Question Seed raising and greenhouses

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Daniel.Mav, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    hey just a quick question,
    I’ve just purchased a bunch of seeds from eden seeds and a cheap greenhouse from Bunnings with a clear plastic cover. Now, do I leave the clear plastic on or do I remove it and use shade cloth instead? Or do I simply put the shade cloth over the top of the plastic? Or neither and just leave the plastic on and have it unzipped during the day?

    I’ve just moved onto an acre in greenbank and last winter we got a little bit of frost, which never happened in my old suburb, so unsure of what to do with the greenhouse.

    My other concern is mice, would you recommend using mesh on the greenhouse or have you found the plastic or shade cloth to be enough of a barrier to prevent them eating the new seedlings?

    Thanks in advance, Dan.
     
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  2. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Got any pics Dan of what type of greenhouse you have? (Some are like shelf with a front and others are “walk in”... I have a “glass house” for seedlings (but the walls and roof are clear blown plastic). This gets WAAAAAY too hot in summer without shade so I have shade cloth inside the roof and down some of the walls. I’m sure draped over the outside would be fine - but we get quite a breeze and I was worried about it blowing off. It has an opening window in the roof which I usually leave open in summer. (You could unzip yours during the hottest months but would have to rezip over night I suspect to stop the critters.
    This all makes for a very light (depending on the strength of shade cloth you buy) but humid environment - which still doesn’t suit all seedlings/plants - so you still have to be a bit careful what you stick in their - and about keeping water up to them as per each plant preference.
    We have river rats and possums. They can’t get into the glasshouse, but I have used fine vegetable netting on a timber frame over the veggie patch before (was too hard to get on and off to continue on with). They never chewed through that - but then I’ve had mice chew through a tent before to get to our food...maybe natives aren’t quite so voracious!! I think if you went with shade cloth over plastic it would prob be enough.
    Hope that’s of some help!!
     
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  3. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks for the reply. The green house I got was the shelf one. Only 1m tall x 30cm deep. I’ll definitely have to close it up in the evening for the pests and the cold. Just not sure about the plastic being on at all. Like you said, the humidity might be too much. I guess all I can do is try it out.
     
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  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The mice will get in under the frame where it sits on the ground and through the tiny holes around the edges of the plastic cover.
    I have one of these which I used to sprout barley for the horses in the dry season, but the mice got in no matter what I did.
    I solved the rodent problem by feeding the mice outside the little greenhouse with bait blocks! Then I was able to sprout the grain but it had to be in complete shade. Any sort of heat sent the seed off.
     
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  5. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah, those little pests are magicians!
    I’ve just covered the frame (excluding the front) with heavy shadec cloth and slipped the clear plastic over the top of it. My thoughts are that once the seeds sprout, I’ll take the plastic off and it’ll just have the shade cloth with the front open for good ventilation. I was thinking about making the actually seed trays mouse proof instead of the whole structure. Eventually I’ll build a large shade house 2x1m and tall enough to walk in.
     
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  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Daniel, if you are setting any form of peas or beans, you might find the plastic traps too much humidity and those seeds might succumb to rot or mildew either prior to germination or right after while they still have their Cotyledon leaves (the first seed leaves).
    These leaves have no resistance to disease.
     
  7. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    At the moment I’ve got tomato, cauliflower and broccoli seeds in the greenhouse with the shade cloth on and the plastic over the top.
    I’m misting seeds to keep them moist.
    My plan was to take the plastic off after the seeds germinate.
    The whole front of the greenhouse is open with no shade cloth and it is facing south.
    I’m using these seeds as a trial to see how it all goes. If I get any pest damage I’m going to try and enclose the bottom and front with mouse wire....but somehow keep it removable so I can get into it.
    I’ve also direct sowed beans and peas to see if anything eats them. If so, I’ll laydown some mouse wire onto the dirt with bricks to hold it down.
    Eventually I’ll build a large shade house with tables that we more difficult for mice to climb up.
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I have an old seedling greenhouse like the one you described and I eventually replaced the plastic with some white shade cloth - it's just about rusted out now but it has done us good for years.

    As for mice, sometimes I will protect seedlings with a barrier like an upturned mesh tray or plastic container with a heap of holes drilled into it until the seedlings get a few inches high and then the rodents usually leave them alone. You could also germinate some crops indoors and then transfer out into the seed raising area.

    I find the mice have a harder time finding my open trays hanging off our tank. I made them out of avery mesh and the chain is from old hanging baskets.

    seed raising area 1000.jpg
     
  9. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    My broccoli has sprouted already since Saturday. Let’s see if anything takes it. I just shut the chickens up and noticed a field mouse run through the coop. Not much I can do I suppose. I like the idea of just covering the seedlings with a mesh tray. Seems the easiest and most efficient. Thanks everyone for your help and ideas.
     
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