PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Light!

In the dregs of January there is never enough light in the greenhouse for new seedlings. They leaaaan, and streetttccch for the sun--getting too leggy, the stems too thin, and easily bowed over by the gentlest stream of water. But we now have a grow light up and running, a veritable brainchild. The box (see pic) holds fluorescents covered by aluminum insulation--reflects light, holds in heat. The contraption above the light is a lever that allows us to rotate the light up and away from the bench so we can water or whatever.

The framework keeps the light aligned properly over the bench, and when the plants get taller, we can notch the light up on the steel bar.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Frenzy

 There's never enough room on the seed mats in January! Our new boxes (on right in pic) have helped. We've captured another several square feet of climate controlled space near, if not on, the heat mats. The mats sit inside the styrofoam boxes, holding eight flats of seeds, and letting us add additional six packs to edge where they harden off a bit before moving into the open air. This especially helps hold heat at night when we have to turn the mats down (or off) to save power (being offgrid requires making hard choices--no nighttime tv for us!).

What are we starting? Penstemons, agastache, salvia, daisies, bundleflower, campanula, hollyhock, canterbury bells, scholar tree, privet, dutchman's pipe, geranium, pansies, petunias, passionflower, grasses ,iberis, sundrops, buckwheat, evening primrose, coneflower...and much more. Lots of new annuals, some new perennials too, mostly natives.

So as one batch comes off the mats, another immediately goes on, and the oldest shuttles into stronger light, and cooler parts of greenhouse one, from seedling trays to six packes to 4 inch pots, and eventually into greenhouse two, and come April, we'll be trying to squeeze maturing plants into greenhouses three thru seven.