Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Greenhouse Update

This post is all about what is going on in my greenhouse these days, so I won't feel bad if you non-gardeners hop off now! I have a widget on my blog that tracks where my blog readers are from and how they found my site, whether directly typing it in, found from another blog, or from google. I have been entertained by that, and have discovered that my post from this past summer about the pitcher pump water feature recieves a lot of hits, mostly from people who google that term. When I wanted to put that fountain together, I googled for weeks looking for pictures and found very few ideas and even fewer that interested me! I am hopeful that people wishing to put in a feature like this are able to use my ideas to make something fun for their yard. I also looked forever for anyone in my zone that has a greenhouse to see what types of experiences they have. I found nothing. So I am hopeful that in the future, someone may be able to get useful information from my blunders and successes. But, aside from all that, my greenhouse excites me, and I enjoy writing about the cool things that are in there! Ready or not, here I come!!
Inspired by the trip to the garden show last weekend and the warmer spring-like weather, I was provoked to show some pictures of my greenhouse. I showed some pictures as we were building it, and some when we were finished, and even a few close-ups of some things in the greenhouse. But I haven't really shown any pictures to give you an idea about what the inside of it is really like. I have been waiting for my plants to be more mature, so it looks like what a greenhouse should look like. It is 9 1/2 feet by about 13 feet, and I have been very pleased so far with the size. I continue looking around to see what could be done to improve efficiency, or how I may want to handle things next winter.
The first indoor picture is looking toward the doors. I have an old table perched in there and use it as a work space. You can see above the one bench I have. I knew that I had save that old glass shower door for something. (Actually, I snuck it out to a hidey hole in between our garages so J wouldn't take it to the canyon cause I KNEW it would come in handy for SOMETHING!!) It works well enough to let some light through to the bottom plants--which are curled parsely, basil plants and a coleus cutting from the fall. Next to that you will see our high tech heating and irrigation system. The water is just a pipe coming out of the floor and J bought me a coiled hose to which I added my own water sprayer that I used in my outdoor garden (it has 7 or 8 different watering patterns--which has come in handy this week as I now use the mister to water my seeds) The heater?? A radiator looking thing tied on to a $7 box fan. .all wired up to a little thermometer screwed onto the greenhouse frame. Did I ever mention how handy my dear hubby is?? The lemon tree is in the very back corner, and has done remarkably well!! It blooms nearly constantly, with a scent so pungeant that I smell them immediately when opening my doors! Many of the little lemons fall off at a very small size, but I have 5 or so that are going to go ahead and mature. Check them out below!
The mandarin orange tree that I bought last fall will also be blooming soon too from the looks of it. I purchased those plants from Logee's mail order catalog. They were in great shape when they arrived and really have grown well (even while they were in the south window of the house). Most of all, they have been entertaining to watch!
This picture is of the south side next to the doors (which face east). You can see a couple planters with lettuce greens, several coleus cuttings, a small pot of lavender that I tried to propagate last fall hoping that it would root--it did, whoot whoot!! Also in that corner are three pots of tomatoes. I have never tried to grow determinate varieties of tomatoes before, mostly because I haven't needed to. These vines are pretty small and puny compared to my summer varieties. The black seaman variety is by far our favorite. It has the best texture and tomato flavor. I have 7 pots growing, but think that next year I will plant a few more pots. I am pleased with how they have done, considering that we are flying by the seat of our pants this first year.
The OCD part of my personality requires that I keep some notes, which is what I do in a little book found on my work table. Hopefully those notes will remind me from season to season what worked and didn't work. Above is the north side of the greenhouse. There are several more tomato plants back there, as well as 4 pepper plants--they happen to be from a mix of seeds that amazingly ONLY grew purple varieties--but they are yum delicious in flavor, so we aren't complaining. There is more lettuce there, the little mandarin orange tree, my sweet pea vine (the one with the yummy little purple flowers on it), and the big terra cotta pot that I bought at that auction for $4. I bought an elephant ear bulb at lowes last weekend and planted it in that pot. The bulb was the size of a large grapefruit--the ones at the garden show were triple that size (and also the price!) It is a new experiement, so we will see how it pans out. I have a new project in my head to fix a problem spot in my yard, so will hope to have photos in May or June to show you if it works or not!
Thus the tour of my greenhouse is complete. What'da think??
This plant was a new addition this weekend. Tristan has become a little obsessive with venus fly traps this winter. He bought the seeds from Hobby Lobby, which in reading the directions could take 1-3 months to sprout. I have been checking periodically and he has really been keeping it nice and moist and in good light. I saw some plants a few weeks ago at Lowes but didn't buy one. He was on me and on me though to go back this last weekend, so we did. They had several carnivorous plants and he decided on the small venus trap. There are a few flies and some other little knat things in the greenhouse, so he took it out there to eat and get big. I looked at him yesterday and his little jaws were wide open waiting. It will be fun to see it in action!
This is a beefsteak variety, they aren't getting really big, but they are tasty.
Sweet peas from seed, which I have not been able to grow up until now!! They will be pretty on the deck after the cold weather, where they might bloom a little longer!
We were able to enjoy the outdoors the other day, so I went to work cleaning out the tomato cages (I didn't do a thing after everything finally died off in November). That is until I scared out a nice little family of rats from under one of the cages. My screeching brought Jeremy to his shop doors to see the problem. Soon he reappeared with my birthday present (our birthday is the same day, coming up in a few weeks). He thought that it would be a good time to use it. Now, some women might get mad, but I was pretty excited to find him holding a new propane fueled weed burner up-per!! Oh man!! It has it's very own little striker thing to stick in the end of the burner. . .and Voila--BIG flames! After I got over the initial scare of using it, I would say it was quite fun to start tiny little fires all over the place and watch them burn. Now, it is actually for use to burn the stupid weeds in my yard and flower beds this summer, instead of dousing them with the probable cancer causing agents found in my weed sprays. Can't wait to try it out. Dana, if you need a father's day gift for Jamie, Jeremy could tell you where to get one. . he would LOVE it, probably even more than a rocket! :-) Anyway, hope ya'll enjoyed the greenhouse edition, and I sure hope no one sees me and my fire weeder on the evening news!


  1. Cool birthday present!!! (I bet those little rat families were running for the hills!! hehe)
    I just love your greenhouse!!!

  2. I enjoyed your greenhouse tour! :)

  3. Loved the tour. Didn't know you were such a pyro! Dale