Thursday, 4 April 2013

Seeding in the greenhouse with snow outside!

Seeding the greenhouse was a very pleasant affair, completed a week ago with the help of my eager garden helper, Paige (10).   Considering that our main garden is still under several feet of snow, it felt surreal to be working the soil in the nice warm greenhouse!  In the fall, I mulched the greenhouse beds with a variety of organic materials (grass clippings, leaves, spent plants and compost) and I watered it all in deeply.  Some of that organic mulch has decomposed nicely over the winter and what remained was stirred up very gently into the top inch of soil in preparation for seeding.    

If you recall, a few weeks ago, I irrigated the greenhouse with SNOW several times.  It's all melted now and this is what remained...

It looks brown and bleak now, but soon you'll see GREEN!  We filled the beds with the seeds of many varieties of cool weather crops (peas, brassicas, greens of all sorts, carrots, beets, etc) and we giggled as we remembered how FULL of seedlings our house was last year at this time.  We were literally fighting to find places to sit at the table thanks to numerous seedling flats fighting for sunny positions in the kitchen.  I don't miss that frustrating plant shuffle and I'm SO thankful for the greenhouse! 

As our greenhouse is not insulated or heated, the night time temperatures inside are still hovering at or just below freezing.  It's FAR too early to be planting summer crops in there but with any luck, these cool crops will be at various stages of harvesting/transplanting in the main garden just as we plant the heat lovers IN the greenhouse...    

Once we finished seeding, we watered the soil with a combination of diluted organic fertilizers (Sea Crop and Molasses) and we added Activated Effective Micronutrients to inoculate the soil.  

I bought these products from The Organic Gardener's Pantry and highly recommend both their products and their service.  I found out about this company during the Organic Master Gardener Course that I took in the fall through Gaia College .  

My plan is to mulch the soil with wood chips once the seedling emerge which will boost the fungal populations in the soil and feed the soil microbes as the wood decomposes slowly over the season.  In a closed environment such as a greenhouse, we are at a huge disadvantage as the natural systems that evolve outdoors are excluded...  Hopefully, as I learn more about managing a greenhouse organically, I'll figure out some more tips and tricks and be able to share them here.

Next up is seeding flats in preparation for planting the main garden in about 6-8 weeks!


  1. I'm very jealous. My cold frames are pretty much ready to plant--they are getting warm enough in the day to germinate but I suspect that only frost-hardy plants will survive the nights. Assuming we get another dump of snow tomorrow, I was thinking about planting some kale and beets and garlic next week when the sun returns.

  2. Wow your greenhouse soil looks like the end of summer here! Tony and I are utterly intrigued by the snow mulch so we are following this with great interest.

  3. Dont want to be mean but down here in Melbourne, i planted brocoli seeds on Sunday. Four days later they are above soil - about 20 of them. Im gobsmacked - this is the first time ive grown seeds - im usually a seedling buyer but trying to do it more economically. I put cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, peas and sweet peas seeds in as well. Roll on autumn. This is so exciting. Attending my first veggie swap on Sunday but with no veggies to swap, ive been collecting coffee grounds. My house smells devine but so strong of coffee. I have big piles of it on biscuit trays being turned daily to dry and prevent mould.

    1. what are you doing with the coffee, Lynda? adding it to compost? I use it to deter snails too

  4. this is so very exciting to watch and follow...thank you for taking us along with you and Paige