It is late afternoon, the day after the storm. Happy to have some sun off and on during the day. It’s playing peek-a-boo. I’ll take what we can get. I’m feeling a bit deflated and despondent. I’m feeling with the weather. What is out there is in here. We had quite a storm yesterday with wind and snow. I thought the greenhouse held up well considering we had no sun at all yesterday. The sensor showed that we had above 0 temperature till after 2:30 and the lowest temperature was -1.2℃ at 6:48 am. We had survived -6℃ before. So I was surprised to find the scarlet runner beans looking poorly but not the cucumbers. I was sure the tomatoes would be ok. They were under heavier covers. Not so. I lost 3 of the first 4 planted and 3 or 4 of the others. 10 or 11 survived.
On second inspection later in the afternoon, the cucumbers are not looking good any more. It’s a good thing I had moved my 2 trays of seedling into the house. I still have one Gateway cucumber and lots of Long Keeper and Black Krim tomatoes left. Alas I only started 3 Red Alerts, the early variety. Never put all your eggs in one basket.
This was a good learning experience. It showed the ‘cold’ spots in the greenhouse. The sensor was placed under the covers yesterday. It probably didn’t show the true temperature. The buckets of water had thick layer ice in each except the ones that had covers over them. Next spring I will not plant tomatoes, beans and cucumbers till 2nd week of April. The greens were just fine overnight, even the newly seeded and germinated. They just had a crop cover over them. They are a sure bet for early spring along with other cool loving crops like radishes, daikons, carrots, kohlrabi…
It’s a learning experience this year with the greenhouse. It’s trial and error. It is the time to have fun and be daring and try new things. I think you have to fail a little to get wisdom. I’m not at all discouraged. I’m just feeling the end of the day sag. I’m experimenting with making paper pots for transplanting tomatoes. It’s fun and the paper is free. The pots are deep for the roots to grow and they will hold the pot together. You have to give them time to develope before handling them or else they will fall apart.
A beautiful sunny morning. We slept in till almost 8 am. We have no jobs or appointments to rush to. No big deal. It was -1℃ in the greenhouse and -4or 5℃ outside. These days the weather and temperatures are unpredictable. That is the pattern. I’m learning that I have to play it by ear day by day with the greenhouse. It is almost noon and 3℃ outside and 15.2℃ in the greenhouse. It is suppose to be sunny all day. I shall be planting more tomatoes, cucumbers and scarlet beans after lunch. We are almost into April but there are still snow and minus temperatures predicted ahead. Night time coverings are still wise and necessary.
It is afternoon, 4:30 to be exact. How time flies. I’ve planted more cucumbers, scarlet runners and tomatoes in the greenhouse. I always forget to put some crushed egg shells at the bottom before I put the tomatoes in. It helps to prevent bottom rot. I have to be satisfied with scratching them in around each plant. All in all, I’ve planted 8 Long Keeper Tomatoes, 6 Black Krim and 3 Red Alert. Both the Long Keeper and Black Krim are indeterminates which means they will climb like a vine. They will keep growing and produce fruit until frost arrives. They mature in 70-80 days. The Red Alert is a determinate/bush. They mature in 50-55 days. The determinate stop their shoot production once the blossoms form on the ends.
I have 3 cucumbers and 3 scarlet runners in one corner along the wall. I hope they grow and climb up and over the ceiling to provide shade to cool the greenhouse in the heat of summer. How to do that is still in the works. Meanwhile I have germinated 2 bitter melon seeds by soaking them in water overnight. I then clipped a tiny bit off the rounded end of each seed, wrapped them in a wet paper towel and put into a plastic bag. Next I put them into the oven with the light on. They sprouted in two days. Amazing! They are now potted up. I’m waiting for them to burst through the soil. They are also climbers and work as the cukes and runner beans. Exciting times ahead.
Now it is almost 5:30. Time to close shop. The sun is still shining bright. I have closed the vents in the greenhouse to save the heat for the night. It is sitting at 20.5℃. The outside temperature 7℃. The low forecast tonight is -2℃. It is all good.