. (I didn't show all those pots) I will post again when they begin to sprout.

Outside the Peat Moss went across the garden--8 huge packs. We have clay soil, so we have to add some every year. (Along with sand and leaves/compost)

Our trusty tiller...wouldn't start yesterday, so it's sitting in the sun. 
I have two packages of snow peas waiting to go
 in the ground now! 

Our shady backyard exploded, finally this flower bed's Daffodils started, yesterday. I've had Daffodils in a vase inside 4 times now. Our cool weather has kept them blooming. So cheery! I am splitting the bulbs in later and sharing with my neighbors.

I had transplanted some chives last week and they are taking hold. Behind are the orange Day Lilies, I basically inherited through the fence from our North neighbor. I'm going to move some of these to the front yard where we lost our Spruce tree. Some people consider them invasive, I consider them reliable! 

Our Rhubarb refuses to be covered with leaves. 
What a difference a week makes. The ground debris will all be turned under once all the perennials are visible. 

Goal this make 

This is our huge compost pile, ignore the aesthetics and the hoses. 

We treat kitchen scraps in a turnable composter, then transfer the broken down waste here with grass cuttings, leaves, and Fall garden vines/stems. Notice the Day Lily very happy in all that great dirt. 

We are in an unincorporated area, so this compost pile is on the utility easement. Our neighbors have their wood pile on their side. Next neighbor has 6 boats in his yard for repairs and a 35 foot RV that he is repairing. 

We have loved it here for 36 years. When I start riding my bike, I will take some photos of our eclectic neighborhood.

I added some repaired birdhouses along the fence. Hollyhocks we planted last Spring are coming up as well as the old ones.

The bushes where my fairy is, have grown so big, there's hardly any room for her. 
She may have to move....? 
We already have two water features, so she has just been a statue for a long time.

We are planting all this food---when we had originally planned to cut the garden back and travel. 

 Travel, Ha! Not traveling at all, now. 

So, let's call this a Victory Garden...which will easily feed three families, no matter what. Excess plants will be set out at the curb after family and friends have their share, too. Excess food will go to a local food bank.

Everyone should plant some food. On your patios, in windows, along driveways, porches can hold potted plants. Some plants will grow just about anywhere. Something as simple as lettuce or a cherry tomato.

What are you planting for VICTORY Food?

Thank you for any and all comments.
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