September 29, 2020

Tiny houses

I've always wanted a greenhouse. My grandfather used cold frames, but I prefer not to kneel, bend over, or sit on the wet ground to tend seedlings. Pop did it but he was a tough old guy. I'm a wimp. I'd rather stand.

There are so many things I've wanted to do over the years, but working full time, and then my partner's health, precluded them. Until I can simply hop in my car and go, travel is out. To travel with a person who has mobility issues is a lot of work - let me repeat that: A LOT OF WORK. They travel. You're a pack mule. 

Having a greenhouse is a lot of work, too, to fully utilize its potential so I've gone small. I've purchased a tiny house, about five feet by five feet square and about six feet high in the center. It has four shelves for seedling trays and should be all I really need for the scale of gardening I'm about to undertake.

Like what Pop did with the cold frames, I'll be able to start seeds about six to eight weeks before our "official" last chance of frost date, which is May 10 to May 15 depending on who is doing the talking. I always picked the weekend between the two to plant, the weekend being when I was home. If you're in tune with the season, you know if the chance of frost is past. It's in the air. 

This past Sunday, we unboxed and erected my tiny greenhouse. The instructions were cryptic, but we laid everything out to study the parts and it suddenly made sense. The frame went together with no missing parts, but getting the covering on? That was a bit of work. I had to go inside the greenhouse to line the cover up with the frame and it was hot in there! 

Yep. It will make little seedlings very happy. I used to have a good number of large pots around the patio that I planted with annuals. It's been a few years since I've set them out due to the price of annuals. I'm not paying fifty-cents per plant. Now, for around a dollar, I can start my own from seeds and fill the pots again. Red salvia, zinnias, impatiens, coleus, dianthus, portulaca, marigolds, lobelia, ageratum, alyssum, dusty miller, lantana, and a lot more have all graced my patio. By next spring I'll have to decide on perhaps four and set the color scheme of the year. 

In with the flowers will also be some veggies. I discovered something called Cowboy Candy this year and high on my list are jalapeno peppers, along with tomato and a smattering of other things, all container grown. Starting the veggies from seed will be a boon. A pack of 30 seeds costs less than one single plant at the nurseries around here. The tiny greenhouse will pay for itself in one season. 

Another good thing about the tiny greenhouse is that it is mobile. If I find it needs to be in a better location, I can literally pull up stakes and move it. It can be disassembled and stored each winter. And what if I decide I want a permanent structure? I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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