Gearing Up the Greenhouse

This winter we've been working on a project that I believe would not only make 2017 awesome in terms of simplifying our lives, but would also be a cool project to share here.

Since we knew were going to sell our townhouse and get another place, we carefully spent time defining what we really needed in the house.

Last year when we bought our home, we were thrilled to get a bonus with our lot. We were looking at 1/4 acre for most of the properties, but this one had just over 1/2 acre for a really good price. The catch? The space needs work.

Expanding the Garden into a Food Forest

I'll get more into our food forest plans later, but the project and goal that I'll be tracking here is  seeing if we can grow half our food.

It  may or may not sound crazy to you, but for us, who have only garden in small plots, this is huge.

I wish I could say the yard was ideal for garden right off the bat, but we learned last year that there are challenges to our space, including:

  • pockets of sunny spots amid shady areas (we have over 20 older trees in just the back yard)
  • moles, deer, rabbits, and other hungry critters
  • poor soil (clay on one end, beachy sand on the other)

In addition to preparing a new garden area, for the first time we're using a greenhouse. It's not huge, but it's a way for us to get a jump start on growing.

Over the past year, we've been working on our space. We started composting, amending the soil, began a small garden to see how things grow .

Prepping Our Greenhouse

We'd like to maximize the seeds we have, so having them start off in the green house and then transplanting seems like safer and more economical option for most of the vegetables. (The exception I keep seeing are carrots.)

We first had to decide on the right greenhouse for us.

We went ahead picked this one up. It's compact and yet we can grow about 75 seeds on a shelf, giving us a good amount of plants.

What's Growing Now

Right now we have on hand:


  • Cilantro
  • Lemon Balm
  • Catgrass
  • Sage
  • Chamomile
  • Oregano


  • Marigold
  • Passion Flower


  • Spinach
  • Kale Red Russian
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomato

Our Methods of Growing

We have two ways we're preparing seeds in our greenhouse.

The first is pretty direct. We take the pellets, add water to expand them, and then plant our seeds. Once the tray is full, we then take it to the greenhouse. Once it's ready, we'll move it to the garden.

The second, I discovered with catching Suburban Homestead. Siloé Oliveira germinates the seeds is a paper plate method. Once opened he then transplants them to their home in the garden.

Grab My Free Garden Planning Spreadsheet

With all that we're growing now and will be growing this year, I have to be better organized.

I've created a garden planning spreadsheet. You can grab for free here! Just make a copy and start keeping records on your garden.

I've also included tab with companion planting notes on some popular vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Thoughts on Growing Your Food

I'd love to hear from you. What are you growing this season?

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