What all seeds we have started in the new greenhouse. What I am doing will all those seeds I purchased while planning my garden.
It’s time to start my seeds!! I am so excited to have a greenhouse to start my plants in this year. Given the fact that we have 7 children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats, finding a safe place to put anything in this house is hard. Being able to have a safe place, outside of the house, away from little hands is a huge thing for me. Three almost 2 years old boys will destroy anything they can get their hands on, so this greenhouse is a game changer for us.
So first, I have to say the greenhouse is not level ground. Due to our new fence being installed the greenhouse is not in its final place, but we just had to make due. Because of this all, our temporary shelving and tables are not at all level. This is not a huge deal. I mostly have to turn my plant trays when watering to make sure everything gets it’s fair share of water (remember this for later).
You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to….seeds
(Did you sing that?)
First on my list was my Amish Paste tomatoes. Given how many I am wanting to grow, and that my new neighbors have new garden beds, I wanted to plant a bunch. I decided to plant 2 flats full of Amish Paste, that gives me 64 plants, assuming they all grow and thrive. I wanted 48 so in theory I should have 16 extra plants.
Since I planted my Amish Paste, I figured I might as well continue on with the rest of my tomatoes. I planted 8 each of my Blue Beauty, Dr. Wyche’s, Black Beauty, Brad’s Atomic Grape, Isis Candy, and Blue Cream Berries. I am only wanting 2-4 of each of these plants, but again I want to be able to share with others.
Some Like it Hot……Peppers
We go through a good amount of jalapeño peppers so I planted an entire tray of them, 32 plants. With the rest of my hot peppers I planted 8 of each kind. About half of the plants will be shared with our friends and families. Our 10 year old son, Cameron, has a love for all things spicy. Since all 3 of the big kids will be getting their very own garden beds this year to plant as they see fit, Cameron will have hot peppers in all but 1 or 2 of his spaces. He is mostly excited about the Sugar Rush Peach and the Sugar Rush Red peppers.
I planted a few jalapeño plants last year, but I think I put them out too soon. While I normally plant my garden on Mother’s Day weekend, we had an abnormally last frost. My peppers and tomatoes were not in the ground yet, but I think the ground was still too cool. After much research, I have realized that peppers like it hot. They are not a fan of cooler soil or weather. This year I am planning on keeping them in the greenhouse an extra 2-3 weeks hoping that helps.
Sweet Caroli…….I mean peppers
Fresh sweet peppers from the garden are amazing. We put them in salads, stuff them, and put them in fajitas. Olivia and I have even been known to take a bite out of a pepper while collecting from the plants. We eat these like crazy fresh, but we also use them in our canning. Almost every tomato based product also has sweet peppers in it as well. The kids don’t even know they are there, but they give an amazing flavor to pasta sauces.
I decided we needed an entire tray of sweet green peppers, and a tray of all of my assorted types. Olivia can’t wait for Zulu peppers. They are supposed to be purple. She has never had a purple pepper and she is chomping at the…..peppers (?) to get her hands on one.
Squashes and pumpkins and melons, OH MY!!
I know, it is too early to start pumpkins and the like. Well too early or not I planted 2 of each kind, two seeds each. I went ahead and planted these in 5 inch pots so they have room to grow, and if need be I do have bigger pots I can up pot them into. Don’t follow me, follow the professionals, read the books. I am just a hobby gardener.
Now, I am not 100% sure how much each plant will provide. I am hoping I will have enough of my Jack O’Lantern pumpkins for each kids to be able to carve or paint one. With the Jarrahdale pumpkins I am not concerned about getting tons of. I am mostly hoping to end up with 4 or 5 for porch decoration and to “flex” my pumpkin game to my Halloween loving sister. My New England pie pumpkins will be cooked fresh or cut up and frozen or canned. Honestly, a handful of those will do as well but, they are so darn cute I want a bunch. Fingers crossed we end up with good fall decorations.
We don’t normally eat too much squash or zucchini, but I am wanting to start putting it in our soups and stews more often. I do enjoy making foil pack dinners on the grill with squash, potatoes, meat, carrots, and seasoning. Making those a couple times a week will help us go through a decent amount. I also have my dehydrator so I can save some for my winter soups and stews.
Dixie Queen and Tendersweet Orange watermelons are going to be a big hit with of the kids this summer. Well, all of them that can eat solids. Again I don’t know how much I will get off each plant, but if I can get 3-4 of each kind we will be happy. Any more than that and we will be ecstatic. Next year I want to try out some different types of melons, but for this year we will, hopefully, be eating some good fresh watermelons.
Cool as a Cucumber
With the kids and my love for fresh cucumbers I wanted to make sure I could keep up with them. The Straight 8’s will not be preserved. They will be for fresh eating only. They don’t tend to give a crisp pickle. I decided 3 plants should be enough for us, but I planted a couple extra seeds just incase. The Wisconsin Pickling cucumber will be just that, pickled. I went ahead and started 5 pots with seeds. I have heard that the Mexican Sour Gherkin makes wonderful pickles and they are great for eating fresh as well, so I will be giving them a try. Since I am not sure how we will like them I only started 3 pots with those seeds.
The Armenian Yard Long cucumbers are supposed to be amazing fresh. I have heard that they are actually a melon and have a bit of a melon taste to them. According to my research, they also stand up very well to pickling. Many larger cucumbers become mushy when pickled. This is because of a higher water content. Normal pickling cucumbers have a lower water content so they hold their shape and crispness a bit better. I have never tried the Armenian yard longs so I have no opinion of this at all. I am only going off of my reading of other blogs and watching YouTube videos, everyone has different tastes when it comes to these things. Giving it a try won’t break the bank and I think they will look super cool on an arched trellis.
It’s going down, I wish it would have yelled “TIMBER”
When I finished planting my seeds, many of the trays were placed on a metal shelf that we moved from the basement and out to the greenhouse. It was on horribly unlevel ground, so we did our best to temporarily shim it up. Well the night after planting we had a pretty big storm. I think you can see where I am going with this.
Now, our greenhouse held up amazingly. It showed absolutely no signs of damage. However, once I opened the door I saw my fatal mistake. While the greenhouse was able to withstand the storm, the cover was pushing in with some pretty serious force. Silly me had decided to place the shelf right up against the side. As the wind blew the plastic it also blew my shelf. All but one tray of tomatoes and all of my sweet peppers were upside down. I did what I could, but I think it is a lost cause. I can’t tell what is what anymore anyways. Oh well, you live and you learn. Thankfully I still have more of most of the seeds. I may have to buy more sweet pepper seeds though.
Now I am off to replant my seeds and find another table I can put in the greenhouse so I can avoid this in the future.