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Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wisconsin

Posted by binky z5 WI (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 17, 06 at 13:25

Hi! I just bought a small, plastic, unheated greenhouse. I've never had one and wonder what I can do with it, specifically, how early could I start planting seeds in Wisconsin - zone 4/5. I would love to hear from anyone else who has one of these small/unheated ones in a colder zone and any tips. I'm so excited!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

I've done this a couple times myself, although i don't really know what I'm doing, I can warn you that I've had problems with fungus killing off small seedlings.


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

I was thinking of getting one myself. Kratz, did you start the seedlings in the house or was it through winter sowing. I was going to use mine with winter sowing. Thanks. BTW, last year was my first year WS and it went pretty well. Hoping it would speed things up with a mini greenhouse.


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

Hello, I have an unheated greenhouse in zone 5. It is constructed of glass, twinwall. I have found that it keeps things about 10 degrees warmer. I start my seeds inside, prick them out to bedding size. When I start running out of room in the house, I take them to the greenhouse. Some seeds you can expect to tolerate the night temps better than others. pansy, snapdragon, I'm not too experienced on that.

Before I had the greenhouse we set up a stack of plastic storage shelves on the deck and wrapped it in plastic. I would open in the day and close at night. Good luck. Marie


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

Hi binky - Congratulations! A new greehouse is always fun. I have had a 14'X 20' unheated hoophouse in So. Minn near Rochester for going on three years now. Even in our cold cilmate I have lots of things winterover - such as spinch, kale, some lettuces - I plant them in early October. By the tailend of March I usually have all my cold hardy seeds planted in flats (broccoli, cabbages, and cauliflower, ect.). They do just fine. I don't, however, put tomatoes or peppers, etc. that I have seeded in my kitchen into the hoophouse until the 20th or so of April. Then I keep several layers of Remay handy to cover them up if the weather report say hard freeze. I also keep the ground beds wet because the soil is then darker and absorbs more heat during the day. So far I have yet to lose much of anything I have seeded. Good Luck!


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

Thanks so much for the ideas and encouragement!


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

Take a look over in the Winter Sowing forum. You'll find that many of us are using various greenhouse and greenhouse like containers to start seeds very early.

I'm in Zone 5 and have planted seeds from January through April outdoors. I have had great luck with getting very early growth on cool season seeds. For me, March is the prime winter sowing month unless I'm starting something that wants a longer cold period.

Some folks even start tomatoes this way but it hasn't worked for me. Liesl


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RE: Just bought small greenhouse-how early can I plant in Wiscons

I'm in zone 6 but here's what I do. I start lots of seeds in my basement with grow lights. When I run out of room under the lights, I fire up the greenhouse. Depending on the weather, probably next week. I have a couple 1500 watt space heaters to use at night. For the first couple weeks I don't have enough in there to justify heating the whole thing so I block off part of it with plastic and just heat that. I lift the plastic on most days because it will get too hot and to improve air circulation. I also have a box where I plant some lettuce, spinich, carrots, green onions and peas. Lettuce, spinich and green onions have been started downstairs. It's a blast and it makes wintertime easier for me. It's 72 degrees out there right now and the temp out is 32. good luck, have fun, Gary


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