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Greenhouse Calamities - Thoughts from a Novice Gardener
Greenhouses are a great addition to anyone's garden. They come in all different sizes and you can nestle them right where you want them and with smaller versions of greenhouses you can move them quite easily. That said, as great as they look and of course smell, there should be some type of manual to buy when you are first setting up shop in there. There are many things no one bothers to tell you and if you don't know, you don't ask. Here are five things I learned by plodding along on my own:
1. Never assume that your seeds are not growing and then buy plants instead. I started growing tomato seeds, in the proper seed tray, and within a month nothing had happened. However, I used pretty expensive potting soil and didn't want to waste it so I dumped it on the floor of the greenhouse and turned it in. Then, I planted 6 tomato plants into the ground and had homemade salsa recipes salivating in my head. A month later I had well over 30 tomato plants tumbling over each other. The worst part was that I didn't label the plants and wasn't sure which ones to thin out. I thinned and ended up with the orange pixie variety mostly and they were about the size of a mutant cherry tomato.
2. Never assume that just because your garden is now "indoors" that you won't get an insect infestation. If you are afraid of insects, greenhouse gardening is not much better than being out in nature. After you plant your garden, whether in grow bags, on tables or directly in the ground, look up. There he is?Sammy the Slug peering down on you with a slight smirk on his face. If you are allergic to bee stings, every year at least one gets in your greenhouse and seems to twoddle around in there for what seems like an eternity.
3. Never think you are a pack mule and can water your plants enough by using a gardening can or bucket. You can't! With the heat and the sun shining through the glass the plants need more water than the outside plants. You need a mister, some type of irrigation system, ideally, and at bare minimum a hose. This means you'll require a water source. Think about it when you are putting the greenhouse in place. If you're water source is close to the house you must put the greenhouse within reach. Or, you can be like me? carry about 20 buckets of water out each night and only water ¼ of the plants before you give up. (That said, the cursing involved in the greenhouse creates more carbon dioxide and makes plants grow better).
4. Always read or know the size to which your plants grow. Picture this?novice to gardening and new, proud-owner of a large greenhouse. "Oooh, what can I grow," immediately pops into ones head. She plants dill, (accidentally) 30 tomato plants, eggplant and zucchini among other things. Everyday the novice goes out to water her plants and gets very excited. Until slowly, the greenery is a foot tall, then 2 feet tall then, well, then these plants are insanely out of control. Have you ever seen the size of a zucchini plant's leaves?they are twice the size as your head! Zucchini sucks the life out of the plants planted underneath it and surrounding it. So, as for the garlic cloves planted?she was forced to make salsa sans garlic. On another note, the dill she planted grew to be at least 15 feet tall. A word to the wise, find out how big the stuff gets and plan accordingly.
5. Never buy a greenhouse if you have no one to look after it while you are on your holidays. Greenhouse plants require a lot of work because generally the soil dry-out quicker. Therefore you must water everyday at least once. Irrigation systems can help with this, but it is still advisable to have someone check it regularly to ensure it works. I went on holidays for 2 weeks and yes I had a friend looking after the glassy greatness, but the following things happened:
? She left the door open one night and some strange animal went on a frenzy hacking up all of the plants, probably eating a couple too.
? She watered, but not enough water was used. Therefore, I lost a lot of plants including my favorite.
? Leaving the door open also helped some of my plants get infested and it also created havoc with the internal temperatures.
? Some of the tomato plants needed to be pinched out and after 2 weeks I had inferior, deformed tomatoes.
? Cats. Cat pee in a damp, warm environment smells well, like cat pee.
There are many other kafuffles and calamities associated with this divine garden structure. There are many, many good things too. It is advisable to ask your friends, garden centers and online resources for advice before installing a greenhouse and planting plants inside. Now, that I have had my greenhouse for five years, I have trial and errored myself to plant-death and have a general idea about what is correct. After all, gardening is 90% trial and error and 10% knowledge.
Holly Masters loves to garden and takes pride in her greenhouse. She has spent much time learning proper greenhouse effect techniques and serves as a contributing writer for http://www.greenhousesandgazebos.com - a site that offers information about everything greenhouses and gazebos.
How to Grow Blueberries
Along with lip-smacking sweetness, flower and foliage are also worthy reasons to grow blueberries. White, bell-shaped blossoms make a lovely addition to a spring garden and fiery scarlet foliage adds drama to a fading autumn landscape.
