Friday, March 16, 2012

Outdoors Update

On Saturday, March 10th, we sentenced three healthy tomato plants and two basil seedlings to death.  We put the seedlings under a hoop house hoping it would properly insulate the plants from the cool temperatures of night.   

However, we failed to properly warm the soil in which we placed the baby plants.  The soil was so cold that is was frozen, and needed to be broken up using a rock hammer, but we were still crazy enough to put seedlings in it.  I think our spinach will pull through, but we have yet to see any beet or kale seedlings poking through the icy soil.  The tomatoes and basil are definitely dead.

My uncle Fred recommended a hotbed method of germinating seeds:

1.  Build a small cold-frame box  - basically a window surrounded by riser boards.
Here are some nice sites for cold-frames:

2.  Pre-warm the soil using the cold-frame.

3.  Put  a layer of manure about 8 inches (20 cm) below the surface.

4.  Cover the manure with soil and plant the seeds in that soil.

Building a little hoop-house.

A picture of our garden plot right before we planted.

Our completed hoop-house cost less than $15.

We planted the seedlings before the automatic irrigation started in the community garden, so we have to resort to manual watering until the irrigation starts.


Mother Earth News did a pretty nice article on container gardening.

My uncle told me about an awesome seed site that has affordable prices.  Support them as they (and others) go through a lawsuit with Monsato.


  1. Oh no!!!!! So sorry that your seedlings died after all your hard work nurturing them.

    Although I know it's not the same as growing your own from seed, there is no shame in buying plants from the nursery to replace them. ;-)

  2. I figured I will try starting from seed in the "first round" early this season. After I kill all of those, I will buy healthy seedlings from the Wasatch Community Gardens on May 12.