Category Archives: Starting – Growing in a Greenhouse

Cold Snap :0(

It’s a good thing that I took pics of the remaining flowers and shared them with you because we had a cold snap last night and all is gone now. These were the black elephant ear and impatiens.

 

Not sure yet about the roses. We may have Indian Summer here and may still get some blooms, but the impatiens are definitely gone.

 

The tomato plants are also gone.

 

I lucked out, mostly, in the greenhouse. I lost all the tomato sucker plants, but the lettuce and celery plants are still with us. My husband agreed that we could bring whatever was still alive in the greenhouse inside. I set up a card table in the dining area and used the wheelbarrow to bring all the plants in. I cleaned up the greenhouse and it will be quiet out there until I start thinking about starting seeds and plants out there to hopefully get a jump on my spring square foot garden.

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1st Harvest from the Greenhouse!

It’s the 6th of November and I gathered the first harvest of lettuce from my fall plantings.  We’ll enjoy some of it in our salad for dinner tonight! This is Iceberg Head Lettuce. Left in the garden in the early spring, it eventually forms a head in the center of the plant, but I love eating the loose outer leaves until the head forms. I have no idea if these plants will form a head in the greenhouse or not.

 

Here’s another view of the harvest for today.

Since we’re having wave after wave of cold fronts moving through, with rain and significantly cooler weather each time, I coiled up the long extension cord that runs from the back of the house out to the greenhouse to power the exhaust fan that is on automatic to turn on when the temperature reaches 80 inside the greenhouse, and the second fan I usually keep running. We can also run lights out there, but usually don’t. The cord is now inside the greenhouse until early spring.

Besides the lettuce, I still have some celery that isn’t making stalks yet, but is still looking good (more on the window sill that will either come out to the greenhouse or stay in the house, depending on whether it’s starting to freeze on a regular basis or not, plus tomato suckers I planted. I still have several that are alive. I’m hoping to bring the healthiest looking ones inside for the winter.

I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m having a blast with this experiment. :0)

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Lewis Greenhouse

Today when I went out to the greenhouse, I got everything watered and then concentrated on cleaning things up a bit. One thing led to another and the time flew. I spent over an hour puttering around.

It’s amazing how much there is to do out there! The 6mm black stuff we spread on the floor is deteriorating quickly because of sun and water. I’ve been moving old welcome mats out there to cover up the tears as much as possible to prevent me inadvertently catching a toe and tearing it more. There was a bunch of SAND in there, though. How does that happen? Anyway I swept up a BUNCH of ‘stuff’ from the floor and spread out the mats again. I neatened up the supplies and then brought a large trash can full of trash to the garage. I took the 2-gallon spray container of EIGHT out to spray ants INSIDE my greenhouse. I hosed them down well, and then hit other areas between the greenhouse and the house on the way back.

I’ve had to get rid of tomato suckers that didn’t make it, but a surprising number are still alive! I have four celery plants that seem to be doing well, and the iceberg head lettuce is looking good. I haven’t started harvesting yet, but will soon.

We supposed to get rain tonight and all day tomorrow with cooler temperatures, so I wanted to get the greenhouse in reasonable shape before we get it. The way the wind is blowing, with dark clouds above, we may get it before this evening.

I hope you’re getting to enjoy the weather, too.

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Fun in the Greenhouse – October 27, 2018

This is my greenhouse. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that I haven’t done much with it until recently. We run electricity out there with two super-long extension cords so that we can run the exhaust fan and a secondary fan, plus a light, if needed, but we don’t have cooling or heat, due to the expense.

I’ve been trying to get it set up all summer long, but we actually lost a regular, bulb-type thermometer out there due to excess heat, even with both fans on and the door open. The thing simply blew its top – spewing the red stuff all over the place, as if someone with super colorful blood had died out there. The thermometer stopped at 120 degrees F., so I assume it was hotter than that. Needless to say, the heat in there was not conducive to me spending time out there, or even thinking about trying to grow anything.

Now that our temperatures have cooled off, I’m having so much fun trying to see what I can do!  I have iceberg head lettuce growing (one set of plants bought when they were very small, and the other set bought when they were really leggy – almost too much to get planted.) I was very lucky to get those, so I’m doing what I can with them.

The three large pots hold the leggy lettuce plants. The 4 smaller pots have celery I started indoors.

 

The two pots on the right at the top of the picture are what remains of the small lettuce plants. The rest are tomato suckers I gathered and planted.

These are also tomato sucker plants. I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m having a blast.

I could go ahead and start cutting the outer lettuce leaves for our dinner salads, but the plants are looking so pretty I want to give them more time before I start harvesting. I’m thinking about starting some radish seeds, too.

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Fun in the Greenhouse

I had a lot of fun working in the greenhouse this morning. I’m reading a book, Greenhouse Gardening – A Beginner’s Guide by Jason Johns to try to figure out what I’m doing. :0)

It FINALLY quit raining today, so I’ve been out there and back again several times. It was 90 degrees in there this morning, so I’ve propped open the door, hooked up the electricity so the exhaust fan turns on automatically, and turned on the 2nd fan.

