Well, how hot is it?

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We’ve had a string of nice spring days.  Though this is a balm for the winter-weary soul, the greenhouse gardener in me is in a bit of a panic.  You see, there is such a thing as “too hot for comfort” with the little greenhouse babies.

img_0810Happy spinach babies

The upside:  things grow fast!  The downside:  things grow fast!

I do wish this enterprise were as simple as “the greenhouse will simply speed up the growing calendar by two months.”  This is a nearly true statement:  I am able to seed stuff indoors in February that I would be hesitant to seed outdoors in April, but it would be a very odd April indeed if the daytime high was 105*.  If I could somehow bring that high temperature down…life under that plastic would be perfect.  So, up go the roll-up sides, and I throw open the doors:  within an hour the temperatures in both have dropped to a very acceptable 90*F.

The hot days, however, caused my stalwart arugula to bolt into seed.  I pulled the whole row up and made a spicy arugula pesto for St. Patrick’s day, with lots of green onions and garlic and some of last fall’s wild walnutsGreen food rules, man.

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6 responses to “Well, how hot is it?

  1. Love your blog – Just had to leave a comment and let you know that I apperciate your writings. Happy Planting… spring is just around the corner.

  2. Oh yes, my cold frame was up in the 90’s yesterday. I propped open the lid, didn’t want my lettuce to bolt. But I bet the ground is getting nice and warm to help those beet seeds germinate.

  3. I like to dream about having a greenhouse where flowers and veggies can exist in perpetual spring. I imagine a greenhouse as the unchanging Garden of Eden where growing things are always flourishing and unchanging. So, it was a bit deflating for me to read that your greenhouse isn’t the answer to having a perfect garden. Another dream destroyed! 🙂

  4. Greenhouses are great as long as you know they’re most useful in fall through spring only….

    In summer, I use the greenhouse (which gets temps up to 140! With shade cloth!) for dehydrating veggies and fruits…..when I’m organized, that is….Nice sun-dried tomatoes…

  5. Like Weeping Sore, I too dream about a greenhouse that can keep things always growing, no matter what their temperature needs – even if those needs are different with the multiple plants living there, 😀
    But the warmth must be good for the seeds, yours look like they are doing so well overall. Is there a way to moderate the temperature (open a valve/flap)? I am trying to imagine how it might be set up…

  6. Hi Bren, thanks! I see you’re another midwestern girl with dirt under her nails too, how wonderful. Gotta love spring, right?

    Mrs Chiot, those beets can be pesky germinators (or at least they are from the seed I saved). Did you know this is one of the few root crops that can be transferred? Yeah, it and celeriac, so if you don’t want to thin them, you can move them to grow out to their fullest.

    WS, aren’t we all looking for a little vegetative Shangri-La? Yeah, I just was in a bit of a flush because I didn’t want to open the top vents yet: March is mighty early for spring to really arrive in this part of the world, and sure enough, it’s down below freezing again. Harrumph. But still being inside these things beats being outside for 9 months of the year here so I suppose it’s as good as it’s going to get 🙂

    Liz, 140! Crazy!! Yes you are right though: they do have alternate uses. My squash crops cured right up nicely when I picked and put them in there, and I expect the same with the sweet potatoes I plan on planting this year: they expect an 80* cure, which is impossible outdoors here in Sept. when they’re harvested. So, sorry to hear you have a dead zone but it looks like you’ve figured it out well!

    MC, yeah, I simply rolled up the sides and threw open the doors and all was well. It probably would’ve been fine even if I hadn’t done that; it still gets kind of chilly in there at night and that toughens the seedlings up quite well. We just had a freakishly hot day is all this week.

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