Rob Cleaned and Repaired the Greenhouse and Started Seeds-Jan. 2023

It’s hard to see in this picture, but one of our planting shelves/benches in the greenhouse was super warped and was not working any more to keep trays flat. Rob said that it was made from plywood and warped from water over the years.

He discovered this after he spent several hours over a couple of days cleaning out all the things he stores in there during the fall and early winter. There were lots of empty pots, boxes of kindling and more he needed to deal with to make room to plant.

He used scavenged wood he had on hand to rebuild the planting bench.

It came out beautifully.

He put one of the heating mats on it. The greenhouse is very cool most of the time and heating mats are how we get seeds to germinate. The other bench is still fine, but the mat is being fussy….. It’s very old, and this one is newer. Things wear out. We are waiting a little bit tp see if mat #2 is worn out or if it will revive.

He trimmed and cleaned up the overwintered geraniums.

He decided to use the cuttings and try to root some new plants. It will be amazing if it works!

He planted peppers. They take a long time to grow in our cool greenhouse. There are Anaheim 64, Ancho, Jalafuego Jalapeño, another kind of Jalepeno, Green Bell pepper, Mixed Bell pepper, Lola (a light green long sweet pepper that really produces a lot), Hungarian Wax Pepper (zippy), and Carmen. We have been growing Carmen peppers for years. They are long, sweet peppers and ripen in our climate every year. You get a lot of peppers from each plant and they are large. We are trying a couple of new ones–Jimmy Nardello is one. I hope to pickle that one, as it is slim, long and sweet, they say. Our daughter, Lovana, brought some seeds here that she hadn’t planted last year, and there are a couple of peppers in there, as well, including a striped one I’m excited to try. I need 2-4 Serrano peppers each summer for my salsa. (Peppers, not plants–it’s a very small amount). We use Dollar Store seeds for that, and I told Rob I only want 2 plants, total, just in case one fails.

Many of my peppers are used in salsa. We can use 75-100 jars of assorted sized jars in a year, most years. It’s not unusual for me to be unable to grow enough peppers for salsa, relish and other items and have to buy some anyway, despite my best efforts. We try to grow as many as we can, though. I freeze the sweet ones in baggies and we eat them all year in breakfast scrambles, chili, sweet and sour pork or chicken, pizza, and more.

On another day, I planted some parsley. Last year, we did not get enough to dehydrate. When I was cleaning my food pantry, I noticed I’ve used all I dried a couple of years ago except one small jar. I do have some I bought from the store, but I want to dry my own again this summer. It’s easy and another thing I can grow in my yard.

He even planted the ends of the romaine lettuce we recently bought. Some people have great success getting a crop from them. We will see if we are one of those people. It never hurts to try! I know garden lettuce will regrow if we cut it, so if it’s not too cold, it should work.

The onions are planted, too. We’ve planted Red Bull, Red Wing, Patterson, a white one and Guardsman green onions. I used to have overwintered green onions in my garden, but the seeds I planted in the late summer look terrible this year, and I want to get some new ones going as soon as possible, as I do not have much hope that those at the edge of the garden will do much of anything. The storage onions will be planted out as small plants and we hope to eat the green onions straight from the tray and plant more in the garden. We shall see if it works.

We planted a lettuce called “All Winter Long” in the greenhouse. It’s a hardy mix from Pinetree. We also planted Romaine. If we get little plants and it’s not too wet, we will plant them in the raised bed for a super early crop. Otherwise, we’d be happy to cut the little plants off and eat the baby lettuce plants straight out of the greenhouse.

Hopefully, in a few days, we will start to see little green shoots peeking up from those trays of dirt. It’s so encouraging during this time of year to know that spring is on its way, despite the promise of cold, cold nights coming up this next week. I’ve dug out a small space heater, and we may need to put it on in there for a couple of nights, just to keep it from freezing–it’s supposed to get COLD!

4 thoughts on “Rob Cleaned and Repaired the Greenhouse and Started Seeds-Jan. 2023”

  1. Love to hear about your cleanup efforts as well as Rob’s chores in the greenhouse. When I moved, i took my stuff but left all my shelving. So, the last few months, I’ve been buying what I’ve needed. My laundry ‘room’ is starting to take shape at long last. I too love it when I can just see what I need on a shelf and cook. I’m like you – I shop my own pantry for recipes and fill up the pantry with sale items.

    So – I do have a question. What does Rob use for soil when he starts his seeds? Is it regular garden soil or a mix made for seed starting? As soon as I get the last of the boxes unpacked in my bedroom and laundry room, I’m going to start getting my garden space organized. And start some seeds for the first time in years.


    1. He starts with a germination mix. Then, he often transplants into a growing mix if something needs more time in the greenhouse, or is getting big. He actually wants the peppers and tomatoes, etc. to get larger than they can in a little starting tray (like a 6-pack) so usually puts them into 3 or 4 inch pots in that growing mix after a time. He also fertilizes them with a fish fertilizer mixed into water–quite weak–every week or so once they get a little growth on them.

  2. I overwinter geraniums every year and I think some of them are at least 15 years old here. Every Spring I cut them back and stick all the cuttings in more pots of soil and they take right off. After about a week you can give them a gentle tug and they will often already be rooted. There are always a few that don’t take but most do fine. I have also given bags of cuttings to friends who overwinter them and pass them on. It is great to see my geraniums at a friends house!

    1. We try to just dig up the plants each fall and re-plant in the spring. I know he’s tried cuttings before, but can’t remember if it worked. I’m glad to hear it works well for you. Here’s hoping….

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