Posted in Progress, Seeds

Seeds Started 20230529

An old vinyl window being used as a cold frame.
Sooooo many saved yogurt cups.

mid sized cold frame
saved rain barrel water

  1. 9 beans, scarlet runner pole (Heirloom, 2018)
  2. 15 beans, black turtle dry (Heirloom, 2018)
  3. 15 corn, Dakota black (Botanical Interests, 2020)
  4. 15 corn, sweet Golden Bantam  (Territorial, 2021)
  5. 15 corn, sweet Hopi blue (Territorial, 2021)
  6. 15 corn, pencil cob (Heirloom, 2018)
  7. 15 melon, Lilly (Territorial, 2021)
  8. 15 melon, honeydew (saved from grocery, 2018)
  9. 15 squash, acorn (saved from grocery, 2018)
  10. 15 squash, butternut (saved from grocery, 2018)
  11. 15 squash, butternut (saved from grown above, 2019)
  12. 17 sunflower, evening colors (High Mowing, 2021)
  13. 29 sunflower, enchanted garden mix (Heirloom, 2019)

I am really squeezed for time, but still trying my level best to grow as much food as we can this year. Although I had a great germination rate for the first batch of peas, many of the seeds I’ve been starting since then have a much slower rate of germination and I only have so much cat hazard free windowsill space. So I’m now relying on the quick and dirty cold frames.

Two old vinyl windows being used for cold frames for early season gardening.
I forget who gave us these, but I continue to be grateful that they were free.

One one hand, I’m so glad I have them.  On the other hand…it broke 80°F (~27°C) here yesterday, and the seeds I have moved outside that were still in water in the smaller frame seen above…the water was VERY warm by the end of the day when I was doing my evening water of the plugs. This concerns me. It’s not like the water was boiling, but since I’ve not done this before I have this fear that it’s somehow warmer than the soil would be. Which when I write that seems crazy thinking, but the water certainly felt warmer than the plus soil.

Fortunately, this morning I found the old thermometer in the same bin where the wood for the cold frames was when I was pulling more wood out for the medium sized one, so that’s now inside the medium sized one as can be seen in the picture. I forgot that none of the mid sized windows have screens! If it gets too warm today (predicted is 71°F which is 10° cooler than yesterday), I do have the hardware cloth/screen frame I used to sift compost that I could put on top to at least keep critters like the bunnies away from the seeds. (Yes, I found a way to attract the wild buns finally. Can’t remember if I mentioned that yet. If not, I’ll write about that another time.)

In truth, I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. So I’m just going to have to hope for the best this year!

The second set of seeds I had started three days ago are also out there as the weather has been ridiculously nice. I need to dig one of the larger windows out of the garage today for today’s batch of seeds. It’s really tight in the small cold frame right now, and I still haven’t gotten my hands on more stakes to better secure our little plastic cloche we bought for the way too early tomatoes. I knew I had uploaded a picture of it, but apparently didn’t have time to write/finish the post it was intended for back in May 2021. *chuckle*

A small 3 foot tall green tinted plastic cloche, with tie back vent patches and an obvious zipper entrance on the side. It is next to a garage made of painted concrete blocks. There are also wood window panels painted white to the left of the cloche.
Anyhoo…this is what it looks like. And the flimsy stakes that came with it, are not up for high winds–another reason we put it by the garage. The other was the heat sink of the concrete blocks.

Although I am not surprised with how out of the norm the weather is right now, I’m trying to roll with it.

I have also started doing slightly larger batches of seeds, depending on how many I have and how old some of them are. I figure if they all germinate, I can always give some starters away locally or maybe plant them out front and hope folks avail themselves of whatever grows.  Time will tell!

Care to share thoughts on this?