greenhouses and starting garden plants

I'm a beginning gardener looking forward to this years garden and would like some idea of what I can start and when.
I'm in 7b and have a small homespun "greenhouse" (8' * 8'), this keeps the night time temps about 10 degrees off the outside and daytime temps upwards of 30 degrees warmer. I've added thermal mass and insulation, and if needed I can raise the temps 10 degrees by turning on a 250W heat lamp.
Would this be a suitable enviornment for germinating seeds for my garden?
Should I start about a month or so before the last frost date?
Daves Garden:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q0315&submit=Go
Gives me mid Feb for an average last 24 and March 24 for the average last 32.
I had too late a start for snow peas last year, they did well until it warmed up and I'm thinking I need to really get an early start.
Jeff
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When does the weather get too warm for peas? Here in Oregon, my peas flourish well into June and sometimes into July if it's not too warm. We can have 100 on July 4th, or we can have 65 and rain.
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I started my peas in Novemeber and now have tons. Where in 7b are you? I am in the East of 95 corridor in North Carolina and I believe that is 7 b as well. I have had a green house for 3 years,I guess what I am saying is that I can be more specific if I know where you are.
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mj wrote:

I'm *in* Atlanta.
What precautions do you need to take, and did you need to use any heat? I know little about using greenhouses..., but since I have one, I'd like to put it to use!
Last year I planted snow peas (which whithered and died), tomatoes, cukes and melons and a few others. I'd like to get an earlier or less expensive start.
Jeff
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I have an electric heater with a thermostat that keeps the greenhouse above freezing. I have 2 snow pea plants that are producing like crazy. I also have leaf lettuce and believe it or not a type of cherry tomato currently. I have started my peppers and tomatoes in the house but will transfer them to the greenhouse by the end of the month. Just for fun I started a zucchini plant in an Aero Garden in December and put it in the greenhouse a few weeks ago. It has 2 zucchini on it. Will you also be planting in the ground? I will start more lettuce, onions and spinich the first week in March. I also grow melon and cucumbers and of course more squash outside and will plant those seeds the first of April. Cucumbers don't seem to do well in the greenhouse. Do you have vents or windows? They will become key during the summer months. I should also mention that everything in my greenhouse is grown hydroponicly. There is a book I use for reference; The Greenhouse Expert by Dr. D. G. Hessayon.
"Less expensive start?"... I am not sure what you mean. If you mean not a lot of success and the price of seeds I can tell you that I use the 20 cent packages from Walmart. The seed catalogs look great but I have not found the $4.00 seeds to be any more worthy. I hope this helps a little. I enjoy garden talk.
MJ
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mj wrote:

How about that!

Yes, I mainly want to start in the greenhouse. Later in the year it will be shaded.
I will start more lettuce,

That makes sense. Is it downy mildew? Melons OK though?

That's interesting. I put in a drip irrigation for the garden last year. Since I have a timer, some pumps and lots of tubing I'm thinking I might have the beginning of a hydroponic setup. What do you use for a medium?
There is a book I use for reference; The

Thanks.

Actually I meant seeds not plants. I pretty much want to grow the same stuff that you have

Thanks, Jeff

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Some plants start well indoors, but others will do better planted directly into the ground (some plants do not transplant well). I've started tomato and pepper seeds indoors, usually 4-5 weeks before the average last frost date. If started too early you may get weak spindly plants.
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Phisherman wrote:

OK. I have a couple weeks to gather what I want. If I just get peppers and tomatoes started, I'll be happy. That and snow peas! Thanks.
Jeff
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I have not tried melon in the greenhouse. Actually what I did was another "why not" thing. I have a sandy beach so I took big black pots and buried them. I planted the cantalope and watermelon in the pots. I figured that the vines could spread and go where ever they wanted to and they did. I also put some winter squash in. It worked, in theory, and I did get some produce but without irragation, even less rain and lack of attention they didn't do as well as they could have. THIS year, I promise !! It sounds like you are started on hydroponics. The medium I have is a clay pellet. I am not real fond of it and hope to change when it is worn out.
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