Today is the vernal equinox, more commonly known as the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. For us, it’s very affectionately known as “go day!”. We began talking about our plans for this year’s gardens back in February, but other than drawing diagrams and inventorying seeds, there’s not much to actually do when it’s still cold outside.

We would love to have a greenhouse, but our yard isn’t quite big enough. Last year we tried something called winter sowing. It’s a way to create a mini greenhouse, so that seeds get a jump-start on germinating. We used milk jugs and ended up with decent butternut squash and Brussels sprouts seedlings.

Yesterday, we set up a new take on mini greenhouses. We bought three clear bins with lids. We placed them against the wall of our garage where there is good light for most of the day. We’ve weighted them down with bricks in the bottom of each. The bricks will also help retain heat as the sun warms them up.

Using the bottom part of strawberry containers (the clear plastic ones) as seed starters, we planted cantaloupe, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and thyme seeds. Then we placed the containers on the bricks in the bins, watered the seeds and put the lids on.

I checked a little while ago and condensation is already forming inside the bins. This means the greenhouse magic is already happening. We should see sprouts in seven to ten days. With any luck at all, we’ll have healthy seedlings ready to plant by May 15th.