Friday, January 25, 2013

See How my Kansas Greenhouse Grows. .

It's still the dead of winter. .without promises of spring for a couple months yet. .
But it is looking like the best season we have had in the greenhouse since we got it 3 years ago.
This year we are trying a trellis. .seen in the background. It is in an out of the way spot. .situated north and south, as to not shade anything out.
The cucumber leaves are a little ratty looking. .
but the cucumbers have been producing well. .
We used Johnny's seed catalog and purchased Diva. .
a cucumber that is well suited to greenhouse gardening.
We have been picking them at about 5-6 inches long. .
and they have a non-bitter thin skin that you don't have to peel.
You can see two of the little fruits. .
I'll bet we have picked 10-15 so far. .
with another 6-8 on there now. I think I will plant a few more seeds in my pots to increase our yields a little.
The taste has been  phenomenal!
Diva is also suited to outside growth. .
so maybe it will keep us eating cukes until the summer vines start producing.
Here's a view from the greenhouse doors, looking to the west. .
The tomato plants and squash are on the left. .
And the citrus plants, peppers, and miscellaneous plants are on the right.
We had such good luck with Sweet Baby Girl in the greenhouse last year. .
that I have 4 plants in there now. .
They are all fully loaded and ripening by the handful. They are deliciously sweet; and seem to love the conditions! It has definitely been a great producer! Last year, I took the one fruiting plant to my mom to grow on her patio. .and it continued supplying her with lots of tomatoes for much of the summer!
This is a larger tomato. Knowing that you are all familiar with my fairly poor means of keeping my garden straight. .
I know you will not be surprised to hear that I can not remember which varieties I started from seed. .
so it will totally be a surprise when these ripen. I suspect it may be Brandywine. .
and I'll be honest. .
my mind has been trying to plot a fried green tomato meal!
I took these photos over the weekend;
and these small tomatoes are ripening. .
They seem to be the chocolate cherry variety. I'm excited about that. .
because in the last two years of growing them in the excessive heat and drought. .
I've eaten nary a one!!
Should be a score by next week!!
This pepper is another Johnny's seed. Called Carmen; it's a sweet pepper designed for greenhouse growing. They too, are just now starting to turn pink. It will mature to a red and then be ready for picking!
Here is a bell pepper variety. .
It came out of a mixture, I'm almost sure, judging by the color.
I'm excited about the peppers too. .
I've not had good luck with them until now. Even with the regular bells like this one. This year I used deeper, bigger pots. I wonder if that is making the difference; or if it's the sunshine? I didn't grow many this year, because of the poor luck I had in the past. There are two white peppers, that are already larger than any peppers I have harvested previously. .and about 6 of the Carmen peppers. They take up very little space. .so if they work well, I may have to add numbers next year.
The grasshoppers nearly decimated this Meyer lemon tree two summers in a row. .
It grew 3 lemons the second year I had it. .
and it hasn't fruited again until now.
This is the second round of blooming; and you can see, to the left of the small cluster of buds. .
 is a little green lemon. There are two on the tree. .
and hopefully some more will take with this next batch of blooming. I have noticed some tiny ants on the blooms lately, and wonder if that is helping the fruit set.
Here, at the bottom of my little lemon tree. .
is a red leaf lettuce that self seeded from last winter.
Yellow squash is another thing that is new in the greenhouse this winter. I've enjoyed not having squash bugs! We haven't eaten any fruit yet. It seemed that when they got about this size, the end would blossom rot. .and then I'd pick them and toss. I wondered if we were getting them too moist. So now we are down to watering them only about 1-2 times per week. Two of the fruits are bigger than any of the others have been before getting yucky. .
so my fingers are crossed on these. It would sure be a fun change on the dinner plate.
I need to divide this purple fountain grass soon. I would like several pots to plant in the spring. I love the colors and especially the purples seed heads! I've been slowly going through a couple of my favorite garden catalogs. I ordered some self watering containers a few weeks ago that I saw advertised in a garden magazine. After struggling with the drought, heat, and Johnson grass in my garden. .
I am only planning on doing the potted veggies this year. I do have some garlic out in the garden; which is very slow to emerge this time. And we may plant a row of beets and carrots in the garden with a soaker hose. If the boxes work as well as I think they should. .
it will be easier to tend them and the yield will be better. .
plus, I could move them to a location with a little afternoon shade to help in the heat. .
and since our high slated for the first of next week is to be SEVENTY FIVE degrees. .
I'm already a little nervous about the summer!
I've also seen online plans for a person to make their own pots. .
but for nearly the same money as what these cost me. .
without whining to my guy for help!
My friend Becky has already solicited a greenhouse-hopping spring plant buying escapade for us. .
and I know it will be here in two blinks of an eye!! I think I'll be ready!
Enjoy the rest of your week. .
and thanks for stopping by this humble little blog in the heartland!


  1. I am SO jealous of your fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter! Wonderful!

  2. =) YEY! I'm jealous of your cukes and tomatoes!!
    I am so excited for spring! Full of such promise..before the heat, drought, and grasshoppers squash it all!
    Gardening is a lot like childbirth. Never again! Will not go through this again! Such pain!! And kind of forget and the process starts all over again!

  3. Your greenhouse is awesome. I can totally picture where everything is since I had the privilege of a tour last spring. You are really getting good results. I'm curious how your self watering containers work. Please file a review. I too am wondering about what this growing season has in store for us with the continued drought and warm winter. Enjoy those veggies!!!! And, bonus on keeping that purple fountain grass going so well. I'm seeing a see of waving seed heads in your future.

  4. Hi Melanie. This is Christie Han from Singapore. I love a photo in one of your posts in 2011 Saturday Nite Worship Jam. It really suits what we need for a publicity brochure for my church. We have searched numerous sources and your photo is by far the best. Would you please allow us to use the photo? If so, I would need one with a higher resolution. Hope you would help us in this. Hope to have your prompt response. God bless you.

  5. Christie. .I would love to help you out with the photo. .but I don't have a higher resolution. If you will get me an email address, I can send the original file, maybe it would work for what you need. I would also love to hear more about what your plans for the photo are.

  6. Man, I am jealous of those tomatoes! It's been a long time since I've had fried green tomatoes. I always say I'm going to make them and I never do. Tt must be so nice to have delicious red, ripe, home grown tomatoes this time of year!! Yum!

  7. Hi Melanie. Could you please email the original photo to me at Hope it works out for us. I will share with you more through email what we are using the photo for. Thanks so much, Melanie!

  8. Mel... do you grow your own herbs?? I am wanting to start a herb garden and don't have a clue where to begin.

    Do you ever sit still????

  9. LOL! I love that last question...I personally don't think you EVER sit still. I have no idea how you do all that you do! Garden's looking great. Love the baby lemon!

  10. Fun to see "fruits" this time of year. Love the purple fountain grass. Once again, after a few months of not blogging, I'm getting back in it again. LOL So I'll have to catch up, and see what you've been up to. :)