Over the past couple of weeks, Sharmon Provan has been starting seeds and potting up small plants in the greenhouse so we will have an abundance of plants to add to the gardens in late May and early June. Sharmon uses a spreadsheet that lists all of the plants being added into the gardens this year in order to determine which seeds need to be started and when they should begin. Growing plants from seed allows us to grow a large variety of plants on our own at the fraction of the cost of buying in finished plants from nurseries. Currently, we have one heated greenhouse with hopes of adding heat to our second greenhouse this year. Even though these two greenhouses can only provide a fraction of the plants being added, starting plants from seed allows us to grow unusual vegetables and annuals that we may not be able to find as finished plants.
We also buy in some of our plants as small plants called plugs. Once these plants come in, Sharmon can pot these plugs into larger pots and grow on in the greenhouse. By the end of May, these plugs will grow into sizable plants, ready to planted right into the gardens.
When you visit us this summer, feel free to ask any of our horticulture team about the plants in the gardens and if we grew them right here in our greenhouses. As we grow as a garden in the coming years, we hope to add several more greenhouses in order to produce more of the plants right here, on site.
-Rodney Eason, director of horticulture and plant curator