We have had some beautiful weather this past week. It is amazing how after a long, cold winter a couple of days in the mid fifties seem so warm. This “warm” weather has got me anxious to get out in the garden and plant something. Unfortunately, in Southern Idaho our last frost date is May 16th. Because of the late start I have tried starting seedlings inside in previous years, but I just don’t get enough sun in my house to produce healthy seedlings. So this time of year I flip through seed catalogs, and dream of my glorious garden to come ( In my dreams it is always far more glorious than it turns out in reality). Well, this year I was determined to get a jump on the growing season. I talked my dad into starting some seedlings for me in his greenhouse.
For the past month or two, thanks to dad’s hard work, my little plants have been growing without me. Happy little roma tomato seedlings, tomatillos, cucumbers, jalapenos, and a handful of other plants have been thriving in their perfectly climate controlled greenhouse in sunny southern California.
My parents will be coming up to visit for Easter weekend and bringing my seedlings with them. For any of you who can do some simple math you have already figured out that is still a full six weeks before the last frost date. But I, of course, have a plan. My husband and I have been taking advantage of this nice weather to get outside and build some raised garden beds. The plan is to fashion some cold frames or mini hoop houses over the beds so that we can put the plants in next weekend. I will then monitor my garden beds closely opening the cold frames during the day and closing them again in the evenings. I may even put a heat lamp out there if we have a hard freeze. If all goes well I will be enjoying fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers six weeks before everyone else in my area. If not, next year I will be bugging Dad to build me a greenhouse.
As soon as we finish our garden beds I will post some pictures, and I will keep everyone updated on the success of our cold frames/hoop houses. I am also hoping to have my dad write a post on greenhouse gardening and maybe share some info on mixing potting soils soon. Thanks Dad!
So whether you are still dreaming of spring or you are nursing your own little seedlings – Happy Gardening!