Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

Wacky seeds for Christmas!

My mother-in-law got me seeds for Christmas, among other things! I got lettuce collection that includes Romaine (Lettuce Green Towers), “Summer Glory Blend”, Green Ice, and a packet of mixed greens.

She also gave me a collection of some slightly zany varieties that I will enjoy trying. Purple Haze carrots, Eight Ball Zucchini Squash, a huge yellow Pineapple Tomato, Spoon Tomato said to be so small that 10 of them will fit on a spoon, a dark black seedless watermelon Everglade Hybrid, a supposedly delicious Mirai Mr. Mini sweet corn, and a crazy cauliflower-like Romanesco Veronica Hybrid.

Thank you R!

P.S.  Don’t let these links imply that I endorse one merchant or another.  I don’t get any kickbacks, I just use Google search!

Zone 5 Greenhouse New Year update


The radish seeds I sowed in the greenhouse in a pot on December 5th started to show their heads last week.  Yesterday many had come up!


There were several consecutive nights of 0 degree weather outside (in degrees fahrenheit, 32 below freezing), and the greenhouse got as cold as 19 by morning once, but the radishes seem to be doing well!

Shortly I’ll be moving some other seedlings out there…things I started inside under my grow lights. I could keep them inside and just grow them under the lights, but this is an experiment after all!  I want to see what works!

I’ll be VERY happy to start some Kale seeds this week!  Thanks very much to Robin for sending me those!  I owe you!

Dryer vent re-routed to greenhouse

Upon the advice of one of my commentors (thank you again!) I ran my nearby clothes dryer vent down into the greenhouse.  Currently the outside world is 37 degrees but the running clothes dryer is keeping my greenhouse air about 30 degrees warmer.  It’s also so humid in there that it’s literally raining.  The floor has a drain, so no worries!

photo-library-2908photo-library-2907What a fun experiment this is turning out to be!  The lettuce seeds sown indoors are sprouting nicely.  The radish seeds sown in the greenhouse are taking their time germinating in the cold.  I saw a chart that said they’d take a month or so with the temps I have been maintaining.

What I’d like to save next year

I’ll revisit and update this post from time to time.


  • Salsa (garden tomatoes with Mrs. Wages spice packets) [10 pints, 20 half-pints]
  • Tomato sauce (garden tomatoes)
  • Tomato paste (maybe, if I have the patience.  I can buy this for like 19 cents though.)
  • Whole tomatoes, possibly
  • Sweet pickles (garden cucumbers with Mrs. Wages spice packets, crinkle-cut slices and diagonal sandwich slices) [10 pints, 10 half-pints] 
  • Dill pickles (5 quarts spears and 2 pints of hamburger slices)
  • Sweet relish
  • Applesauce (apples bought locally, 1 to 1.5 bushels)
  • Pepperoncinis (water, vinegar, sweet, salt brine???)
  • Jalapenos, if semi-mild (again, what liquid?)
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce (thin bell pepper jelly)


  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Peppers

Wanted: Kale Seeds

Would anyone be willing to put a few of last year’s Kale seeds (any variety) in an envelope and mail them to me?  I don’t have any (didn’t try it in the summer garden) and stores around here don’t stock seeds in December.  I would really appreciate your time and effort.

Greenhouse at night


I don’t know if you can see it in the picture above, but the greenhouse might be warming up to itself a bit!

I have had my little greenhouse enclosed since Sunday, and after four days of nice bright sunshine warming the thing up to as high as 90 degrees, there is now a 7.4 degree difference between outdoors and the greenhouse at 11 p.m, several hours after sunset.

Update 7 a.m.: outdoors 29 F, greenhouse 37 F.  I do have 5 gallons of 90 degree water in there, heated by a 200 watt aquarium heater.  Perhaps that explains the difference.

2009 Tentative Garden Layout


8 ft x 6 ft beds.  The lettuce at the top will be planted on/in 20 inch high bales of straw, thanks to a few awesome bloggers who taught me this trick in their posts.

I’m going to do a broccoli experiment this spring.  I’ll plant two whole beds of broccoli, one with a closer spacing than the other, all other things equal, and we’ll see how it affects yield:


I’m guessing the bed with 35 plants will outperform the bed with 24, but it’s worth checking.  Maybe I’ll be surprised.

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