There isn’t too much to talk about today in the greenhouse update. There haven’t been any disasters that required me to fix the plastic; there haven’t been any falling fans to break off my watermelon vines, or anything of that nature. What there has been however is a tremendous amount of growth.
As you can see in the video, everything has double (or tripled, or more) in size since the last video from June 21. This is in large part to a spike in temperature for almost a week that kept it near (sometimes above) 32°C (89.6°f) which a lot of the plants in there just loved. On those days the smaller containers and the flats needed to be watered at least twice, the medium containers only needed extra water a few of the hottest days since they do a good job of shading their soil with their leaves. I only had to water the raised bed and the large pepper an extra time once through the hot weather, and that was on the day when I couldn’t get the temperature down below about 36°C (about 97°f).
I tried something new to shade the greenhouse on those hot days which seemed to work better than the tarp I had been using before. I used clothes pins to pin up strips of landscape fabric to the cattle panels in the upper south side of the greenhouse. It worked alright, but eventually I think I will have to get something that shades from the outside, but doesn’t touch the plastic so that there is a zone where the air in the shade can cool before it ever touches the greenhouse. I think this is the best option, and should help keep the greenhouse the coolest on those hot days.
Another idea I have been toying with is to grow beans up the front of the greenhouse, either on the inside, or on the outside to provide a natural shade on the structure. The only thing that worries me about that is how it would affect the plants inside, since there will always be some shade thrown on them during the summer instead of just when they need it like a shade cloth would provide. I will keep an eye on the beans that I already have in there this year to see if the idea is even plausible to try.
That’s all for this update, until next time, keep on gardening and look for a guide to how I sprout my lemon seeds faster that is coming soon.
Another month is here, and it’s time for a new greenhouse update. This one won’t have the same happy ending the other videos do, but all in all everything else in fine order. The only thing that hasn’t come up is the gladiolas, but I’m hoping they will be up any day now.
The raised bed is doing very well, planted in Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening Method. The tomatoes, peppers, and melons are given one square foot each (though, the basil encroaches on that slightly for the tomatoes) the pole beans are planted nine to a square foot, and the cucumbers will be thinned to the strongest two for their square foot. The onions are planted only four per square foot instead of sixteen simply because I only had four sets left once I was done planting outside. I chose to use his methods in there because it is sort of a small greenhouse and SFG works great in smaller spaces.
The flowers that I planted aren’t mentioned in the SFG book, but I planted them how I thought they would work best. The morning glories are just planted as per the instructions on the seed packet, and the gladiolas have two large corms, and a bunch of small cormlets planted in a single square foot.
The package that my five Carmen European Greenhouse Cucumber seeds came in.
Though I couldn’t remember in the video, but the cucumbers planted there are the variety “Carmen”. They are a greenhouse cucumber variety which doesn’t require outside help with pollination, every flower should grow into a cucumber. They are seedless, and it cost me around $5 for five seeds (Vesey’s is lucky they all germinated or they would have had a strongly worded email on their hands at that price) but if they do what they promise, I think it is money well spent. It is a hybrid, but I wasn’t going to be saving seeds from the other cucumbers I planted outside, and I didn’t want to from these ones either.
In the past I never cared much if what I was planting was hybrid, or heirloom, but these days whenever I am buying new seeds that won’t be serving a special purpose (as with the cukes above) I try to get heirloom varieties, or at very least something that isn’t a hybrid. I like saving seeds, I only started last year, but I find myself being much more proud of the Chile peppers and Marigolds that I grew from seeds that I harvested myself than I was of any of them I’ve grown in years passed.
Speaking of seeds that I purchased specifically because they weren’t hybrids, the jalapeno peppers I’m growing are going to serve two purposes for me, the first being NACHOS… err, for consumption. The second being that I plan to save as much of the seed as I can to grow more next year, though this might be hard as I like the extra heat that comes with keeping the seeds in the peppers while eating them, and I will have to wait even longer to eat them since these jalapenos aren’t fully ripe until they turn red.
I am also going to attempt to over winter the jalapeno in the large container inside this winter because I want to see how big the bush will get being out in the greenhouse in its second season. I’ve never done this with any plants before, but I figure it’s about time I start, I’m going to have to do it with a few more plants this year as well but they will be in another video.
The end of the video shows the damage that the hail did to the brittle plastic that there was on the sunny side of the greenhouse and at the time of filming the video, I wasn’t sure what had caused the plastic to become this brittle. Well, I found out pretty quickly when I went out to fix it the day after the video was shot.
That foam that keep any parts of the ends of the cattle panel from ripping through the plastic does heat up to a degree which I could guess at, but have no real way of knowing the temperature of besides, “it really hurts to touch it”. I found this out the hard way while I was fixing the holes and I decided to test to see how hot a black piece of foam under plastic would get on a sunny day by running my hand along it just to see. Needless to say, I found the problem, for a fix I think I will use something light coloured, probably cloth, but maybe some frost blanket that I have laying around to cover up the black foam to prevent it from happening to the next piece of plastic that I put over it.
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