Harvesting and planting Goldenraintree seedlings worked far better than I thought, and the seedlings have thrived in the greenhouse. Some are now 6 inches tall, while others just sprouted within the past few days. As I didn’t anticipate so many of the seeds germinating, I put 2 – 3 seeds in each 1″ by 1″ compartment and ended up with zero to three seedlings in each tiny space. I was reluctant to disturb them at this time of year, but roots were already shooting out of the bottom of the pots and leaves were competing for light. I was really worried about the bare roots below the pot and the thin layer of soil between the roots and the environment as we do not yet know how the greenhouse will perform when temperatures really drop, so I decided to transplant them into bigger pots.
I thought my husband was a little crazy when he ordered flower pots in bulk at the end of summer, but I have now filled every 1 gallon pot! (Well, I still have one, 1-gallon pot, but it doesn’t count because it’s full of spider webs and therefore unusable until hubby evicts any squatters.) I first used all the smaller pots I had lying around for my treelings, and the last few seedlings are sharing a pot with two neighbors. If they all survive, we will have 32 beautiful trees to plant on our land.
The bag of garden soil I used was dry on top, but a smelly, swampy mess on the bottom. I ended up pouring the bottom third into two large planters to dry out. When I was potting day-lilies a few weeks ago, I read that adding hydrogen peroxide to water or even rinsing the root ball with the solution can prevent root rot and fungal infections. As all of the daylilly transplants are doing well, I watered the seedlings with a weak solution to eliminate any problems that the questionable soil might carry. While skimming the article linked above, I also learned that oxygen is released directly into the soil as the hydrogen peroxide breaks down, which encourages healthy root growth.
Everything is thriving in the greenhouse and the lowest temperatures are staying about 5 degrees above the overnight outdoor temperature. We have a light plugged into a Thermocube that is supposed to automatically turn on when temperatures fall below 35 degrees, but has not yet turned on even when the thermometer recorded a low temperature of 33.8. I re-positioned the cube yesterday to a location where cold air enters around the power cord, but where it is also not placed where it will get watered along with the plants. If we don’t see it turn on before our next trip to the land, I’ll use a timer to just run the light every night. A 60 watt bulb in a reflector kept the greenhouse at 45 degrees on a recent 32 degree night, and I don’t think we’ll have to worry about any 90 degree nights for a while, so that might be the safer solution. Still…. I want to find out if the thermocube will kick in, especially as I recommended it to my brother-in-law as a way to keep temperatures above freezing in his well house. Maybe I’ll put some ice cubes in a zip lock bag and see if I can get it to turn on that way…..
After a trip to the greenhouse in my pyjamas and winter coat, the bad news is that a bag of ice is not working. More tests are required before I write-off the Thermocube as it received great reviews on Amazon, but I will hook up a timer until my doubts have been allayed. The good news is that my transplanted seedlings are doing well.