Protecting your seedlings when your weather does not cooperate

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I like to push the envelope my luck when I decide to start seeds outdoors and this year is not an exception.  Just yesterday I posted about planting the rest of my outdoor seeds where karma responded with a freak snow storm and freezing temperatures.

I am not too worried about about the new seeds I planted since many have been sitting dormant in the refrigerator for almost 12 months so few more days in about the same temperature shouldn’t be too traumatic for the lettuce, carrots, and cilantro.

The plants I have concerns with are the spinach seedlings which have just started to break through the soil.  Fortunately spinach are pretty cold tolerant but weight of the snow on top of them is not a great way for them to start their time in the world.

After a quick search through the garage I found a great solution, a plastic storage tub, which fit perfectly over the irregular rectangular space I planted them.

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Tada.   If I wanted to get all fancy, I would add some holes for venting/etc but I chose to set a small cinder block on top and call it good.  After a couple days, I should be able to remove it until the next freak storms comes our way.

Stupid groundhog…

Update: This is what the tub looked like after a few minutes in the sun (instant humidome)

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Make a cheap soil sifter (sieve)

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Unfortunately I only have one compost bin which I continuously add materials to, so I never have a complete “batch” of compost at one given time. In order to be able to filter out the finished compost from the non-composted material I created a soil sifter (sieve)

I checked out soil sifters online but didn’t find anything that I liked so I decided to make one myself. I went to the home improvement store and picked up a roll of ½ inch wire mesh and a 2”X4”X8’ piece of lumber. I cut two pieces one inch shorter than the width of the wire mesh and cut the remaining piece of lumber in half. Screw all the pieces together and pull wire mesh over the rectangular frame. Staple the mess around on the side of the frame and you are all done.

To use, just lean it against a wall or fence at a 45 degree angle (wire mesh facing down) and just dump your compost on top, the composted material falls through the stuff that needs a little more time stays on top which you can throw back into the compost bin.

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