I believe it was the end of January. We didn't take the best notes in the beginning unfortunately, so the dates are a rough estimate. We started by pulling in a couple of our container plants from the deck and putting them under lamps, when they started thriving, we got a little excited and planted this list of seeds.
With all this expansion of the plants, we needed more space in the plant room. So, my hubby built our first structure. Three tiers built out of leftover wood from our renovating. This was around the beginning of February. It didn't take long for us to realize that we got a little hasty with our garden because they were quickly outgrowing the seed starters we had planted them in. This was awesome and frustrating at the same time. We loved seeing the growth and were amazed by the speed in which they flourished, but as fast as they were growing, we needed to transplant them into bigger containers, taking up more space. Soon they'll outgrow the plant room before it's warm enough to plant them outside. Dilemmas. But they haven't outgrown it yet, so until then, we'll just keep nurturing them as best we can.
The three plants that had suffered the most from being planted in such small containers were the lettuces, which had been the first to sprout and fastest to grow since; the tomatoes; and the cucumbers. To deal with the lettuces, I decided to just fill a tray with soil and plant them directly into the tray. I didn't thin them well enough to begin with, so I need to go through them again. They seem to be okay with that space, except the soil dries too quickly with such a large number of plants, I'm hoping thinning them will help take care of that. I found a larger seed starter kit that I transplanted the tomatoes and cucumbers into. I'm sure we'll have to transplant them again before we can plant them outside in may.
We had a spider mite crisis occur in the bushes that we had initially brought in. We didn't want to kill the bushes, honeysuckle, but we didn't want them infecting our other plants. We wanted to stay green, so no chemicals. We ended up cutting off the infested branches and burned them, we already had a fire going, so easy solution. Then I used soapy water mixed with rosemary oil, spraying and wiping each leaf with a sponge. It worked pretty well, but I still saw evidence of spider mites on the other bushes and it seemed to really stress out my plants. I think the mixture made them burn easily under the lights. In the end we took out all of the honeysuckle bushes and they're now hanging out by the door. They seem to be making it, so I'm pretty pleased. Plus, it's too cold for spider mites out here, so problem solved. Taking the bushes out of the plant room opened a lot of space, so B.EA built the beginning of our next structure. I plan on adding a permanent root garden area and small platforms with wheels to set containers on so I can move them out of the way when I need to tend to the plants.
When I transplanted the tomatoes, most of them were weak and flimsy, so I had the problem of finding a way to hold them all up, the weight of their leaves would have damaged their scrawny little stalks. I also had the problem of climbing vegetables like beans, peas, and melons, so I initially thought of adding trellis board to the back of the structure, but finding trellis board in the middle of February was not likely. I did find some trellis netting though, so I hung that up with nails in the ceiling and then I tacked it onto the structure itself to provide some rigidity for the plants. I then tied the tomatoes with stretch vinyl and voila! I think it looks pretty neat, too.
|I have a lot more room to expand with our upgraded structure.|
Now, I'm planting a new batch of seedlings for all the extra space that opened up. I'll also be planting a lot of our containers for the deck. My petunias are getting too big, so I'll have a bunch of flowers hanging around everywhere for a couple of months. Oh well. Expect the post for the interior soon!