Tag Archives: small greenhouse

July 24 Greenhouse and Small Goji Berries Update

Once again there isn’t much to say here that isn’t covered in the video. Everything has been growing fairly well (there are some signs of struggle on the Morning Glories, but that’s it), some of it a little too well, resulting in the cracking of the fruit.

I’m writing this a few days after the video was taken (four days to be exact) and not much has changed. Less water for the tomatoes and cantaloupes seems to be working like a charm, there hasn’t been any more cracking on any of them. I wish I could remember where I got the tip for that so I could give the person credit. I saw it in a video a long time back but never had the problem until recently, so I never thought to save it for a shout out. Oh well, I’m sure if I found it easy enough their video isn’t hurting for views, especially if the rest of the advice they give is as good.

The goji berries are growing like mad now that I have moved them into a bigger pot, I should be able to place them outside soon where they will live permanently. I am a bit worried that I might have started them too late this year to give them enough of a head start to survive the winter, but if I am still worried when it looks like it’s crunch time, I will cover them up just to be safe. If they keep growing at the rate they are, however, I won’t have to worry at all they will be plenty ready.

July 5, 2015 Greenhouse Update

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.

June 21 2015 Greenhouse Update and Hand Pollination Tips

The greenhouse is doing great for the most part this year, even after a week solid of rain and mostly cloudy weather – there were a few sunny breaks, though not many – everything is growing well. Everything that is, except for the cucumbers.

The cucumbers I planted, that I talked about in the last post have grown a bit, but not as much as everything else around them. This is becoming a bit of a problem, at least for the moment because they aren’t getting as much sun as they should because they are flanked on each side by pole beans and tomatoes which have become much bigger than the lowly cucumbers.

Shaded Cucumbers

As you can see, there isn’t much sun for them yet, and that was taken at 10:30 AM.

As of right now, I would guess they only get about four solid hours of good sunlight a day. The morning sun is dappled through the watermelons and beans, especially on the plant at the back but this is something that I had planned for, as I want the morning glory’s to do that for everything on the north side to keep the temperature down a little bit for slightly longer on warm days.

What I never planned for was the beans growing so much faster than the cucumbers, and that the Roma tomatoes, and some of the door frame would block so much from them in the late afternoon and early evening. None of this will be a problem once the cucumbers start growing up the netting behind them, as for now the sunlight seems to hit just above their current height and there isn’t much of the trellis that is shaded most of the time.

Next year though, I will either moving them to one of the ends of the raised bed, or just starting them earlier so they can be more dominant when it comes to reaching the sun against the other plants. If I transplant them around the same height as the tomatoes, or even the peppers, they should do a lot better.

Hand Pollination
One of the problems with my greenhouse is the lack of pollinators flying in and out of it on a daily basis. Though lately I have had to help a few bees get back home by picking them up on a stick and bringing them out the door, so it seems the hanging basket I put outside is working so far.

I am not seeing enough activity to stop hand pollinating however, so I will keep it up for the rest of the season unless I see the number of pollinators climbing significantly.

Tomatoes and peppers are some of the easiest plants to hand pollinate that I know of. All you have to do is knock the pollen off of the male parts into the air and they will coat the female parts and you will have a new fruit. Some people use electric toothbrushes for this, but I just tap the top of the flower with my finger and it seems to work great. For tomatoes growing very tall I have seen people using long poles to tap on the flowers, but I can reach the roof of my greenhouse, so this should never be the case for me.

The technique I showed in the video for the watermelons – rubbing the reproductive parts of the male flower right onto those of the female flower – can be done for a number of other plants as well. Cucumbers, summer and winter squash, cantaloupe, and any other plant that fruits from imperfect (separate male and female) flowers. You can also transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers by using a small paintbrush or cotton swab.

That’s it for this update, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you liked the video subscribe to the YouTube channel! As always you can reach me through social media using the links on this page (look for the green buttons).

Greenhouse Update June 5, 2015

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.

Carmen Cucumber Package

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.

As always, thanks for reading, watching, and sharing this. You can find all of my social links at the top of the sidebar to the right if you’re on a computer, or under the write up if you are on your mobile device.

Garden Update and Greenhouse Tour September 8, 2014

Normally where I live, we get the first frosts around the end of September. Normally, we get the first snow sometime in October or November. This year, someone forgot to give Mother Nature the message, and we got a good 8 inches of snow on September 8th, before we even had our first frost.

Needless to say, the plants outside of the greenhouse did not fair very well, I lost three cucumber plants, two dill, five lettuce, numerous sunflowers, all of my corn, and my pumpkin. I thought the pumpkin might have been safe, but in the last few days it has become more and more mushy and it’s still dark green. I cut it from the remains of the plant today and set it in a sunny location, whether this helps or not, I have no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

September 8 Morning Corn

When I woke up on the 8th, I went out to water the greenhouse like I do every day, and I noticed a skiff of snow on the corn.

However, I still have some troopers that sat under the snow for three days and came out virtually unharmed. The carrots tops in the front square foot garden are still nice and green, but aren’t standing up too well due to the weight of the snow bending and breaking some of them. Joining them, in the west side sfg garden is the cabbage. it looks as though nothing happened to it at all (other than the damage that had already been done to it by caterpillars) and it has actually grown to be visibly bigger since last Thursday. Last Thursday being the day that a lot of the snow started melting, and I could actually see the cabbage again.

Sept 8 Early Afternoon Corn

By about 1 pm that skiff had turned into a full on blizzard. I shook the snow off after that picture was taken, but the temperatures dropped too low and that corn has since died.

Inside the greenhouse is a completely different story however, when I heard the lows would be below freezing, I went out and plugged in a small electric space heater to keep everything inside safe. Normally I wouldn’t bother taking it out, but I still have some cantaloupe, pepper, and tomato plants inside that I am still harvesting from and I didn’t want to risk losing them. I kept it on for almost a week, as even though it had warmed up, it was still dipping too low overnight for me to be comfortable not doing so. Having the heater on inside kept it about 16°C (61°F) during the day, which was aided by the sun, however little there was, and around 10°C (50°F) at night. You can get a good look at the conditions outside, and inside the greenhouse in the video below.

Even though we got a foot to a foot and a half of snow over September 8-10th, it was all gone in a few days, and temperatures climbed back to normal, and beyond for this time of year. Yesterday was about 25°C (77°F) and they are predicting it will be 24°C today, Sort of an odd predicament, but it sure makes me feel lucky that I can take advantage of these temperatures for some of my plants at least, I had a good harvest of bell peppers and a cucumber yesterday from my small greenhouse, one I would have lost all of if they were planted outside.