Archive for May, 2013

Growing a Greenhouse

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I posted awhile ago about my greenhouse, when it was still in the throes of clean up and I was far from this day of amazement when I have things growing all over the place. I seem to have good luck in starting certain things from seed and then transplanting them to small pots and finally to the garden. This year I focused on tomatoes and some greens and of course some corn. Here’s some pictures of the greenhouse in full production mode.

The first shot is one of the whole greenhouse from the doorway. It shows the starting bed on the left where I have heating cables in the soil to allow for greater germination of the seeds. I cover it all with a plastic cover to keep it moist and it works great to start all sorts of things.

There are a lot of corn plants in the starting bed and on the right are the ones that are growing to to become plants for the garden. You can see a lot of tomatoes and some other seedlings, like zinnias, one of my grandmother’s favorites which I wanted to plant a lot of this year just for nostalgia’s sake, and because I also love them. The second shot shows the zinnias by themselves.

Next is a permanent part of the greenhouse under the starting bench. I wanted to have some tender plants growing year round so I planted a Tradescantia Purple leaf form that sprawls all over the floor and I have to keep it trimmed back some. There’s also a nice Persian Cyclamen that blooms quite nicely in winter and later into spring, tho it’s done now. It makes for a lovely scene under the bench for some year round color and foliage. There’s also a native fern growing wild in the tradescantia that I’ll have to remove someday as it’ll get too big but it’s so pretty now I’ll leave it.

In the next one you can just barely see the little peppers on the plants I held over thru the winter in the greenhouse and pruned back to allow for new growth.  To my surprise and joy they came back strongly and have been blooming well and already have set some fruit. How welcome to see because the peppers from this year are just still sitting there. So it’s lucky I have the ones from last year to have some fresh hot peppers for my cooking as they grow and develop.

There’s also a shot itself of the corn which we started in flats and then transplant out to the garden. We also give a lot of them away to neighbors. We do the same with tomatoes and this year I went kinda hog wild and planted far more than I can use and I suspect I’ll have a hard time giving them away. If you’re in the Seattle area give me a holler and I’ll share with you. I’ll have to get creative to see what to do with all of these local plants that are doing so well.

I bought some heirloom tomatoes from the Seed Savers’s Exchange this year – a Ukranian Purple, a Beams Yellow Pear, and an Emmy that is a golden orange that they sent as a bonus to me, like I needed more seeds! I also planted a local variety called Siberia because it’s a short season grower and we don’t have a long hot summer here in the Northwest. So I’m hoping it will put on some good fruit. Last year I did all heirlooms and they dd so well I thought I’d try them again. I plan to plant at least 4 types of tomatoes and see how they all do. We’ve already started planting the veggie garden with some greens I started earlier and some onion sets and some lettuce starts we got at the nursery. It’s looking good.

So I’m keeping this a short post. I just wanted to share what it’s like to have a greenhouse and how wonderful it is to be able to start your own plants. Some I have better luck with than others but it’s OK. I’ll have plenty of plants to put out into the garden and tho it may not be totally cost effective to do all this it sure does pay off in the good it does for my soul to garden and take care of these baby plants till they can become the giants some of them become. I can’t wait to see the results. If you have a greenhouse or just a cold frame I hope you’re having good luck yourself in growing things so you can plant them soon. We intend to put things out this weekend so they’ll have a good chance of growing into good size plants soon.

Happy gardening to you all and good luck with your starts.

Steve

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