Setting up the tables and grow light!

PlantLight1

That is corn, bell peppers, borlotti beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and tomatoes. This took us two days to complete. Every year we say next year we will build warm boxes and now we are talking about a poly tunnel instead or even building a larger green house in a more sunny place. I hope that we decide on something one way or another. It always seems that my kitchen table and our window sill gets covered with seedlings.

One alternative for next year is that I could plant all of it in my green house and then transplant it into our garden. That was our original plan, when we built the green house. Everything that is on the table would fit in the green house. Then I would plant my tomatoes and bell peppers in it after we transplant the seedlings. I think next year we should finally be organized enough to try that. We should wait and see how it works, before we build a poly tunnel or a second green house. Less is sometimes more. That is why I want to try the french gardening system to increase productivity without further expanding our garden with new beds.  Our garden is a work in progress.

We bought strawberries last year late in the season. I planted them under the tomatoes in the green house, because of lack of space in the veggie patch. We had already planted our crop for the season,when we bought them. We had asked a neighbor for strawberry shoots from his patch. Spanish killer snails invaded his garden and decimated it. He didn’t want to infect our garden by giving us anything out of his garden.

When we found some strawberries late in the season on sale, we snatched them up. We actually ate strawberries last summer from our plants. I figure it was because they were in the green house.  I have not transplanted the strawberries that are in the green house. We are still learning what is the best way to arrange our veggie patch. It’s trial and error. We are getting better, because we have a grow light for the first time. Everything is on these two tables and all my window sills were left untouched.

 

PlantLight2

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Posted on April 3, 2014, in Gardening. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Honey, what is a “grow light”, I have not seen one before.
    I know exactly what you mean about trial and error and I can also empathise with struggling for space and plants everywhere. But it takes time to make the right decisions. You are doing so well with your planting! Karen.

    • Hi karen,
      It is a light bulb that is made to give plants light and warmth to promote growth. They are used in professional greenhouses. That is the kind of bulb I have hanging in the picture. I guess I can take a picture of the Box and post it later on today for you. I am sure there are others who are curious as well.

      I use to be able to buy them that looked like regular light bulbs in different sizes. I used them in my window lamps and my hanging macrame to keep my plants alive during our cold dark winter day. I have an impossible time finding those for the last two year.Living in a small village has it’s draw backs. My Husband found a shop that carried them,while visiting a friend.

  2. Wow – that looks like a lot of work!! I had my first garden last year and was thinking of starting some of my seeds inside. Any tips?! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Simplyshal,
      Thank you for checking out my blog. I enjoy getting feed back and question from my readers as well.

      We live in Sweden where we have a short intensive growing season. We live in the land of the midnight sun. That is why I sow my slow growing crops inside to give them a jump start and to guarantee that they fully mature.

      This year we experimented by saving milk cartons we cut 2/3 of the top off. We threw away the lid. We placed the upside lid into the bottom 1/3 of the milk carton. This makes a water resevoir at the bottom of the carton. We filled the whole with small stones then fill the container with planting soil. I will be posting how we did this on my blog in a couple of day. This was Hubby’s idea.

      I usually use small plastic square sowing container that I buy at your local garden center, which are relativly inexpensive. I save my plastic hamburger/meat family pack containers and place the square sowing container in them. You can ask neighbors or family to save them for you like I do. I do this because the sowing container have drainage wholes in the bottom. This keeps water from seeping all over your table. It helps you to keep your soil moist, which you seedlings require. Excess water spills off into it. This is my inexpensive way of making premade sowing containers.I also save plastic fruit packages with lids and use them as mini green house for seeds that require that kind of germination. You can buy mini green houses like this at garden centers. I choose to recycling thing we usually throw away. I just wash them and store them for next year.

      We found our grow light at a second hand store. We chose to buy a grow light to put in it. You really don’t have to have a grow light. You can use flourescent lights. It works just as well.

      Some of our plant can be ready to plant outside in 4 weeks. They can handle our cold nights. I always place my plants outside every day for 5-7 days.I bring them in every night. Then I let them stay overnight on the 8th day. Then the plants are ready to be planted in our garden. They have to be climatize to the outside weather or you risk them dying from the shock

      The reason we used the milk cartons is to make it less labor intensive because we hope that we won’t have to transplant these plants into larger containers.. Otherswise will have to be transplanted into larger containers. These plants have to wait another 8 weeks depending on our weather to be ready to be planted outside. I hope that helps.
      Honey

  3. I know what is like to have my windowsills and such like covered in pots and seedlings. Sounds like you do have an organised system – how about a cold frame instead of a polytunnel?

    • My green house could be used as a cold frame. I think that I will try and use it as one next year. I could cover at night when the temp drops really low and uncover it during the day. I might experiment with some of our seeds next year. That way I do not risk loosing my entire crop if it doesnt work. It is worth a try. I had my potted plants in it last winter. My roses, lavender and carnations survived a winter in it. I just watered them during the rainy season and through snow on them to give them moisture. What do you think? Do you think that could work?
      Honey

      • To be honest, I wouldn’t like to advise. Which part of Sweden are you in, North or South? I have a friend in Stockholm who describes the winters there as being very cold and snowy. However, you could increase the warmth by covering plants in horticultural fleece.

      • We are at the top of southren Sweden. Our winters can be
        -15 C to -25. That doesn’t take into account for wind chill factors. I would use manure which generates heat then a layer of soil and then cover it with hay. I think horticultual fleece might be even better.
        Thanks
        Honey

      • Horticultural fleece with all of that should make your plants quite toasty I think.

        -15°C to -25°C – ouch!

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