I want to start a small green house inside and would like to know how to start the seeds to be put out later. Any help would be appreciated.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Nikki from ID
I will try. I've started seeds off and on for years. My mom started me. She had a south facing window. If you have a library, check out the book by Nancy Bubel called the "Seed Starter's Handbook." It is invaluable. Nancy Bubel talks about a 4 foot long, double fluorescent lamp container, and it has to hang from the ceiling from chains, then she says to put one hot bulb and one cool bulb in the fluorescent hanger--we did that, and I had one of those plant lights that I put in a clip on, and all of my seeds came up. It was a sight to behold.
Get your seedling flat tray(s), and fill them with soil, lightly tamper them down with clean fingers, then lightly water them. Let them set so the soil gets to room temperature (maybe a day or so), then check the water and tampering them down, add soil if need be, and make sure the soil is just moist, not wet. Wait for room temperature soil. When the temperature is room temp, and the soil just slightly moist, plant your seeds, and put them in a room that has plenty of sunlight. (See above.)
Check the seeds daily, and add a tiny amount of moisture as needed, rotate trays if needed (seedlings grow toward the sun, so if they are bending in one direction toward the sun, turn them inward, and they will again turn outward toward the sun, keep doing this on a day to day or other day basis.) If the seedlings start to get crowded, outgrowing their plant cells, then they have to be replanted into larger containers. This happened to me one year, when I started a tomato plant in February, and I finally had it planted in a 10 inch container before I transplanted it, and had to water it twice a day...
The books also talk about "hardening off" plants, I've never had this trouble, but it means to take inside plants outdoors during sunshine, then bring them inside at night for about two weeks. I never did that, and never had a problem with planting them outdoors.
Again, if you want to start plants from seed, I heartily recommend "The Seed Starters Handbook," by Nancy Bubel, and follow her instructions. My local library carries her book, and it is invaluable. Nancy Bubel is a wonderful person with practical incites to starting seeds and planting them outside.
I had the use of an unheated green house for 4 years once and it was a hoot. I had plants and experiments coming out of my ears. Some years better than others.
I no longer have a garden but still put aside stuff for one in future. My son had a waterbed which sprang a leak and I saved the heating pad things that went under it, and I plan on trying it under seedling trays, though I'll have to check temp first.
To be thrifty I used the cleaned clear topped containers that I got with the rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (on sale they are a great bargain), and filled the bottom with potting soil. We keep our house so cool in the winter, that even in a sunny window I wasn't having luck sprouting seeds until I used a heating pad under it on low. Just be extremly careful and unplug with watering.
When I started of my seedlings I got a little plate put a paper towel on it then I put my seedlings that I wanted to grow on there and drenched the paper with water. A week or two later they started to grow then I had put them in some pots with names of course and put a couple of ice cream sticks in and put a plastic bag over the top and that's your little green house. It worked for me really good.
I started my seeds in cardboard egg cartons. I set them on a counter height cabinet I had in the basement. I used an old storm screen to prop up diagonally across them (to keep out my cats) Hung a standard florescent light above them and within days had numerous seedlings growing. Just make sure to lightly water daily.
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They have advertised a mini kind of green house that is tiny enough to sit on your kitchen cab. It has a bottom where you put seeds and an expanding top if your plants do actually grow. Takes up so little room and can grow tomatoes.
Again at the movie "The Legend", he had something close to my idea. Does anyone have any ideas how I could take some odds and ends and make my own? Thanks so much. This is a dandy of a question.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Gizzygal from SW KS
I took a horticulture course. Basically you need a bottom heat (must buy a pad). An interior greenhouse can be made by putting plastic over your starter plugs and making it stand up with hangers. It needs air though and when you see condensation, you should air out the bag.
I recommend getting a 2nd hand book on plant propagation so your little baby starts don't die from "damping off" which can happen when it is too warm. It's ideal to maintain a certain temperature.
Good luck. Homegrown tomatoes rawk. (02/06/2008)
I have made mini greenhouses out of wire lampshades covered with plastic. For just a few plants I have used the rotisserie chicken containers and for several seedlings I have used the deli trays, they all are adequate.
I put them on an old heating pad on low, from 8 in the morning, tell 8 at night, I let them sleep.
I think that those mini greenhouses are mostly for starting seedlings for the garden. I think that the only seeds you can plant and keep in the house are probably herbs and stuff like lettuce.
I you are looking for something to start your seedlings, which you will later plant in the garden, save the big gulp cups from 7-11. They make excellent mini greenhouses to start seedlings. (02/08/2008)
Why not use a 2 or 3 liter clear pop bottle? Cut the bottom off as deep as your seedlings require. About two inches should do for most types of seeds. Leave the cap on the top and slide the top down over the bottom after the seeds are planted. If you need to let some extra moisture out, take off the cap during the daytime.
You could make a terrarium the same way. Just use tiny plants that don't get big. A cute little figurine of a house or flower fairy would make it more special. I had one once that had its own little live grass frog with a jar lid for his swimming pool, but he croaked so loudly at night we had to give him up. He drove my husband nuts. (02/08/2008)