Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung....

Spring has officially arrived and seeding has already started in the greenhouse.
This year we are experimenting with hot beds. Our greenhouse is solar passive.  We rely on the sun to heat it during the day and we use low tunnels, straw or insulation sheets and floating row covers to keep the heat in the beds during the night. This year we thought we would try using hotbeds to provide a little more warmth for the seeds and seedlings during the colder nights.
Onions & Celery 
Michael has salvaged some old wood and has built a 2ft high by 8ft long raised bed, we have stacked some of our low raised beds on top of one another, but by far my favourite construction is the straw bale beds. All the beds have  been filled with a mixture of rotting and fresh manure thanks to the assistance of May & Lily!  We have been monitoring the temperature in the beds to make sure it does not get too hot and also to make sure it does not get too cold. 
Once the manure has decomposed it will be cultivated into the market garden.  The straw we have been using will also be recycled into the garden as mulch to suppress our weeds and help keep the moisture in the ground, especially if we have another summer like last year where we reached drought conditions on the farm!

Onions in a straw hot bed.