Monday, 23 April 2012

Wood vs. Plastic Seed Trays----Pay Attention, This Makes a Difference

Ugh, the blogger layout changed!  I hate that.

If you read the last post I made then you know what kind of angst I was having over getting anything to germinate in the greenhouse.  Out of frustration I broke down and headed to McDiarmid Lumber and bought another greenhouse.  This one is smaller, it snaps together, no screws and the best part is it fits in my living room taking up floor space of about 18" x 30".  

All the plastic trays and the pots were moved indoors last Monday and three days ago all the tomatoes started coming up.  Phew.  I've got the plastic cover on the greenhouse for cat proofing and I placed it over the register so that it keeps a steady temperature of about 70F.  The deck greenhouse has been tricky figuring out.  It's uninsulated and I've been having all kinds of problems with keeping a decent temperature.  However, I built seed boxes from pallets, filled them with dirt and planted basil hoping for the best.  The best happened.  I think the combination of the wood and the wet soil have provided the insulation I was looking for.  It makes sense when I think about it.  Wood retains moisture and there's a slow release of warm moist air over night just over the boxes that keeps the temperature of the soil fairly even.   I planted three different kinds of basil in the seed boxes and they're all sprouting.  In the future I will only use plastic seed trays indoors and wood seed trays outdoors.  Live and learn.  I've built a couple more boxes in the meantime and hopefully will have enough wood boxes to fill each shelf next spring.

Nature Club at the school has been so much fun.  The kids seem very interested and excited to be there.  One thing that has struck me is that some of them really don't know much about what's around them. For instance, one of the girls found a pine cone and put it in a container to show me, her partner was convinced it was poo and wanted nothing to do with it.  You should have seen the look on her face when I picked it up and ripped it in half.  I find it so odd that a kid wouldn't know what a pine cone looks like.

The Earth Day plant pots were a hit.  I volunteered to work the planting table for the afternoon.  Again, I was a little surprised that a lot of these kids didn't know how to plant a seed.  It wasn't so much getting the seed in, they did fine with that, it was that they didn't know to bury it after.  The other thing was that some of them were genuinely surprised to hear that green beans could be grown.  Yikes.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Adele

    That's an interesting experiment that has worked out well with the wood vs plastic. I almost bought the same little greenhouse myself. But I am terrible at starting plants from seeds - never had any luck until this year when I planted up a few butternut squash seeds (from a grocery store squash), sat them in a plastic tray on the dryer and they are happy as anything. Now if it would only stop freezing overnight, I will be able to plant them outside.


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