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Planting for a Four Season Harvest, Part 2

A Window "Greenhouse"

EggplantA sunny window is my "greenhouse."  Eggplant, pepper, and tomato go in a heated room; the others, more hardy, in a cool bedroom.  The tender seedlings are removed from the sill at night, but the room itself is cooler than in daytime.  Except on very cold nights, I merely draw the shade between the glass and the comparatively hardy crops.  These methods give good results (I admit a greenhouse would give better); if there are failures, it is my fault.  Once I forgot to take flats of eggplant and tomato out of the window at night.  It was above freezing; the seedlings didn't die, but they stood still in growth thereafter, and weren't worth setting out in the garden.  Eggplant especially must be coddled and can suffer no setback.  I find 10 weeks necessary for growing eggplant seedlings in the house the way I do.  Under controlled greenhouse temperatures, 7-8 weeks is enough.

During their stay inside, seedlings must be transplanted when they are a convenient size to handle.  Best spacing in the new flat is 3 to 4 inches each way.  Tomatoes benefit from a second transplanting inside --- I don't always bother --- perhaps to a peat pot that can be set directly into the ground later on. 

To be continued....

Tirrell, R.  1966, February.  Planting for a 4-Season Harvest.  Organic Gardening and Farming.

Reprinted by permission of Organic Gardening magazine.  Copyright Rodale, Inc., U.S.A.  All rights reserved.

This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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