grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Grow Rack Assembled

Here's the grow rack I got for Christmas. I finally assembled it today. There's also a plastic cover that goes over it. This thing was really a pretty good bargain if it holds up. It's made of metal and plastic and even though there were no assembly instructions, it was pretty easy to figure out. Here's my question - how do I know when it's safe to put my seedlings outside in this thing? The plastic cover zips up so I'm assuming it gets pretty warm in there but how warm do you think it gets inside during the daytime? I'd really love to get my seedlings out of the basement so that I can start more stuff but if they died I'd just die.
Soaking Smoke Tree and Tamarisk which will be planted this afternoon. I think I'll just keep them in pots on the patio until I decide where they should go.


  1. Hi Gina
    I'm sorry I don't know what acceptable temperatures there are for day and night scales for seedlings. But I am sure one of your readers will know and say something.
    I understand not wanting anything to die after all the effort you have put in on them.
    Hang in there and some one should post for your questions.

  2. Hi Gina,

    Your mini greehouse looks great, but don't be in too much of a hurry to put your plants outside. What kinds of seedlings do you have? That will make a difference as to what low temps they will tolerate. Some are more tender than others.

    The temps should be at least in the high 40s at night for most seedlings. No colder.

    Get an outdoor thermometer and place it in your greenhouse and check the temperatures at different times during the day and night. Do this before you put any plants into it.

    What direction will the greenhouse be facing? I had a large plastic walk-in greenhouse and it got very hot inside and I had to shade it to keep the temperatures bearable. But the plastic will not hold the heat well and it will become cold at night. I had a small heater in mine. If you put your plants out too soon, you'll have to bring them in at night.

    Also, you will have to open the flaps somewhat to keep it cooler and allow fresh air in. And keep a close eye on how moist your plants are. They can dry out very quickly if it is a sunny day.

    I would say that the heat will be your biggest problem. If you weren't supplied with shade cloth when you got the greenhouse, pickup some loosely woven material to drape over it . I kept my shade cloth on all the time. Make sure it isn't able to blow away either.

    Also, keep the greenhouse in a protected spot. It looks as if the wind could tip it over fairly easily. I would say the grow rack was meant to put bigger transplants in and isn't like a greenhouse. It would be a good place to harden off plants though.

    I hope that answers your questions.
    Check out some seed starting sites on the internet or invest in a good garden/seed starting book.

    Don't let the Smoke Tree and Tamarisk freeze in their pots outside. That will kill them. Keep them in a bright cool place inside until the temperatures are a little more seasonal. You can put them out in the morning and bring them in at night.

    Sounds like a lot to remember but you'll get the hang of it. Good luck.

  3. I have something similar to this and tried to use it to stretch out my fall gardening last fall. (I had containers of lettuce and other cool weather stuff in it...) Unfortunately, I'm not sure it did much to protect my pants. I had a thermometer in it and the temp inside was pretty much always the same as the temp outside... It did do a good job of protecting the plants from strong wind, which would probably be useful for seedlings. I ended up moving mine indoors into the basement, added lights, and now its where I have all my seedlings going.

  4. I have one of these, and I put a bunch of gallon jugs full of water on the bottom shelf to soak up heat during the days and thereby keep it just a bit warmer in there at night... It would probably work even better if the jugs were black but I never tried that -- juts used empy milk jugs.