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New greenhouse, starting seed

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  • New greenhouse, starting seed

    Hi everyone, just joined the forum and looking forward to learning and sharing. So, here's my situation:

    I just finished buliding my greenhouse (julianna compact 12 and I live in zone 7 ). I'm very new to all this.. It has automatic venting, and a fairly efficient electric heater installed. I used to start seeds in my basement (about 60-65 f during feb-march), and I'm wondering about temperature fluctuations in the green house. During the day the temps are quite warm....up to 85f if I don't open the doors and the sun is shining; but at night I'm heating to 55f. Is this temperature fluctuation to great? or should I average the temps when considering seed needs. Peppers for example like 70+....should I just bring them inside or will they be fine in the greenhouse with my temp fluctuations. Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    While I can not answer all questions in this regard, I do know when I was living in the Willamette Valley and the coast here in Oregon, the temps also ranged a lot, depending on the weather. I always started all my seeds inside the greenhouse with great success, but I started tomatoes, peppers and flowers only. They seemed to like the warmth as far as "popping" in a short period of time. What you really need to worry about is after they sprout, as too hot they will wilt. I had an automatic vent wich did help some, but I did open the door when the weather was suppose to be warm because it would cook the new plants.

    Hope this helps some.


    • #3

      I Also have a small greeenhouse and what I do is start my seeds indoors as I find the constant temps help with germination (also I can keep a close watch on them) and grow them to their first transplant under lights. Once established and in a 4 inch pot they "graduate" to the greenhouse where I find the cooler night temps actually help to keep their growth in check so they don't get too tall before it is time to transplant into the garden. Granted I live in a very different climate so that is what works for me. You will have to experiment and find what works for you. I find half of the fun is in the challenge of figuring out what works and what doesn't. (although i have had quite a few pretty unsuccessful experiiments over the years before I found what works:)!!)
      I don't start things like cuccumbers or squash/zzuccini under cover anymore.. I have found it best to buy short-season specific varieties and just plant them into the garden.
      Best advice I have is to read the seed package and if it says start 4 weeks before the last frost, start them 4 WEEKS BEFORE THE LAST FROST! I used to think I could outsmart the seed growers and start them earlier but what you will end up with are spindly transplants who are past their best before it is warm enough to put them in the garden. I have had very good results with tomatoes, peppers,, cape gooseberries, and annual flowers such as petunias. The only thing I keep in the greenhouse dduring the summer are the gooseberries , a few peppers and a few cherry and tumbler tomatoes. That is with the door propped wide open all the time. I certainly find that often the bigger challenge is not in keeping the plants warm enough but in fact overheating is mucch more of an issue.
      Have fun with your greenhousse.. it will give you a lot of enjoyment I'm sure


      • #4
        I have a tiny green house that sets on my deck. I live in northern Illinois. I start all my seeds inside, when they get big enoiugh I put them in the garden window. I cant put them in my little guy until the night time temps stay at pretty much 45 degrees. I had all the gumption to set up the green house today, but its going to be 33. I wish I had a heat source... you guys are lucky. Come warm enough I have figured out that the starts can be on the floor elevated with a plastic milk crate... I start new things on the top shelves... works great. I had three thermomiters one for high, middle and floor level... thats how I learned when to put where. I hope soon to get a bigger one, but for now,,,I will stick with what I have..Hopefully next week I can put it up and start to harden my tomatos, cucs, and jalepenos, and chervil. My garden window is gettin stuffed,lol


        • #5
          Missing the Greenhouse

          I just joined this site and love it already!
          I came across this thread and was reminded of just how much I miss the greenhouse. I used to work in my ex-landlords greenhouse, and I loved it! 7 years taught me a lot about gardening, and I had hoped to rent the greenhouse off him when he wanted to retire, but he sold the whole place instead and the new landlords burnt down the greenhouses. I was heart broken for weeks, but life goes on. Hopefully I will be able to put my own greenhouse up next year - at least that is the goal.
          Now in answer to your question -
          Large fluctuations in temperatures are seldom problematic - provided you;
          ~plant according to the directions on the package of the seeds. Usually tomatoes, cukes and flowers will do great despite the fluctuations. Most tomatoes actually do better with the fluctuations - it seems to make them hardier along with transplanting them several times. A couple of small heaters or household fans will go a long way towards stabilizing your temperatures if you find the need.
          ~don't ever water the plants so late in the afternoon/evening that they stay wet overnight. This will cause them to be susceptible to disease and molds.Make sure they have plenty of time to dry off and give the water a chance to evaporate.
          ~Keep the doors closed at night - you'd be amazed at the number and types of animals that are looking for a place to stay warm/cool.
          I hope this is of some help, and I pray that you thoroughly enjoy your greenhouse.


          • #6
            I am still planning to build my own green house. I wish I could have a nice and big one but I believe that I will have to wait for it for some time.
            Thanks for the tips Christine :)