On the left side of this picture, are new tomato suckers I planted today. A couple of them were large, so they’re in the larger pots. To the right you can see the two smaller lettuce plants I planted a couple of weeks ago. They’re not thriving, but they are still alive. In front of them are more tomato suckers I started today.

I moved the six leggy lettuce plants into much larger pots to give them room to spread out. They’re looking really healthy. I’ll start cutting outer leaves from each of the plants for dinner salads soon. In front of the two big pots on the left, You can see the celery plants I started in the house from cuttings from celery I bought at the store.  In front of the pot on the right are more tomato sucker plants.

I just read about tomato plants in my greenhouse book. He suggests they need a LOT of air circulation around each plant, so I think I’ll go back out and move them from the 4 and six-pack planters to each in a 3-4″ pot to give them the best chance possible.

 

I’m like a kid at Christmas with the lettuce plants. I can’t wait to be able to bring leaves in and bite them!

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Fall Greenhouse Project Report 10-15-2018

The two plants on the left are the small iceberg head lettuce plants I bought recently. They’re still alive, but I can’t say they’re thriving. The plants on the right are the tomato suckers I gathered and planted last week. As you can see, they’re still alive, too. :0)

These are the longer, leggy-looking iceberg head lettuce plants I found several days later. I planted them as deeply as I could, trying to have the soil support the plants as much as possible. They seem to be doing really well. I’m watering the saucers under the plants, rather than the plants themselves, thinking the plants will draw the water up if they’re thirsty.

 

This is looking down at one of the lettuce plants. I’m so pleased so see lots of activity.

The outside temperature this morning is 45 degrees F.  The temp in the greenhouse was between 55 and 60. I still have the electricity hooked up, so the exhaust fan can turn on if it wants to, but I’m not expecting that any time soon. If we’re having anything beyond a temporary cold snap, I’ll probably disconnect the extension cord that runs all the way across the yard from the greenhouse to the back of our home.

In another day or two, if things still look good, I’ll harvest a few leaves of lettuce for our dinner salad!

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Progress in the Greenhouse!

I found these suckers on a tomato plant and replanted them in the greenhouse. I’ll be trying to get lots of others started, as it’s too cool outside now for the tomato plants to create ripe tomatoes. I’m HOPING that I can either have tomato plants ready to replant in the planters in the spring, or even have a ripe tomato or two to enjoy! So far, these seem to be doing well.

Yesterday I turned off the second fan and closed the greenhouse door. The exhaust fan is still hooked up and will turn on if the temp gets over 80 degrees in there.

 

These are the really small lettuce plants I planted about a week ago. They’re still alive, but aren’t having an explosive growth.

 

I took TWO shots of the ‘leggy lettuce’ I planted several days after the small ones. Here you can see how large they are compared to the smaller one on the right.

 

If they continue to do this well, I’ll start carefully cutting larger leaves to include in our dinner salads!

I also have several celery plants I’ll bring out to see how they do. :0)

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Greenhouse Lettuce Experiment

 

 

I’m a newbie at growing things in my greenhouse. My husband and I built this last spring. By the time we finished, it was already time to plant things in our raised bed square foot garden, so I didn’t do anything but try to get things into the greenhouse in preparation for planting later. As the spring went into summer, I found that the temperature inside the greenhouse was WAAAAAY too hot – no matter how many fans I ran – to grow anything then.

Now that our temperatures are finally cooling down some, I got the last of the available lettuce plants for sale in town in order to TRY to get them to grow in the greenhouse. I’m hoping that I can keep them alive and we can enjoy fresh iceberg head lettuce and maybe a tomato or two before we get hard freezes. (Today it’s raining, but I’m trying to gather some suckers from our remaining tomato plants to start out there.

The main purpose of the greenhouse is to extend the growing season as much as I can, mainly by starting seeds in there at the first of March, plus maybe getting some plants from the local stores before it’s technically warm enough to start them in the garden. If I can do that, I’ll be a very happy camper, indeed.

I’m trying to give the plants all the water they need by filling the terra cotta and/or faux terra cotta saucers under the pots, rather than watering the pots directly, hoping that the plants will draw up what they need and be happy. So far, so good.

As soon as I can find and get the tomato suckers planted, I’ll give you a progress report.

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Greenhouse News

These are the smaller iceberg head lettuce plants from several days ago. I lost one overnight, but these two still seem to be viable.

The are the larger, leggy plants I planted yesterday. I’m pleased to see these are still alive. I’ve decided to pour water in the bottom of the saucers and let the plants draw the water up, rather than watering from the top down.

 

This is one side of the greenhouse.

This is the opposite side.

The far end.

The door end.


The side from outside.

Amber, my greenhouse helper.

Later, I’ll try to find tomato sucker plants.

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2nd Session in the Yard

I started out to the deck, going out the back door. I noticed that there was Amber hair and dirt all over the floor on the porch, so I swept that out. I still need to clean the table so that we can eat out there, now that things are cooling off some.  The plywood across the back is to keep Amber from getting too enthusiastic in wanting to chase something in the yard. She stands up and props her front feet up on the upper edge of the plywood and barks.

