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My New Mini-Greenhouse

My mini-greenhouse holds lettuce transplants as well as newly sown spinach and beets.

Last season I searched everywhere for a sturdy multi-purpose protective cover that I could use as either a moveable row cover or as a cold-frame. I have some small 2 foot by 1 foot plastic dome covers that I use as row covers in spring but I wanted something larger and better suited to extending our all too short garden season. I also wanted flexibility since I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to use my cover, in a permanent location or in the garden. My main objective was to extend the season by planting earlier in the spring and by keeping some vegetables late into the fall. Last fall I finally found what I was looking for and purchased a mini-greenhouse from Sunpod Greenhouses, a Canadian company located in British Columbia.

With the cold and wet start to our garden season this year, we have been unable to dig in the vegetable garden. In order to get something planted in the ground, I found a permanent home for our new mini-greenhouse, filled it with some good garden soil and have just transplanted out our first lettuce starts. I also sowed some spinach seeds and beets to see how these fair. My plan is use most of the beets for greens but I will leave a few in to get a jump start on the season. My plans are to leave the greenhouse where it is until fall. It will sit empty most of the summer (I will use it to store garden equipment most likely). In fall I plan to start some lettuce and perhaps other cold season crops in September and see just how far I can extend the season into the winter. Next spring my thoughts were to replace the soil and start the process over again. While I initially thought I would move the cover around the garden, this has been a great solution in this cold and wet year.

Another nice feature, in addition to looking great in the garden, is the auto-vents that open up the side windows when the inside heats up too much. The top can be completed opened on warm days and will allow me to easily harden off anything placed inside.

Next week, fresh salad!

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