How to Grow Snow Peas
Snow peas may have been named because in bright sunlight their light green pods look as if they might be tinged with frost. One of the oldest vegetables, the earliest recorded pea was grown in 9750 BC on the Thai-Burma border.
Easy to Grow Roses
There are many different types of roses. If you are new to rose gardening, then it is wise to choose varieties of easy to grow roses to begin your rose garden.
Vermicomposting - Worm Composters For Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal and Recycling
Worms are not only the gardener's best friend, they are also the recycler's new found best friend as well. Nature's little waste disposal experts have found a new place in eco-conscious household's across the globe as more and more people are catching on to the idea of using worms' special talents to dispose of their organic household waste.
Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners
The Basics of Hydroponics Gardening.What is hydroponics gardening?Derived from the Latin Hydro, meaning water and Geoponics, meaning the study of agriculture, hydroponics is the science of growing plants using a solution of suitable nutrients instead of soil.
Choosing the Perfect Landscape Painting
Landscape paintings are a beautiful way to spruce up the decor of your home. Although you can buy cheap reproduced paintings, you may want to consider purchasing an original from an artist to reduce the risk of a friend obtaining the same one.
How to Grow Hydrangeas
Whether you call them Hydrangea Macrophylla, House Hydrangea, French Hydrangea,, or Mopheads, growing Hydrangeas in the home garden can be an enjoyable experience. They are lovely, whether used as single plants or in mass, such as in a hedge, or border.
Bare Root Roses, What To Look For When Buying
The first thing to look for is the plant's grade. Nearly all bare root roses sold today are grown in the field and are approximetly two years old.
Patio Accessories - Complete The Great Outdoors
Patio accessories can range from small to large and of all types of materials and styles depending on your garden décor. Outdoor entertaining on the patio or backyard has skyrocketed in the last few years as people are treating their patios as outdoor rooms.
How to Grow Bananas
If your grocer says, "Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today," it isn't surprising since the banana is the world's second favorite fruit, surpassed in popularity only by the apple.
Fleur De Lotus: Purity in a Sullied World
Rising from a muddy pond, a lotus flower blossoms. Such epitome of purity in a turbid environment has sparked off much inspiration in ancient oriental literature and Buddhist teachings, shaping a repertoire of odes to the graceful demeanour and refreshing fragrance of the lotus.
Decorative Garden Accents
Think of your garden like you would a room in your home. After planning the shape, tilling the soil, choosing the right plants the last step is to add those personal touches.
Choosing the Proper Pond Pump
Whether you have a preformed or a liner pond, a pond pump is a paramount component of any water feature. Stagnant bodies of water attract mosquito infestations, which are a nuisance, and also undesirable, due to the recent outbreaks of the West Nile virus.
Ecological Landscape Design and Organic Lawn Care
There is a growing recognition, that the expanding suburban landscape is having a negative environmental impact. Suburban development often includes vast energy dependant monocultures (perfect, grass lawns).
Light Up the Night! Quick Facts about Outdoor Lighting
When the days start to get shorter, the darkness may drive us inside from our porches, patios or decks. Don't despair - outdoor lighting can lengthen the day and dramatically extend the potential of our outdoor living spaces.
Fuchsia (named after Leonhard Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist) is a genus of over 100 species of shrubs and small trees. Although there are four New Zealand native species (colensoi, excorticata, perscandens and procumbens) and one from Tahiti, the vast bulk of the genus occurs in Central and South America.
Rock Gardens - A Different Kind of Garden
Planting a Rock Garden is a great alternative to the normal flower and vegetable garden.Where Should This Garden Go:Typically an ideal spot for a rock garden is on a slope or naturally terraced area with rock formations already in place.
The Swallowtail -- A Beautiful Butterfly
Swallowtail butterflies are some of the most beautiful butterflies found anywhere. The North American species are large, brightly colored butterflies with tailed, rear wings.
Dill: Scandinavias Most Important Culinary Herb
The ancient herb, Anethum graveolens or Fernleaf dill as it is commonly known, was mentioned some 5,000 years ago in early Egyptian writings. It is the most important culinary herb in Scandinavia, as popular as parsley is in other parts of the world.
Italian Vegetable Seeds
Some might ask, "Why grow Italian vegetable seeds?" Why bother with going international when there are already plenty of seed companies in the U.S.
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