Sunday, February 3, 2013

Garden + Greenhouse Update

Several years ago, hubs bought me a greenhouse for my birthday.  This was shortly after we'd built the pool, and I was insanely trying to re-create a Tropical Resort in our yard  - using plants that were CLEARLY not suited for our climate!  So yeah, the greenhouse was a very handy addition!

I received (and shared) a lot of guidance with the community at Gardenweb, and I also *attempted* to document the construction and "customizations" on my personal website.  Grant you, it's kind of disjointed - but it's still useful info - so I've left the pages up (even though I never update them!).

Greenhouse Saga Pages (if you're even remotely interested):

We bought a Greenhouse
Greenhouse Saga Continues
Solar Fan

There's more info out there, but that oughtta get you started if you are contemplating a similar purchase...

Hobby Greenhouses are actually a lot of work (surprisingly!).  Keeping it warm in winter, actually, wasn't all that difficult (Expensive - yes!  Difficult - not so much).  Keeping it cool on sunny days is a bigger challenge.  Note: I did not say "cool in summer."  Summer-use (for me anyway) is pretty-much out of the question.  I do have shade-cloth on it - which helps.  But it still gets ridiculously hot out there - and veggies seem to be much happier out in natural sunlight anyway! Wintertime: I typically line the ceiling and south(ish)-facing wall with big sheets of bubble-wrap.  I've also got a thermostat rigged-up with electric heaters (one oil-filled and one "barn" heater).  The thermostat is rigged to kick-on when the temps dip below 40* - which is just enough to keep stuff alive thru winter.

Over the years, I have severely cut-back on the number of marginal plants I am attempting to keep in the backyard.  I do still have my two original plumerias - which are now full-blown TREES and no longer fit through the doorway!  I had also kept Ti trees, Crotons, and a Bearss Lime - but they'd get sooooo infested with whiteflies and aphids it was hardly worth the effort (and don't get me started on my mealy/tasteless hydroponic winter-tomato-growing experiment!).

Now I've - more-or-less - reached the point where if it's marginal and I really-really want it, I'll treat it as an annual.  I'm totally "done" with trying to push my luck with tropical landscape plants!

But that doesn't change the fact that I've still got a greenhouse - and I really should USE it, right?  (BTW - there are a couple of baby plumerias and a Ti tree out there right now).  So this year, I plan to turn my greenhouse into a veggie-seed-starting-factory.  And Finny of Indie-Farms gave me some good ideas to get started...

First off, an afternoon of Seed-Sorting:

Followed by several evenings perusing Garden Pr0n:


Then...  Oh, I gotta CLEAN-OUT the greenhouse?!!  (Heh!  No "Before" pics, k?!)

Space!  The Final Frontier!!!

I'm not using my heaters at the moment, so I've tucked them into the corner behind the Ti tree.  And that weird buckety-lookin' thing is an outdoor hose-reel/garden sink that I intend to install outside...

Hey!  It's starting to look *almost* organized!

Got a couple of baby Plumerias on the shelf in front of the fan.  No, they don't look real healthy (although they do look better than the Plumies that lived under a bed-sheet all winter!).  I've also got heat-mats ready-to-roll - under the flats.  Haven't started any seeds yet - but will, very soon!

HydroFarm Mega Garden and Light Fixture

I haven't decided whether I'll fire-up the Mega-Garden or not (and no, it's NOT rigged-up to go - I'm basically using it to store seed-starting stuff).  Chances are, by the time I get around to it, it'll be too hot in there, but we shall see!

The plan was to rig-it-up and use it thru winter for growing lettuces but - obv - that didn't happen!

Lastly, lest you think I've been neglecting my Cool Season Veggies, let me provide this luscious update!

Raised Patio Planter filled with Salad Greens. Yummm!

And some Happy Brassicas:

So yeah, I'd have to say that 2013's Garden is off to a pretty good start, so far!

1 comment:

FinnyKnits said...

"Space! The final frontier!"

You kill me. That's awesome.

And good job with the organizing - you know I love that.

How is your cauliflower doing now? Did you wrap the leaves over those beautiful heads?


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