Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom : The Importance of Temperature

Happy Wednesday! I'm currently sitting inside the greenhouse debating if it's better to go buy more cold medication or just wait out the tail end of this sinus cold. I'm not running a fever so I think I'll save myself the drive. The seed starter incubator is working well, it's maintaining the temperature nicely at night which is good because it's still getting down well below freezing at night. In fact it was snowing an hour ago but not settling because it's now plus 2. Inside the greenhouse is +15 even though it's cloudy and windy outside. It's nice.


Our seed starter is a bakery rack that's been framed out and covered with 6mil poly. Inside there's a small portable fan type electric heater set to 400w, a thermostat that controls the heater, a hydrometer and a remote sensing thermometer that lets me monitor the temperature from my bedroom. There is some temperature variation due to air stratification which is why we use a fan heater and put our heat loving seeds such as peppers at the top and cooler veggies at the bottom. 


Here's a selection of the peppers we seeded yesterday. Strawberries in the red pots behind are starting to break dormancy. 

That leads me to your Wednesday Wisdom: Know your Temperatures.

Some seeds like a cooler soil to sprout but several varieties will either rot or sprout and wilt because they're too cool. Here's a list of some of the seeds we grow that require lots of warmth to sprout:

Sweet peppers
Hot peppers
Tomatoes
Melons
Bush and pole beans
Corn, especially the super sweet and sugar enhanced varieties

These can be started indoors or outside once the soil temperature is over 21 degrees. I recommend planting them at the beginning of a warm spell in June or July here in the north. 

Another thing to know is storage temperatures of produce. I know you may be thinking that I'm talking about root cellars but I mean everyday fruits and veggies you probably have right now.

Keep at room temperature:
Bananas
Avocados
Tomatoes
Garlic

Keep cooler but not in fridge:
Onions
Potatoes
Oranges
Apples
Nuts

Refrigerate:
Lettuce
Greens
Carrots
Turnips
Parsnips
Cut fruit and veggies

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