Inside and out…


Inside, in the increasingly GREEN Milkhouse, this year’s artificial sun set-up is done. It’s about fitting in as much area-under-lights as possible, while making sure all of the trays are easily reachable, for watering, rotation, thinning. So, there are the four grow racks, and the lightbox (that’s leek, onions and parsley under there), with its second level (why waste a flat surface that comes with chains?!). For now, this extra space is the new spot for the rescued-and-passed-along decorative plants (the heather was too dried out and didn’t make it, the wintergreen are doing fine, and the orchids seem OK…), but they’ll eventually be crowded out and moved somewhere else. The shelves are filling up fast… MEANWHILE, outside, it’s snowing and snowing, again. That’s a lot of snow. Around here, we’re definitely off to a later start this year than at least the last couple, but I’m still not particularly put off, not just yet. Although, it’s not supposed to warm up for another week, maybe two…


This is today’s peaceful but uninspiring view of the garden from the north-facing Milkhouse window…

7 thoughts on “Inside and out…”

  1. beautiful picture of the snowy scene

    i feel that i am behind on my plantings this year….the peppers are slow to germinate …..i saved all my heritage tomato seeds …they are doing well.

  2. Amazing its still snowing so much…but you can plant up the greenhouse if need be? Some of those tray plants must be getting pretty big now!

  3. what a beautiful sight! especially with winter still reigning outdoors. Back in the 20s today in Minnesota, with snow cover hanging on. Nothing like what you’ve been getting!

    i feel such gratitude to my own green and growing things under lights. nothing nicer than being greeted by their vitality on a (still!) winter morning.

  4. cathy: It could be my imagination, or anxiousness for things to warm up in general, but I’m also finding the peppers and eggplant seem to be taking a long time to germinate. In the 72-cell sheets, 4-5 came up, and then it’s been 3-4 days now and only a few more are appearing. This is across all varieties…except the Gypsy peppers. Well, maybe it’s the moon… We’ll see in a few more days…

    Steve: Well, the early lettuce (which turned out to be started a month too early) and arugula are out in the greenhouse, but it’s been going down to 5-10°F many nights recently, and the lettuce is taking a bit of a beating. It’s not worth trying to heat when it’s down to 10… other than a few salad greens, there’s no space to plant any real production quantity. But I’m not running out of indoor space just yet…

  5. Looking good! How long do you leave the grow lights on for the onions? I just planted mine but I read they shouldn’t stay under the grow lights for too many hours. My tomatoes & peppers are on for 16 hours. Too much for the onions?

  6. Sara: A good question! I keep my lights on for 14-16 hours for the veggies I start, but onions are very day-length sensitive, and if bulbing is triggered too early, which can apparently happen even to small seedlings, you’ll only get very tiny bulbs, like, marble-sized. You should be growing either short-day varieties (11-12 hours sun) if you’re in the south, or intermediate or long-day (12-16 hours) the further north you are (Northern Hemisphere). And for the seedlings, you should keep the artificial light well below the trigger level, so depending on the variety, only 10-12 hours. If you’ve already left them too long, you may want to take a chance on planting them out, but I dunno. I’ve found that there’s quite a bit of latitude when it comes to what plants will do when compared with the various advice and instructions you get, but in this case, I don’t have any direct experience with how strict this rule is! I’ll find out for myself, because my earliest starts were left under for long days for a couple of weeks, until I pulled them out (this is my first year of growing onions from seed). You can find out how I did later in the season!

  7. Thanks for the info! I’m in CT so I’m attempting some long day red onions. They’ve only been planted for 6 days, so hopefully it’s still early enough to reduce their light intake. They sprouted two days ago… and that’s when it occurred to me they were probably getting too much light! I have all my different seedlings in one tray, so I think I’m going to build a shade to cover just the onions for several extra hours of darkness… we’ll see how it goes! This is my first time with onions from seed too.


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