It all started in the greenhouse

It may not look like much but this tray of potting mix has been seeded with oil pumpkins that will be transplanted in a few weeks.  Canada has a short growing season and farmers often start plants indoors where they can control temperature, water and light while waiting for the soil to warm up. It’s a way of extending the season and gives plants a head-start while waiting for the days to lengthen and the risk of frost to pass.

Some considerations when planting for an indoor greenhouse:

  • Tray size – How many plants per tray? The more plants per tray the smaller the available space for each plant to grow before it becomes root bound and larger seeds, such as squash, need more space; the oil pumpkins above are in a tray with 24 pots.
  • Seed depth – As with all planting it’s important to know at what seed depth is needed.
  • Labelling – It’s a good idea to label trays with planting date and variety name in particular.
  • Germination – What germination rate is expected (if it’s low planting more than one seed per pot may be planted) and how many days for germination to occur?
  • Lighting – Fluorescent lighting is fine but it needs to be close to the plants; about 5-10cm (2-4 inches). If the light is too far plants will end up lanky as they stretch towards the light.
  • Number of seeds to plant – How many plants are planned for harvest? To account for losses calculate 20% loss in the greenhouse and a 20% loss at transplanting. For example, if 100 plants are started in the greenhouse then 80 plants would be transplanted in the field of which 64 would make it to harvest.

Even better than an indoor greenhouse is an outdoor heated greenhouse where plants get sunlight rather than artificial light. Unfortunately, there is some infrastructure yet to be built at Chelsea Gardens so for now the greenhouse is a basement room at the farmhouse.

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6 Responses to It all started in the greenhouse

  1. Bazza from Katherine says:

    Hey Lisa, when u are ready, u can plough up my front, side and rear garden and become self sufficient and with excess to sell on the Saturday am market. U can run Katherine House and make additional income & the growing season is about 12 months of the year here, I don’t know why the French bother in Canada, I suppose because they are French, like the Taswegians, all inbred and not much common sense!!??

    • LC says:

      You are the most politically incorrect person I know! But don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind to garden your places in Katherine and Darwin – careful what you wish for or before you know it I’ll be taking over a wing of Katherine House with a solar dryer, kimchi fermentation and other assorted projects.

      • your dad says:

        Lisa, I have just started my own DIY super fund (info only & no relation to existing subject) Block at Katherine House is 2000 metre square and sealed car park of 1200 M2 and have enough 90% share cloth to shade twice that area for ur shade house. I am considering the idea of shared cooperate community for Katherine House where people of same ideals can buy into one of the blocks. What do think LIsa???

      • your dad says:

        Hey Lisa, how do I see all the other replies to ur bloc???

  2. your dad says:

    Hey Lisa, isn’t it far more efficient to farm in the tropics, high temperature all the year round and plenty of water????

  3. your dad says:

    Further to Katherine House, I am thinking of moving out of Katherine short/long term?? so if u have any ideas, let me know. I am also think of developing Fannie Bay into a duplex, one for u and the other for CC, what u think of that idea?? June seperated from Fletch, did u know??? and caugh up with my ex ( ur mother ) 24th June on my return from Bunbury WA where I have acquired a Taxi Licence in my super fund. enjoy the warth because winter is fast approaching for u guys in the north. When do u anticipate to be back in Aus next??? Take care H D number one!!!

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