Since we’re going to be putting our house on the market, we decided we needed to reclaim our crawl space. Having the hydroponic garden in there has been great for us, but most people would want the space for storage, and the garden was blocking off most of the storage area.
Last month, we transplanted all of our greens from the hydroponic garden into our outside greenhouse. It’s been getting full sun for quite a while now (in the middle of the winter, our neighbor’s house blocks the sun for a good part of the day), and if we don’t open the doors in the morning, the temperature inside will quickly reach 100 degrees. We open the doors during the day and close them at night, which does a great job of keeping the climate inside just right for the plants.
But our little greenhouse isn’t big enough for tomato plants, and there’s no room in it for pepper plants. We have it crammed full of greens, which makes my green smoothie making adventures much easier than they would be if I had to run to the store for greens every day.
So my husband found a fantastic resource online that he used to build “semi-hydroponic” containers for our tomatoes and peppers. He used the directions on the EarthTainer site to create three containers that look pretty much exactly like the ones they show. Last night we hauled the plants out of the crawl space (no easy feat – the tomatoes had been twining around each other for the last eight months. I felt like Russ on Christmas Vacation when his dad tosses him the ball of lights and asks him to untangle them). We got them all planted into the EarthTainers, and they’ve been getting natural – free! – sunlight all day. We’ll have to haul them into the garage on nights when it gets below freezing outside, so we’ll be keeping an eye on the weather for the next month or so. But it feels great to have them safely in their new home.
We’re donating $25 to Feed The Children in trade for the free plans that we were able to download from the EarthTainer website. The guys who created it have put the plans out there for anyone to use, free of charge. They just ask that if you do use them, that you make a donation to Feed The Children, and we’re happy to comply.
It was a bit sad to see our hydroponic garden being dismantled, but we’ll have it all set up again as soon as we move. And it’s nice to know that all of our plants are still growing and producing, but with free sunlight instead of grow lights. Ah, spring.