I’d planned to start seeds indoors this year, but after the growlights I bought from Amazon turned out to be defective, I moved the whole operation outside, with the help of some new tools.
First, I took Mom’s advice and did some winter sowing, which involves turning plastic bottles into miniature cold frames. I’d been saving 96-oz. cider jugs for this purpose all winter. They turned out to be just the right size to slip down into the holes in some cinderblocks I had on hand. The blocks provide thermal mass while keeping the jugs from blowing away. I need to thin the plants, but they’re doing very well.
My little cider-bottle cloches are parked in a raised bed made from a $45 feed-store fire ring and filled with a mix of potting soil and chicken litter — a technique I first used in my juglone-contaminated garden in Cape. Come planting day, I’ll mulch with cedar shavings to discourage bugs.
I found a bargain I couldn’t pass up at Tractor Supply a couple of weeks ago: $40 walk-in mini-greenhouses.
To keep it warm and protect it from the wind, I parked mine in a sheltered corner next to my office window and anchored it with cinderblocks and bungee cords.
The new greenhouse is proving to be a nice place to start herbs:
Out of an abundance of caution, I decided to grow a Victory Garden this year, focusing on reliably heavy producers: okra, green beans, cucumbers, collards, zucchini, and potatoes. If supply lines get screwed up, we’ll still have plenty to eat; if they don’t, we’ll have plenty to share with people whose incomes have been compromised by the coronavirus-induced drop in tourism.