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Steve Lila
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Recent Entries to this Blog How to Build a Small Greenhouse
Posted: 25 Jul 2008
Strawberry Patch enclosure
Posted: 23 Jul 2008
Welcome to Steve & Lila's Blogs
Posted: 22 Jul 2008

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Steve Lila's Blog

How to Build a Small Greenhouse

Category: Gardening Tips | Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:44 pm

A few years ago, before we built the greenhouse we now have outside, we tried a little make shift greenhouse in an extra room in our house. It was our first attempt to start seeds growing in February. We live in Wyoming, and our summer growing season is short, so we thought it would be great to get a head start. We went and bought some seeds, mostly annuals. We also bought some potting soil and some potting trays. We planted the seeds according to the instructions on the back of the seed packs. All that was easy, but how do we make this greenhouse? Steve is the vision person in our house. (I am the organizer) We bought a folding table, about 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. Steve made a wooden frame above the table and we draped it with sheets of plastic. We bought fluorescent lights and changed the bulbs in them to growing lights and hung them above the table. We added a timer so the lights would go off after 8 hours and then come back on 8 hours later. In order to create some humidity we put a pan of water on the table and positioned a small fan to blow over the water. The fan also helped make the seedlings stronger. Then we stuck our seed trays in this little greenhouse. We didn't have a watering system, so we had to do that by hand. Sure enough, up came little seedlings!

About in early April we transplanted the seedlings into larger growing trays. They grew and grew. At that time I didn't know about hardening plants before you actually put them in the ground outside, so we lost a few. I will say that the violas we grew in our little greenhouse were the healthiest, most beautiful violas I have ever seen. A rather funny thing happened too. We had about 6 seedlings come up that we didn't recognize. To this day we don't know where they came from. So I planted them in one of our flower gardens and they grew to be some kind of enormous perennial. They are strangest plants I have ever seen and they come back year after year. We still don't know what they are. Here is a picture of one of them. Maybe someone knows what it is. Please let us know if you do.

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Strawberry Patch enclosure

Category: Gardening Tips | Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:30 pm

I would like to share some insight to preserving your wonderful strawberry patch from birds and pests. We love fruit so we want to keep as much as possible for our use. So we built an enclosure with lids with bird netting to stop all pest and birds. I used a very simple frame work; 2x4's with a point on one end. They were 4 feet long. I then drove them into the ground in equal spaces along both sides of the patch. This makes your frame to attach your lids to. Then you make your frame work for the lids out of 2"x2". You can make the top frame any size you want but I would not go over 8 feet. Our strawberry patch is large, so we have 9 top frames. Screw the frames together. Once that is done you then buy some small hinges to attach to vertical 2x4s so they are hinged to the backs of your vertical posts.. Now you are ready to get your bird netting from any local stores that have supplies for gardening. You can cut your widths and lengths to fit the tops and sides of your enclosure. Once cut, you can start the process of stapling the mesh to the tops and down the sides. Remember the sides are separate from the tops. Then we drilled a 3/8 inch hole in the middle of each opening on the side you are going to enter your patch from. We then used a 2x2x8' and drove a nail or screw into the end of the 2x2x8. You will use this to open your tops so you can get in to pick. My enclosure has been working now for over 5 years with little repair. If you want pictures of the strawberry enclosure let me know. Good luck with your berry patch.

Last edited: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:40 pm

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Welcome to Steve & Lila's Blogs

Category: Making Seed Information cards | Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:37 pm

We usually buy our seeds online in the middle of the winter to start in our greenhouse. When we get the seed packs, the first thing we do is look at the planting instructions on the back of the package. In most cases all the information we want is not there. We then make out an index card on each type of seed. If information we want is missing from the back of the seed pack, we go online to get the additional information to write on the index card. We want to know the best temperature for germination, and the length of germination. If we are planting perennial seeds we want to know if the plant will bloom the first year and when to transplant in the garden. You must know if the seeds will be shade or sun plants. We like to mix the colors in our perennial garden, so we write the color on the index card. On the card we also write the date the seeds are planted and when the seeds actually form a seedling. If a transplant into a larger pot is necessary, what was the date of transplanting? Knowing how tall the plant will get is helpful when you are deciding where in your garden the plant will be placed. We planted some dahlias we grew from seed in pots without paying attention to the size the plants would be at maturity, and later discovered they could reach 3 feet tall. Not a good plant for a small pot. Don't forget to put the recommended space that should go between each plant on your card. We have been guilty of planting too close together and then having to move plants as they mature. We have also noticed that many plants get much taller then suggested on the seed pack or the online information, so keep that in mind when you decide where to place your plants. We then keep our seed index cards handy so we can refer back to them and add new information. When it comes time to transplant into our gardens, we use the seed index cards to decide where each plant should go.

Last edited: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:51 pm

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