A garden is the best alternative therapy.

The large tubs of spinach that we buy at H-E-B are useful long after the spinach inside is gone.  I use mine to hold seedling pots, which makes it easy to move 6-8 around at one time.  They also double nicely as a mini-greenhouse for my peppers with little effort.  I poke holes in the four corners of two tubs using a knife, then I put one on top of the other and use binder clips to hold it together.  The holes on the bottom let water out, while the holes at the top let out excess heat.  The ambient temperature inside gets nice and warm and humid, and it doesn’t take too long to get the soil to the temperature that peppers love.   I have been letting the peppers sit inside on a window sill, but it is so nice today, I brought them out.

I have room for six seedlings in this tub.

The mini-greenhouse

I don’t let them bake in the direct sun all day – it does get quite warm in the greenhouse.  I open it up from time to time, or I just take it off after four hours or so.  Better yet, sitting on a window sill that gets part sun through the day seems to work just great.

I have a few other seedlings sitting outside today.  They’re enjoying the nice weather.  I also cut off a section of the oregano plant that had rooted and transplanted into another paper pot.  Yes, obtaining a new oregano plant is just that easy.

Sweet alyssum that I started from seed, is already flowering.

Mexican Mint Marigold started from seed. These will probably not bloom this year, but will be well-established for next year.

Oregano clone after three days.

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Comments on: "Mini-greenhouse and a few seedlings" (4)

  1. You seem to do real well with your plants from seeds. I on the other hand am not. I really want to grow a majority of my plants from seeds. Whever I do them in doors they seem to do okay, then droop then die. I really don’t know what I am doing wrong.

    I use the seed starting mix, I even bought a self watering seed tray system. I don’t know if I am transplanting them into their own pot to early before I even take them outside or what. Could you let me know how you go about doing your seeds as well as the light you use. Any information would be greatly apprecaited.

    I live in Leander and we have the same zone, so when I do seeds in doors, I know the problem is me. Thanks.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Sure thing, Cynthia. From what I’ve learned, young seedlings that tend to droop over and die are a result of insufficient light. If you have the seedlings sitting on a windowsill, they may start to get “leggy”, which means they are trying to grow too fast upwards towards more light. When this happens, the main stem doesn’t get strong enough to support the first leaves as they mature. Eventually, the seedling sags under the weight. This may or may not be fatal for the seedling, and some seedlings get leggier than others. For example, I started sunflower seeds indoors and they didn’t make it because they need a lot of light. If you notice that your seedlings are getting leggy and weak, you may be able to save them by transplanting them into a deeper pot and filling the soil up to near the first set of leaves. Please see an earlier post called Saving the Broccoli. This may give them the support they need to continue growing, however, you also need to make sure they get adequate light. I used four 48″ fluorescent lights to keep my seedlings going, which seemed to work okay. Of course, nothing works better than good old-fashioned direct sunlight. Most veggies require at least 6-8 hours of light, but under fluorescent lighting I increased that to 14 hours.

      • Thanks so much for the information. I will surely try this. I did not know if on other seedlings (other than tomoatoes) if you could plant them as deep as you do tomatotes to encourage more root group (well you live and learn). I am going to try some some more seeding this weekend to practice. I was using under cabinet lighting (2 of them) on a make shift rack system and I think the lighting was not that great, the wattage now that I think about it was not enough. I also don’t get much light from my windows so with the proper set up I MAY have a better batch of seedlings. Thanks again.

      • roundrockgarden said:

        I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb is to have about 7,000 lumens per square foot of growing space. The total lumens of the four bulbs I was using was around 12,000 – and that was for about three square feet. It seemed to work. Lumen information may or may not be on the bulbs you have, but I know that information is included on new bulb packaging.

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