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Starting Your Seeds Early
There may be snow on the ground still, but starting your vegetable plants indoors, makes you feel like spring/summer is just around the corner. Getting my plants to grow has never been much of an issue. Sure, some will grow a bit to fast. And I've purchased the odd pack of seeds that produced nothing. My biggest issue has always been the "hardening" process, or the actual transpant into my raised garden plots.
The Hardening Process
This seems to be my weakest link. The standard process involves moving your plants outside for one hour the first day. Then lengthen by another hour each day. After a week, your plants will be outside for 7 hours and should be ready for the "big move". Of course you should ensure the plants are not put in a windy location, or in direct sunlight, during this process. Using a small fan for a week or two, to create a light breeze, will help strengthen the stalks beforehand.
Small Backyard Greenhouses
My plants still seem to go into extended shock each year and also suffer from sunburn. This year I'm trying a small, portable backyard greenhouse that can be disassembled after use.
Setup was about 30 minutes and will be faster next year, assuming I label all the parts and keep the assemble instructions. I placed the unit on an unused piece of deck (not where it is shown in these pictures). Also set a couple of cement blocks on the frame to ensure the wind doesn't blow it over.
Obviously, I'll be able to start a lot more vegetables with this small greenhouse, than I could with my small planters inside my house. I'm also looking forward to an extended growing season this fall. Already, I seem to keep my garden producing far longer than my neighbours. Should be fun to see just how late I can keep harvesting crops this year.
Issues with Small Greenhouses
I consider the ability to take my greenhouse down for the summer, an advantage. However, there are some issues with this temporary arrangement.
Tips for Small Greenhouses
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