So I have this new small greenhouse, and now I have room for about 32 trays of plant starts instead of the 12 that I could fit in when I was using only lights in my basement.   Maybe I should have just bought more lights.  Check out the photo below.

5 trays of zinnias

5 trays of zinnias

The front-most tray has Benary’s orange zinnias.  The next three back are Benary’s scarlet, mix, and yellow zinnias.  The back-most tray has Oklahoma mix zinnias.    They were all planted at the same time, but when I moved the zinnias to the greenhouse, the orange ones got left under the lights because there wasn’t room in the greenhouse.  Look at them now.

In my previous state of ignorance, I would have expected just the opposite, thinking the zinnias would just love the greenhouse and the ones left behind would sulk and fail to thrive.  Nope.

As I mentioned two posts ago, I’ve had trouble keeping the greenhouse from heating up into the 90s (F), whereas the basement is a pretty constant 70F.  I suppose that must account for the difference.    Unless Benary’s orange are gigantic compared to the other colors.   I kinda doubt that.

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Now, two weeks later, there really is some green to look at.  You can see spinach in the bucket along with digitalis camelot, knautia, blue bedder salvia, and dianthus amazon in the trays.

greenhouse331

I have to confess that I’m really growing these under lights inside, except for the spinach, and just bringing them out in the greenhouse for short periods of time.  We are still having nights in the 20s and I can’t trust my water buckets to keep it from freezing in there.  According to the maximum/minimum thermometer I have in the greenhouse, it has gone down to 30 right on top of the buckets a couple of times.  I believe that the water in the buckets is just not getting very warm during the day.  I could add a little heater at night.  I’ll have to do something soon, since, as of today, I have twelve flats of plants started, which uses all the room I have under the lights.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Two trays so far

Two trays so far

There are twenty-two 5-gallon water-filled pails wrapped in garbage bags to act as heat collectors.  Thanks to Nell for the garbage bag idea.  It’s 45 F outside right now and brightly sunny.   I have the top half of the outside door open , and it’s still 90 F inside the greenhouse at shelf level.  The tray on the floor has dianthus seeds planted and the soil temp in it is about 70 F, which is a little warm for those seeds according to what I have read, but what can I do?   I guess I could set the tray out in the snow.

The tray on top of the buckets on the right has some foxglove seedlings that are close to two weeks old.  I have them under the shelf to shield them from the sun a bit, as I started the little guys under lights and they are probably pretty tender.  In fact, I should probably go move them back inside.  Hold on a minute, OK? …

I’m back now.  Here’s what they look like.

Digitalis Camelot

Digitalis Camelot

I also have a few spinach plants growing in a bucket to see if we can get some early greens to put in our salads.  They’re also about two weeks old.

Spinach

Spinach

It may be only a start, but after a long cold winter it feels great to have green plants again, not to mention ninety degrees.