Archive for March, 2011

It’s all your fault!

My story all began with a girlfriend (now my loving wife) that preferred fresh tomatoes over flowers on our first dates together….but I digress….

Anyway…I started this whole gardening  shenanigans with a cold frame built out of a used storm door, a handful of 2×6’s and a few packets of seeds.  My purpose was just to try and grow tomatoes and peppers and basil for our garden.  Well…I ended up with a dozen more plants than I needed so I put an ad on craigslist selling a “salsa garden”  I had DOZENS AND DOZENS of replies and sold the plants in a matter of a few hours.  I had to delete the ad, but I still got lots of e-mails wanting plants.

I remembered this the next year and decided to start a hundred or so extra plants on purpose…those sold like lightning and the requests kept coming.  The next year, I decided to grow a few more…same results…repeat as necessary!

Fast forward to now…I have a large, steady base of valued repeat customers.  I have made dozens of new friends and helped hundreds of people have successful gardens.  I keep meeting more and more new people each year and keep expanding and expanding.  I am putting the finishing touches on my SECOND greenhouse and am looking forward to growing and growing with all of the wonderful gardeners of Kansas City for years to come!

Well here’s an update on the plants and greenhouses…greenhomes?

I had a really useless area on the side of my shed…it was just a catchall for junk and other debris.  I decided to build a privacy fence on the north side and a small rock wall on the south side.  I sunk some 4×6 corner posts and had 20 tons of gravel hauled in and a good friend brought his bobcat over to spread it for me.  I worked on the framing and rafters in the evenings after work and it started to come together a couple of weeks ago.


My grandparents replaced the sliding glass doors in their home with some new ones and I jumped at the chance to re-purpose the old ones.  I had to drive all the way to LOZ and back in heavy rains, but they all made it back in one piece (one broke later on in storage).  I used several of them as walls, and used clear polycarbonate panels for the roof.  My brother came over one afternoon to help with screwing down the roof panels (Thanks Steve!).

I spent a day building shelves and then promptly filled them up!  I still have some more shelves to build, but for now I am in good shape.

I still have several glass doors left…future project???  There is still a bit of work to do to the greenhouse (end of roof, back wall, door, more shelves, etc…) but I’m officially declaring it a success!  I can’t wait for all of you to see the new setup this year; no more walking down the rickety stairs!  You’ll be able to drive right down the driveway and pick up your plants without having to carry them too far.  I’ll also have a nicer area for looking at plants and easier access for those of you that want to tour my garden beds.

Now it’s time to pot up plants!  It’s so exciting as I work with each variety of tomato seedling.  Each has their own unique characteristics even at the seedling stage.  I’ve got a lot of work to do, but be assured, you’ll have super healthy, stocky, plants ready to go in your gardens by the end of April!

Next week, I plan on having a step-by step blog entry on how to build a raised bed.  Stay tuned and happy gardening!


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Early spring…maybe! You can cheat things a bit!

Last week I pushed the envelope of early planting by getting my lettuce seedlings, kohlrabi seedlings, cabbage seedlings, and brussels sprouts seedlings in the garden.  The day after I planted we had a HUGE thunderstorm and it abused them pretty badly, but they are tough.

The low that evening was forecast to drop into the 20’s, so I had to act quickly to save my plants.  That evening I hastily built two “low tunnels” one out of PVC pipe,the other out of wire frames.  I covered both with Agribond 19  (Similar to Reemay) and closed them up with no daylight to spare.

A week later, all of the plants seem to be doing well and are just in need of some sunshine (aren’t we all) to take off and make some salads!

I neglected to take pictures of the tunnels, but my brother took a picture of the one he built once he fawned all over my beds.  Here’s a picture of his Agribond-19 covered bed.

Here’s a peek at how I plant my salad crops.  The only thing I plant from seeds this time of year are radishes and snow peas and onion sets.  Pretty much everything else I start in the house.

This is my bed all tilled with compost, Argonite, and some 5-5-3 organic Fertrell fertilizer added in.

Above is a picture of a flat of lettuce seedlings I started about 3 weeks earlier.

Here you can see the roots of the seedlings

Here you can see them separated and lying in a trench.

Now they are all tucked in and ready for some Caesar Dressing in a few weeks!

A good garden notebook is a must!  I-pod and Depeche Mode tunes optional.

I’m also in the process of building a new greenhouse.  This one will be a lot easier for you guys to visit and pick up your plants.  No more walking down the wood plank and steps!

Here it is in skeleton phase…glass and roof will be on it soon!

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