Early sowings..A guilty secret?? Part 3
Hi there One and All .
A little over the month has passed since i did Part 2 . I think its about time i spilled the beans so to speak. The fact is that where i am has been a mild winter in comparison to some and that has made this a somewhat less”costly” experiment.
Now like many of you ,I have started a few things off early in the house and hoped to steal a march on the growing season . I decided to do things on a slightly larger scale and make use of the greenhouse as best as i could without going down the rout of specilist kit and as cheaply as i could . Making use of cold frames that are empty and a greenhouse that isn’t overwintering much seemed a good start. Putting the cold frame in the Greenhouse and then heating the cold frame worked a treat over all. Having a heated propagator inside the cold frame was also very cost and heat efficient as to some degree it substituted the heat needed to keep the frame above 10 deg witch was my goal. This in the end was achieved by putting a thermostatically controlled fan heater at one end of the frame (inside) and regardless of conditions it took care of things.At night i popped old blankets over the frame to insulate it and keep things cosy. As march came in and the days were occasionally warmer i vented the frame as the temperature was easily reached and would have been too warn otherwise. By the middle of march or there about i dismantled the frame and returned the greenhouse to normal use ,growing things on inside it.
So what have i got now?? Cabbages outside and in there beds ,runner beans outside under cloches and starting to climb , squashes in the Greenhouse potted on into 5 inch pots and ready to go out the moment i think they can take it,onions from seed outside in there beds growing nicely, shallots outside, peas outside and climbing, broad beans outside and going well , carrots in and out , Tomatoes planted in there border of the greenhouse starting to take off up there supports.
What have i learnt ….. Toms are not easy early !!! some sorts were ok (St Pierre , sungold) some were not happy at all !! Lossetto would you credit it. I think i would have needed more heat to keep them happier(use the house instead maybe ) but i do have early Tom plants in there places and with luck they will crop earlier and stager the season as iv more on the go sown recently.
In fact iv sown multiple sowings of most things to spread the bounty so il be interested to see wether things catch up or not with the early plants. Squashes are also reluctant,they are sometimes a hit and miss thing with me anyhow as i don’t seem to have the touch with them. Again though i have early plants that with luck they will make use of all the available growing year.
As a rough amount the total elec was no more than 7 pounds extra on the quarter this experiment took place over and everything else i ether modified from bits i had or made use of existing kit. This was never only about cost ,time, or madness !!! It was a challenging and enjoyable experiment at a time of year when we tend to be itching to get going after thumbing the seed catalogue for the 100 th time.
Give it a go if you fancy and see how it works for you.