[Market-farming] Starting seedlings

Pam Twin Oaks pam at twinoaks.org
Wed Dec 5 09:51:46 EST 2007

Brenton asked:
How do most people germinate flats such as tomatoes, peppers and
eggplants when temperatures are cool in unheated tunnels?

I germinate seedlings in an old non-functioning commercial fridge with
a light bulb as heat source.  The insulation in the fridge is good
value! The light bulb provides enough light and heat. We have two
fridges, one is an all-metal body, the other has a glass door. The
glass door one has a shade over the door to stop too much sunlight
cooking everything. We vary the wattage to get the desired
temperature. Once seedlings have germinated we put them in a plastic
tent in an unheated greenhouse. The tent is a low tunnel, with hoops,
and slitted plastic to let extra heat out. Later we move the plants
for the hoophouse over to the hoophouse, which also only has solar
heating. Our system works partly thanks to having the other greenhouse
which has a masonry north wall and glass (patio doors) south side.
Plants do not freeze in there in our climate (zone 7).

Pam Dawling, Twin oaks, Louisa, VA

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