It’s still cold here. And we’ve got an unseasonably cool week ahead, and that means I have wait even longer to get my tender seedlings and other heat lovers into the ground. So I’m even more happy about owning what has become an indispensible tool for me in early spring: A pop-up greenhouse. I set the the thing up on my patio in mid March, and into it go young cuttings, seedlings (by now, my indoor space is overrun) and a few tropicals, enough to give at least a few containers a head start when I’m ready to pot them up in late May.
The greenhouse lets them get plenty of light and keep things toasty most nights. When the mercury really tumbles, I turn on this little portable heater to warm things up. This thing works ever so much better than a cold frame for two reasons: One, I can jam a lot more stuff into it, and two, it’s much taller and can accommodate plants such as the 3-foot-tall abutilons currently stuffed in one corner.
Once I empty all the plants out by late May, the little plastic greenhouse folds up to about 6×6 feet and 8 inches wide, and back to the basement it goes. Yes, I might be able to get the whole kit and kaboodle into the even smaller space the manufacturer intended, but that’s even harder then refolding a road map the right way. Still, this is a great gizmo for anyone who likes seed starting and tender perennials as much as I do.
That said, I’d also like to throw in my two cents on the hori-hori, or garden knife that Nan wrote about a couple postings ago. Those things rule! Adios trowels, the garden knife does it all faster, easier, and better. And its serrated edge is handy for sawing through roots or for coaxing divisions out of tough perennials.