Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Upper Peninsula Greenhouse in April

So far this season, our greenhouse has played host to 7502 seeds, give or take.

448 square feet of two by fours, drop cloth plastic, and a discarded wood stove,
assembled just so, make for an elegant work horse.
Of course, not every seed germinates and grows. If they did we wouldn't plant so many.

But all of those that do are protected from the unpredictable U.P. spring weather and nursed to full transplant size in our greenhouse.

So I thought I'd put together a bit of an ode to the greenhouse and some of the plants it is helping us grow this season.

Most of what you get when you plant 7502 tomato, tomatillo, eggplant, onion,
cauliflower, kale, sorrel, pepper, husk cherry, Brussels sprout,
lettuce, rutabaga, kohlrabi, parsley, celeriac, and scallion seeds.

The rest of what you get.
Also a gallon of fish emulsion - our chosen greenhouse fertilizer.
If you run into us somewhere and we smell like rotten fish,
this is why.

Spotlight on the rutabaga.

Some sorrel starts to add to our perennial garden (which at this point is
pretty much all sorrel). The containers are courtesy of a
resourceful neighbor. Thank you!

Tomatoes showing only moderate damage after
the string of hard freezes we've had the last few nights.
They'll be ready for hoophouse transplant in early May
thanks to the greenhouse! (And Scott's willingness
to wake up and feed the wood stove...)

A tomato close up - note the leaf damage on the left hand side. Still,
they fared pretty well considering we got down to 21 degrees the other night.
Good job greenhouse :)


  1. Beautiful photos! So inspiring. Thanks. Mo

  2. If you put a layer of plastic on the under side of your rafters, you will hold heat a lot better :)


  3. Thanks

    That had been my plan during construction, but then the issue becomes too much heat. In March, when I had the greenhouse half full and a curtain dividing it in the middle, I had to be careful to avoid overheating. The problem we had this year, on the coldest night of the spring, with the whole greenhouse being heated, a chunk of creosote fell down the chimney and clogged up the elbow. The fire smoldered all night and wasn't throwing off enough heat. This was actually the first time in two years of use that we saw major cold damage to the plants.