seedlings in my hoop house

Hoop House, Starting Seeds

I planted lots of Brassicaceae (cabbage-family) seeds a week ago. They are all cute little sprouts now. They are down in my hoop house with onion, beet, parsley, spinach, and lettuce seedlings. It’s cool, in the 40’s (F), outside today but bright sunshine. The hoop house is at 80F. My husband ran power down there the other day, so my fan is kicking in when the temperature gets to 80.

I love to be able to tend seedlings in on the hoop house benches rather than inside on my shelve under lights. I can see them easier, lots of space to move them around, I don’t have to carry each one to the sink for water. I can just splash water (gently) on them without worrying about the water that ends up spilling all over the floor.

The night time temperatures have been pretty mild here this past week. Most nights in the 40’s. A few nights have gone down just below freezing. On these nights I covered the trays with row cover, with the trays on the cement floor. They’ve been fine. I brought my new long heat mat (holds 4 trays) down today and so I can use that on cool nights now. I’ll put a timer on it so it’s only on at night.

Tonight, the forecast low is 19F. That’s really chilly. I don’t want to risk it, so I’m planning to bring the five trays inside the house just over night. The rest of the week seems ok (between 28 and 40F) for them to stay in the hoop house on the heat mat with row cover.


5 Comments. Leave new

  • your seedlings look so good…. over the years I have found that if I take a little time up front to space the seeds when it is time to pot up the seedlings it is so much easier and I don’t loose any since the roots don’t tangle and I don’t waste seed…. for tiny seeds like lettuce and snapdragons I use a small bamboo skewer.. dampen the end and then use that to pick up individual seeds and space them in the flat..a tooth pick would work too…just nip off the pointed end

    • I’ve used several different ways to plant seeds kin the past years. At Mass Hort, we always used trays with small cells and planted single seeds. I find these dry out fast at home so plant in 6packs and I sow pkenty if seeds and then thin them. I’ve seen many different ways to sow seeds over the years. I’d like to put together a list on the methods. I think there may not be one best way. Sometimes different methods work better for different Gardeners.

      • I meant to reply by saying thank you for this method. It sounds really helpful. I have such trouble with the tiny seeds.

        Tomorrow I am planning to plant my tomatoes. Those are seeds that I ration and plant sparingly. I have a good tomato seed collection and even though the seeds last about 10 years, I don’t like to waste any. I just bought a package that had only 5 seeds! A special new variety (Mountain Rouge).

        So thanks for your advice! It is great to hear from you.

  • The bamboo squewer sounds like a great idea. I spent an hour yesterday and thinned my seedlings. I had to pull a lot of them. I should have clipped them off at the soil so as not to disturb roots of ones I left but I didn’t and went ahead and pulled to thin. They look pretty good now. I thinned to 3-5 per cell. Once they get a couple sets of leaves I’ll up-pot.

  • A great suggestion Barbara! Thanks. I spent a lot of time thinning yesterday.


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