Friday, May 24, 2013

Mini Greenhouse {Update}

the Prairie Cottage | Mini Greenhouse from Plastic Totes

So listen.  Spring is never a picnic in our area.  It’s typically pretty snowy/rainy/windy/cool {take your pick} and we can get a frost even in the first week of June.  Sometimes even a final dusting of snow.

But this spring we have had more snow than usual + even colder temps and just a few days so far have even nudged toward the 70 degree mark!  We were laughing the other day when it was 65 and we were burning slap up!! It just felt so hot. Ha!

There tends to be a lot of hauling plants outside for more light, only to shuffle them back inside when it gets too cold on the porch for them.  Before, I used planting trays – but it is so much faster and easier carting them around in the greenhouse totes! 

They are just regular clear plastic Rubbermaid type totes with clear lids from Walmart.  I use them for both flowers and vegetables when they get too big for the grow light stand inside. 

Here are some zinnias, marigolds and cosmos.  They are pretty tough and probably could be planted out, if the nights weren’t still dipping into the upper 30s/low 40s.  I leave them on the porch now 24/7 and make sure to put their lids on if it’s going to be much colder than 45 or so.

Mini Greenhouse from Plastic Totes | Zinnias, Marigolds, Cosmos | the Prairie Cottage

Even once the air temperature warms, it takes awhile for the soil to warm up enough to be flower transplant friendly.

The tomatoes and peppers have yet to spend a whole 24 hours on the porch.  It was foggy and 52 in this photo so I just cracked the lid for you to peek in.  But the wind chill stayed around 39-42 all day, so I left the lid on them.  If it gets a little warmer, the lid gets perched halfway on the box and I take it off completely when the temp is about 55-60. 

Tomato and Pepper Plants in  Mini Greenhouses | the Prairie Cottage

They would survive without the lid in their greenhouse boxes, even in 39 degree wind chill, but I’ve found it sort of puts them in a coma.  They don’t want to wake up and get growing again after that kind of shock :)

And finally, these strawberries.  I ordered them online and their available shipping dates were way too early for us!  They were already breaking dormancy a full 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule.

the Prairie Cottage | Mini Greenhouses from Plastic Totes | Strawberries

Into the cups they went  and I’m so glad I didn’t go ahead and plant them out when they arrived.  Below zero temps and snow are tough for baby bare root plants to recover from!

So that’s it… Clear plastic totes.  Lids for climate control.  Handles for easy toting. 

Let me know if you try a mini greenhouse in your garden this spring or fall!

Wishing you all a safe and fun holiday weekend!


10 comments: said...

Weather in western Canada has been crazy this spring. My plants are so far behind. I have to do a lot of shuffling as well. These totes would look a lot nicer than what I am using right now. Thank you for the inspiration! Happy planting!!

Unknown said...

I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight.
Have a wonderful week!
Hugs, Cathy

With A Blast said...

I have never thought of using small cups as planters for the seedlings - can see I am not much of a gardener! Thank you for sharing :-)

creative chaos said...

Love this idea!!! It would be awesome for seed starting or for propagating!

One More Time Events said...

Love this so creative and a great idea Would love it if you came by One More Time and share it
Hope you can make it... if not this week I host every Sunday...Hope you can make it some time.

Michelle said...

What a great post! Your seedlings are beautiful. I love the tote idea. I will keep that in mind next year. The only seedlings I have left to plant are 2 eggplants. Otherwise, I have finally planted everything. I had a scare this weekend though, with really cold weather and 4 inches of rain. Our last frost date is mid May, but it sure was cold this weekend. Worried me just a bit. Have a great week!

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon Designs said...

What a great idea and my older kids would love doing this! Thanks for sharing at MOnday Funday!

One More Time Events said...

Hi... just stopping by to let you know you have been featured at One More Time Events. Thank you for sharing and hope you can make it again this week

Unknown said...

I was a weird Spring here in PA too. Cold and wet in the beginning of May and now hot and humid. Crazy. I started my own seeds this year for the first time, so I am hoping that my plants produce for me. I usually just buy them already started. When I first started planting in the garden this year, I miss stepped and fell. My right leg went under me and I sprained my knee and my ankle. That's my bad knee to start with. But you know what, I still planted my stuff. Good luck with you plants!

nadia petrov said...

I put a remote temperature sensor in the wheeled greenhouse that I built, and can monitor the temperature from my house. Before any plants were put in this year the door was kept shut and on one sunny cold day it reached 110 F (43 C) inside, so I know that I can't leave the door shut unless absolutely sure that it will be an overcast day. It's better to leave them some ventilation than take a chance on burning the plants up. An automatic temperature activated door opener would be nice, if it worked.


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