 

There is a very short period of time when it’s glorious on our porch to sit and share a meal. Right now is one of them, so I’m planning to serve our lunch out there today. :0)

 

We’re enjoying the last flowers of the year. These are on the deck, and they just fill you up as you walk out there!

 

Amber and Abby supervised my sweeping off of the deck and spraying the planters for ants again. We cooked out last night, enjoying a super delicious “flex” meal of grilled steak and baked potatoes.

 

 

Then I did another session in the greenhouse. I swept the floor as well as I could. The top level of weed barrier is decaying and breaking up in the sun, so it’s kind of a mess out there right now. I’m going to do this in stages, since I’m still having to stop and spray for ants over and over.

 

I sprayed for ants again inside the greenhouse, cleaned up a few areas, and will do another session later.

 

This is the other side of the greenhouse.

 

And these are the head iceberg lettuce plants I planted today. It would be truly wonderful if these are happy and we can harvest fresh lettuce during the fall and early winter.  The exhaust fan is coming on and going off as it is happy with the temperature in there. I left the door opposite propped open and left the second fan on.

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First Session in the Yard

First thing this morning I was thankful the greenhouse was still up and functional. We’ve had a LOT of wind and rain the past few weeks, so the whole thing could have simple blown over the barbed wire fence and into the next acreage. The top could have torn or blown off, etc. I walked around the outside checking for needed repair and found, to my delight, none was needed!

I cleaned off the tables a bit, throwing out curled and brittle six-pack planters I tried to save, buckled and discolored plastic sheet lids designed to go over young plants, and more.

I hooked up the at least 200 foot extension cord so that the exhaust and second fans would run and propped the door on the opposite side open with a metal chair. The thermostat was down to 90 before I started this. I’m hoping the air circulation will bring that down more.

 

I planted five head iceberg lettuce plants and watered them thoroughly. They’re in a good spot of sun on the table. I wanted to make sure I got those planted, so essentially did that first.

I found a weed growing up through the black weed barrier on the floor, so I pulled it out. When I did, a gazillion little black ants swarmed out. I hurried out of the greenhouse and got the EIGHT spray and 2 gallon sprayer and mixed up a batch. I thoroughly hosed down that spot where the weed was and another spot I found.

I was starting to get hot and tired, so I sprayed my way across the back yard, treating various ant hills with a thorough hosing down with the EIGHT making my way back to the deck. I hosed down all the plants, including the one holding the one weed my husband pulled out. They swarmed out pretty ferociously,  but I kept the spray coming.

The next step on the greenhouse is finding a small broom that can live out there and trying to clean things up as much as possible. Eventually, I want to try to re-purpose bricks from the planters in the front yard that we are going to tear down as soon as the weather gets cooler. I would like to try to make some paths inside the greenhouse – one in front of each line of tables and one going down the middle.  Fingers crossed I can do this.

In the meantime, I’m going to sweep the floor as well as I can, and then prune the rose bushes (an important thing my husband thought had priority.)

I’m glad I can come inside, drink a bottle of water, cool down and relax in-between sessions easily.

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New Greenhouse Experiment

This is the greenhouse my husband and I built last year. I haven’t done anything with it during the summer because no matter what I did, as far as leaving the door open, running the exhaust fan on the other end, running a second fan on the table, it was over 120 degrees F. in there.

 

Now that it’s finally much cooler, I’m going to see if I can get some plants going and see if I can grow them through the winter!

I got a six-pack of Iceberg head lettuce today. I have some tomato plants still in various stages. I’m going to see if I can get some good suckers from them, and get both things started in the greenhouse.

I need to clean things out in there first. The rain comes in underneath, so the floor is pretty awful right now. I want to extend the heavy extension cord from the house to the greenhouse and get the exhaust and extra fan going, and get some pots set up with Mel’s Mix. I need to find my rooting medium and make sure I have plenty of water out there.

THEN I’ll plant the lettuce, and THEN I’ll see if I can find good suckers on the tomato plants. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but if reading and enthusiasm will do it, I’m in.

I’ll post progress (?) reports to let you know how things are going. Fingers, and all other appendages crossed!

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My New Book Arrived Today!

I’m thrilled that I got this book today.  I’m especially happy in that our greenhouse is still standing, with no damage, after the bad storms with lots of rain and high winds we had yesterday.

Now that we’ve gone to the trouble to build my wonderful greenhouse –

 

 

I would like to get as much use out of it as I can all year-long. So far, we’ve blown out the type of thermometer than has alcohol (aka ‘mercury’) in it, having to switch to the type of thermometer than doesn’t have any liquid in it. The temperatures inside the greenhouse during the day now are over 120 degrees, so I’m ‘guessing’ :0) that this is the time of the year that I should do my planning, scheming, gathering of materials, etc. to be READY to plant when the temperature is reasonable in there. The exhaust fan kicks on when the temperature is over 90, and there is a people fan in there, but the plants can’t survive right now.

I’m going to dive into the book today!

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