My Mini Greenhouses

I've got the garden bug; bad. I'm just itching to get out there and play in the dirt and watch things grow. Trouble is it has been too wet to get the tractor into the garden to plow. Two solid days of rain this week did not help that problem. Another problem is the fence that is to turn our chickens into pastured chickens from free ranged chickens is still a work in progress. I'll be darned if I'm going to put seeds in the ground just to watch the chickens scratch them all up. What is a girl with garden fever to do?

A few weeks ago I started two dozen plants indoors. Using cardboard egg cartons for pots, I filled the containers with soil from the compost pile. Then the kids and I put a few seeds into each little section. We started pie pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini. They all sprouted nicely, and soon were needing a little more space and sun than I was providing.

I didn't want to mess with potting them in larger pots just to put them in the garden shortly. We are almost past our frost date, and some of the seedlings are cold hardy. I just wanted to put them directly in the garden, so I did. I hand dug two small rows of holes for the plants in the back of the garden. When the ground is ready for the tractor, it can be tilled from those rows forward. For protection from the chickens and any late frost we may have, I created mini greenhouses for the seedlings.

To create the greenhouses I used some juice and milk jugs that I had been saving. I simply cut the bottoms off of them, and put them over the seedlings. The clear juice jugs, as shown in the top picture, work the best. In the milk jugs I cut in some "sky lights" to allow more light into the jugs while still keeping the chickens out.

I also created a couple of new garden spots. I used some small banks in the backyard, and the space between two decks. We didn't keep up with these areas last year, and they were an ugly mess by the end of the summer. I planted some of the vining plants there, and mulched them with some hay/manure. I am hoping this will save space in the main garden, and create more attractive and manageable areas in the back yard.

I feel better to have played in the dirt a bit, and to have a few things growing in the garden now. If the weather cooperates this week we may yet get the garden tilled, and the fence finished. Then I can take the greenhouses off, and get more planting done!

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My Mini Greenhouses + work