Tag: cold frame

Feb 16, 2022
By Michael Rupured

Nursery Update

My little seed-starting operation is going gangbusters. Some of everything I planted germinated — including several varieties that didn’t come up last year. This unprecedented success was a nice surprise that meant running out of room sooner than expected. I hit the max (eight flats) earlier this month and would have been in trouble had all the coleus cuttings survived. Fortunately, warmer weather arrived before I had to expand to the kitchen table. Making the most of the space I had was a challenge. Turning flats (from end-to-end to side-to-side) doubles capacity on the shelves but is less than optimal for lighting. Flats have to be rearranged every day to keep seedlings from leaning. The closer to the light, the …

Jan 21, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Mid-January in the Garden

Winter in Athens has been fairly mild so far. We’ve had frost on windshields many mornings, but only one when the mercury dropped below 25. I covered what I could and crossed my fingers. Everything survived — including plants I was not able to cover. Aside from scattered blossoms, annual flowers have hunkered down and are focused on root development. Dense crowns have replaced scraggly stems. We’re not out of the woods yet, but more roots increase the likelihood of surviving a hard freeze. The veggies are doing great. I’ve been cutting spinach leaves for omelets, salads, and stir-fries. Heads have formed on the broccoli, and little beets and turnips are visible beneath the foliage. Peas and Brussels sprouts look …

Dec 28, 2020
By Michael Rupured
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My Little Plant Factory

Toodles surprised me this year with everything I need for my own seed-starting operation. I’m guessing my sweet little dog thinks her thoughtful gift will keep me at home. She knows me so well. I’ve mostly avoided planting anything permanent. There are many reasons, but the biggest is a deep and abiding affection for annuals. I especially enjoy experimenting with new varieties and changing things up every year. I started off small enough for a few twelve-packs from the garden center to do the trick. My flower beds expand a bit every year and nearly doubled in the past few months. Relying less on garden centers and more on home-grown plants makes sense and (theoretically) saves money. Seed catalogs offer …