For the last few days, the nighttime lows have been barely above zero and the daytime highs not reaching thirty, and with a strong wind. Brrr! While I’m trying to water the seedlings that are up and plant still more, Will has been busy starting our new permanent greenhouse. In a short time, I’ll be transplanting hundreds of seedlings and I’m already running out of room to put flats. Yesterday, I bought two more little tabletop greenhouses as I have just enough room to put them, in the living room and sunroom. Then I am out of room! Luckily, the temperatures are forecast to be getting warmer so we can open the door from the sunroom to the enclosed back porch, where we have even more greenhouse units and tables available.

Will was careful to get the railroad footing square and level.

The ground had frozen but, luckily, Will had gotten the railroad ties leveled for the most part. But yesterday, with frozen ground, he went out, not quite satisfied with them, and used the pick to chop out some corners and get the ties perfectly square and level. Today, our dear friend, Alisha, stopped by for a quick visit and she wanted to help Will take apart some treated lumber we’d gotten somewhere in the past as a kids’ playset. Bill had taken part of it to add to his playset for Mason and Ava, but we still have a lot left over. Now it’s going to be put to good use. We love that. A whole lot of that greenhouse is going to be built out of recycled material, greatly reducing the cost and giving us a nice feeling of satisfaction.

We were happy to see Alisha. She helped Will take apart some salvaged lumber for the new greenhouse.

I saw the first robin of the year. Spring is here! — Jackie


  1. Hi Jackie,
    So happy to see you are having warmer temps and can get busy on your greenhouse.
    I have so many questions about how you are building it and what materials you are using.
    What size will it be when finished? Can you send your plans and ideas so we can follow along?
    Thank you very much. You both inspire me weekly.

  2. My late dh’s grandfather either planted potatoes on Good Friday or wouldn’t plant them at all that year. I plant when the weather cooperates and in N. Iowa that’s usually not until mid-May.

    I’m concerned about this being another drought year. Soil moisture is 2 to 3 inches down currently. Last year was very dry all growing season. Heard on farm radio that we are in year 3 of a 7 year drought cycle which was not encouraging. I’m in town and we have not been allowed to irrigate the last several years.

  3. My husband’s father always planted potatoes on Good Friday. I’d never heard of that notion, having grown up in northern MN, but he–in central Iowa–lived by it. I haven’t even tilled the garden for the first time this year yet, nor gotten my seed potatoes from Jung Seed Company; not happening here! But tomorrow’s going to be near 80 degrees in this Des Moines area, so its getting closer to the time.
    Happy Easter!

  4. I’m glad your cold is dissipating there. It’s been kind of a weather roller coaster ride here but nice it’s warmed up in 60’s so far this week in my part of Iowa.
    I too am running out of room for seedlings and I’m looking forward to getting some things outside as well as getting on the greenhouse plan.
    Will’s hard at work on your greenhouse and soon you’ll have it to put your plants in.

    • It can’t come too soon for me! I feel sorry for all these little plants, leaning toward the sunny window.

  5. Dear Selena,
    My Dad passed away at 94 this past July. He always planted on Good Friday everything that he could. He said Jesus died and was buried on Good Friday and since He rose from the grave, the old timers always said your crop would surly rise from the ground. That was his explanation to me.

    • That’s a good explanation, JH. But if we planted our potatoes on Good Friday, they’d probably freeze on Easter. We don’t dare plant before the first of June and sometimes later than that.

      • I love that analogy JH! Your Dad and the old timers sound very wise, but also sound like they probably didn’t live in the north country. :) I’m with Jackie, no planting here in SW Montana on Good Friday, unless we want everything to freeze and rot. ;) With that being said, if you’ve never seen the movie ‘Faith Like Potatoes’, check it out. It’s a wonderful and amazing true story of farming and faith.

      • Jackie,
        Here in NC we just planted our Potatoes last week. April 12th. We normally plant a little earlier but it did not get warm this year to quick. We have green onions ready to eat though!! Boy are they delicious!!
        I Hope you had a Blessed Easter. I do so enjoy your Blog and you magazine!

  6. I wish our cold, windy and snowy weather would go away. My seedlings are doing very well, except the King of the North haven’t came up yet. It’s been 3 weeks, should I be worried? Glad you are getting your greenhouse up.

    • Don’t worry yet but they should be up if the temperature is above 70 degrees. The cooler the area is, the longer it takes for seeds to germinate. If you saved some seeds, I’d replant, just to be sure. Mine were up in a week but they were behind our wood stove.

      • I should’ve known that! Been wondering why my melon seed, squash, and cucumber were slow! Thanks, Jackie.

  7. I see inspector Hondo is on the job. Been a bit cold here too but nice weather starting today through next week. More seeds have germinated and today we’ll be planting potatoes. If anyone has ever heard why Good Friday and potato planting are connected, please reply. I guess the potatoes don’t care if they are planted end of March, end of April, or somewhere in between.

    • That saying must have originated quite a bit farther south than Minnesota. Even I am not even remotely thinking about planting potatoes! The ground is still frozen down a few inches.
      Hondo keeps Will on his toes. And who knows if a nice fat vole might be hiding under that lumber?

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