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Have you started in your greenhouse yet?

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default Have you started in your greenhouse yet?

Post by BertieFox on 4th January 2011, 1:57 pm

Fed up with shivering indoors, the sunshine attracted me into a balmy polytunnel and I couldn't resist getting the season going, probably far too early.
I've sown a lot of Pak Choi which are up and growing away in modules in a heated propagator, though a few have 'damped off'.
I've also sown some spring cabbage and a couple of types of onions. I use vermiculite in a small round margarine tub with a petri dish lid or base as the top. This works well to 'chit' the seed and get enough growth ready to transplant into modules later.
I've also sown a patch of mangetout peas in one of the polytunnel beds. The soil here seems dry and relatively warm so there's a chance they will germinate. I know these types of peas are not as hardy as the round seeded ones but we will see if they work.
What are YOU sowing in your polytunnel, or am I mad to start so early? Any suggestions as to what might be sown successfully at this time of year would be welcome.
This year I'm planning to keep a detailed record on the computer of what I sow and when, and how far it succeeds later. I always start tomatoes far too early, but equally I often feel I could have done better with early crops like peas and broad beans.
I have some crimson flowered broad beans this year which I will sow soon in the tunnel partly to collect seed for a larger crop in open ground next year.
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BertieFox

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default Re: Have you started in your greenhouse yet?

Post by Guest on 4th January 2011, 4:01 pm

I’m trying very hard to be logical and not try to manifest the end of winter but starting to seed things!
I try very hard to consider 3 things
1. Is the temperature and humidity right for germination over the next week or so
2. After 2 weeks or so will the temperature and growing condition be ok to sustain strong growth and
3. After 4 to 6 weeks of growing where will I plant the plant, will the conditions be correct?

But point 1. The propagator is great as long as it is not full but it costs money to run!
So point 2….Out of the propagator I have 3 deg of protection from the greenhouse plus another 3 deg if I use 2 layers of fleece. So at night I can protect for 6 deg frost. Lower than that I have to use heat and I can’t afford it, so its not sensible to have anything in the greenhouse that can’t take -4degC (assuming normal -10degC, not as we have had in Feb last year of -15degC and below). So I’ve given up trying very early lettuce, radish etc.
And point 3, if you consider the “lune rousse” prediction, the period of warm days but cold night that can cause morning frosts is for 2011 early, 3 April to 3 May. This is usually very reliable (it ended 26 May last year!) So for me I will be growing the main crops for outside to be planted out then. I fear that between now and then we could get some more very cold periods!


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default Re: Have you started in your greenhouse yet?

Post by Zoe on 4th January 2011, 4:05 pm

BertieFox wrote:What are YOU sowing in your polytunnel, or am I mad to start so early? Any suggestions as to what might be sown successfully at this time of year would be welcome.

I am looking at seeding onions very soon – Spanish and red torpedo but they will be in the house. The propagator will go on mid Feb (probably!).

Mr Fox - Aubergines and pelargonium are usually seeded in January here if you can keep the plants warm afterwards!

BertieFox wrote:This year I'm planning to keep a detailed record on the computer of what I sow and when, and how far it succeeds later.
....do you track the temperature in the poytunnel? Good idea to know how it "behaves".

Zoe
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