I promised to keep you guys updated on how the growing process is going for us this year so here I am! Last year we had a lot of failures, even though everything ended up looking beautiful, and I REALLY wanted to do better this year mostly because I really hate wasting resources (and failure is just discouraging).
I had intended to start all of our seedlings in our basement using fluorescent lights, but we have a problem with mice in our basement (it is open to the outside in some places) and I was really worried they would eat all of my sprouts. Turns out, the one thing I tried to start in the basement (larkspur) actually did get destroyed by mice so I'm really glad that I changed plans at the last minute.
Amelia and I went in together on an inexpensive 5'x5' pop-up greenhouse we found on Ebay and it has worked so well for us! I did have to reinforce the seam near the zipper opening/door with duct tape because we open that zipper all day long going in and out of the greenhouse and it started to tear. So far that has been a perfect fix and I really didn't expect this little hothouse to be very impressive given the price. We plan to have a permanent greenhouse eventually but for now this has worked quite nicely for us. The only problem is I want ALL the seeds and I am running out of room to start more.
I had mixed success trying to germinate seeds in the greenhouse. I think for some cool weather plants it is just too warm in there for the seeds to sprout. Everything seems to do wonderfully once they are started though. A fellow flower enthusiast on Instagram is always demonstrating how she starts her seeds in wet paper towels inside plastic bags taped to her windows (inside), and I tried her method for the seeds I was having trouble starting in the greenhouse (mostly poppies and asters). It worked BEAUTIFULLY and the seeds sprout so much faster than they do in soil. Have you ever tried this method?
Things I had perfect success starting in the greenhouse are:
Things I had mixed success with:
Foxglove (this had a better germination rate in the house in a covered tray, but did so so in the greenhouse)
Things that failed to germinate in the greenhouse but did amazing with the wet paper towel method:
Poppies (these actually did germinate in the greenhouse but all died mid-germination, I assume from heat)
It's so lovely to be able to watching things grow and get my hands in the soil even though it's too early to plant much outside (our last frost date is May 15). I hope you enjoyed this little update! If you have any questions let me know, and please share in the comments what you're growing this spring!