Thursday, 26 January 2012

Bottom Heat

Starting seeds and cuttings is both faster and more effective with added bottom heat.

This is what I came upon last year... It works like a charm and is cost effective.

Talked to a friend of mine who has been running a small greenhouse operation for 25+ years... and this is what she recommended that I use.... yep, heated gutter cables. Apparently, she has been using them for years.  

They come in several lengths, are safe, inexpensive, and easy to use.

Last year, I just placed the cables on the table
squished the gutter clips in between the boards to kinda pin the cable down
 popped some wooden stakes onto the tables to keep the trays off of the cables ...
and it worked a charm :)

 the cable kept moving around
was a bit of a fuss to deal with
 though the bottom heat it provided was perfect.

This year...
 I screwed the boards into the two 4' tables
 went side to side this time, instead of top to bottom
 Less stakes were used and no more movement all over the place...

I stretched the cables taut between the stakes
pinned them down into place
so they stayed nice and tight.

Placed the trays of cuttings and seeds onto the stakes above the heating cables...

Covered them with clear plastic to retain humidity and moisture
 I often place the trays right into the bags and then keep them pinned closed.

This here is the super high tech garden product that I used to cover them with ;)

This year, I also found this other lovely idea that you might consider... :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

January Ramblings

Ah, Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humour...

January 1st - Woke up to a few inches of snow in our wet west coast climate :(

Wall Walla Onions and Mini -Roses

The winter onions poke through the snow cover

Little 'Lilah is 2 years old and 175 lbs of Mastiff
She was overjoyed...
and pranced around like a small pup
(no she does not have upright ears, lol, this is mid-prance)

I was not nearly as happy...
Honeoye Strawberry Patch

Then came days and days of rainfall...
which I love :)

Causing our little creek bed to overflow it's banks

The greenhouse heater did not work all fall, they would repair it
 and a day or two later it would be kaput again.
Was finally fixed and running on December 23rd :)
As it was so cool and damp 
this lovely green stuff grew on all the porous pots...
But..also on the greenhouse walls :(
Fall cleaning in the greenhouse happened in January..
including the cleaning and sterilising of all the walls and table surfaces
to minimise the possibility of fungal problems on the seedlings.
I know, I know, lol
Doesn't look like much now...
but give it a few months and it will be wall to wall plants once again :)
Delilah aka Little 'Lilah

All that cleaning pooped out the 'help'
(see the green on the walls? ick)

Seeding is well under way

and.... The Christmas bulbs are finally showing off their colours.
I buy one new Amaryllis each year
but...never, ever is it actually the colour that it said it was supposed to be, lol

Hence.. here is my blush pink Amaryllis.. not! ;)

Moving Thyme

Sadly, the Nitty Gritty Potager blog is no more... but the good news is that I can now be found at my new blog called the Olde Thyme F...