Back in the dirt!

Soil from the greenhouse

Transplanted the arugula from the end of January into as small a corner of the greenhouse as seemed to make sense, two plants to a plug, about 6″ (15cm) apart. There’s no space to waste, and these guys, already a long time in trays, will likely be ready too early for market (first Saturday in May). So, another experiment in early planting, but leave room for others! The arugula has been out there in the plug sheet for a couple of nights, surviving 10°F (-12°C) nights under a few layers of row cover (an extreme rapid hardening off!; as you can see in the tray, a few much smaller seedlings, started in mid-Feb, didn’t do so well, most of ’em got toasted the first night). And now, the survivors are in the ground, free at last, in full sun during the day, and recovered at night. It felt great to put hands in the soil, first time this year. Mmmm…

Arugula transplanted to the greenhouse

5 thoughts on “Back in the dirt!”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Maybe this has been asked in previous years, but I’m not sure how this works – it looks as though you’ve planted the arugula into the ground. Is that right? Do you remove the greenhouse exterior later – or do you transplant the arugula? OR am I completely confused altogether?!?

    Thanks for the posts,


  2. Deborah: Oh, man, GLOVES! What a waste that would be…! I seldom use gloves for anything around the farm, and especially not in the field (though I love cowhide work gloves for moving around wood and junk, much more carefree than taking care not to slice up your bare hands)! Of course, I know there are reasons for choosing or having to wear garden gloves… Oh well. :)

    Gillian: Um, well, here I’m planting from plug sheets into the ground in the greenhouse, and there they’ll stay, inside, right through harvest. That’s the usual greenhouse growing approach, you either start seeds directly in the greenhouse soil, or transplant them there. To give you a more…thorough answer, though, there’s more!

    In a not-so-common approach (but one I’d like to try with a bigger hoophouse), you can in fact, have a movable greenhouse, and plant indoors in the cool, and basically drag or roll the greenhouse to a new spot when it warms up. This is even done on a really large scale, but it’s not usual.

    You could also start stuff in the ground in the greenhouse in cool weather, and then transplant out to the field later on. This is the nursery bed approach (which can be done completely outside as well), where instead of using pots or plug sheets, you start plants closely spaced in the ground, then dig up and transplant the seedlings later on.

    FINALLY, my greenhouse isn’t intended or set up for summer indoor growing, where you need heavy duty ventilation (it can easily get up to 120°F on a hot summer’s day!). This one is mainly for seedlings in spring March-April-May, when they’ve outgrown the available space under the indoor lights, and it’s not warm enough to transplant to the field just yet. So I also grow some early, fast-growing stuff in spring, in the extra space, like lettuce and arugula for the early market . In summer, I could grow melons or toms or eggplant, but I’d have to set up much better ventilation.

    I think that covers it! :)

  3. You might just get along in summer with a couple of vents for the hot air…melons don’t mind temps in the 100s (F) anyway.


Leave a Comment