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Topic: A Spring Morning in the Greenhouse  (Read 2701 times)
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MissingWillow
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« on: April 12, 2011 07:23:36 AM »

It's a hoop house, actually.  My genius husband built it for us from a kit.  It's got an interior raised bed.  We've been enjoying lettuce, spinach, carrots and beets all winter.


One of my requirements when we were deciding on the size was it had to be big enough for a table.  We've hosted luncheons and dinners out there.  Today, the table is holding my tea, cucumber seedlings and the season's final daffodils.  




I've had cut organic blue seed potatoes drying out there for a few days.  They're now ready to go into our garden bed.


We supplement our raised bed gardening with a lot of potted plants.  Tomatoes, hot peppers and cucumbers mostly.  For those of you who don't have the ground space to garden in, try some potted plants this summer.  We load our back deck with them.  I make my own potting mixture.  It's mostly garden soil, the kind you can get in bags at the garden center.  In a large container I add in some compost, a little peat moss, a few handfuls of vermiculite and about 1/4 cup of Soil Moist crystals to help the pots hold moisture.  


Today, I potted up tomatoes.  To cover those drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, I put in a layer of skirting.  That's the scrap fleece leftover from shearing.  It acts both as a barrier and helps with fertilization.  You can also cover those drainage holes with a bit of broken flower pot, fabric, packing peanuts, any number of things.


On top of the skirting I put a trowel of my potting mixture.  I tear the bottom of the peat pot that my tomatoes have been growing in and set it in the pot.  It's important not to touch the stem of a tomato.  Just touch the peat pot or the leaves if you have to.


When you pot up a tomato plant, it's important to plant it as deep as you can.  Just leave the very top leaves showing.  By doing this, the plant will develop more roots along the buried stem and will give you a more vigorous plant.  



We use the greenhouse as a season extender.  We'll keep our potted plants in there under protection until our last frost. Then we'll use it again at the end of the growing season for our plants when the first frost is predicted.
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011 08:13:26 AM »

Ah HA!! I caught this post before it was two months old!  LOL - I love that you have a table in your green house - what a cool idea!  I am also inspired by your gardening tips - I am on a mission to find some heirloom seedlings to get out there inthe yard! (In a pot high enough to not be a digging temptation to my mastiff - he takes such joy in digging all the dirt out of a big pot.)  Wink
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MissingWillow
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011 08:26:54 AM »

Awesome!  We've got some grafted heirloom tomato plants en route to us, something new to try this year.  Brandywine and paste tomatoes from the same plant. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011 04:01:18 PM »

love it! I'm super jealous!
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011 07:53:09 AM »

I have a question about the potatoes.... Will just any potato do? Or does it need to be something special to be a "seed potato"?  I want to grow some this year, but ordering them online was way too expensive.
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011 08:50:29 AM »

The ones you get at the grocery store have probably been treated with sprout inhibitors so they'll keep longer in the store.  Our local garden center carries seed potatoes and I've seen many varieties at Southern States if there's one near your home.  I suggest you let your fingers do the walking and call a few local places.  Potatoes are my most favorite crop to grow, it's like a treasure hunt at harvest time! 
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011 10:39:05 AM »

I LOVE your hoop house (and second that the table is a most fabulous addition!)  When you plant your tomatoes do you nip off the bottom leaves or just stick the plant in deep and cover them up?  Not that we ever have a long enough season up here to actually get anything more than a green tomatoe.....someday I hope to have a green house too!
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011 11:07:24 AM »

Thanks alteredmommy!  I don't take off the bottom leaves, I just bury the plant as deeply as I can.  Supposedly, everything underground will sprout new roots.  There evidently is an exception to this rule.  Our grafted tomato plants arrived by UPS this morning and the planting instructions say to keep the graft above ground.  FYI, we bring a few potted tomatoes, cukes, peppers and herbs indoors after the frost hits here to extend the season so you might consider that if you can make the space.
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011 12:09:17 PM »

honey we have frost in August....and a growing season that starts in early June Tongue  I grow fast stuff!
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011 12:14:14 PM »

Yikes!  Radishes and lettuce for you then! 
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