Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Peek Inside the Greenhouse 4

It's time for another peek inside the greenhouse. Usually, Helen at The Patient Gardener's Weblog hosts a meme about greenhouses on the 20th of the month, but her post for May hasn't appeared yet. She's English and her last post was about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She's probably been distracted by those fabulous display gardens.

So I thought I'd just go ahead and share what's going on with my greenhouse now anyway.

The greenhouse from the living room window

On Mother's Day the great migration began, of plants that were over-wintered, out into the garden. I don't actually know quite yet what I'm going to do with all of them, but I'm sure they're happy being outside in the fresh air.

Former greenhouse residents waiting outside the greenhouse for final placement

I'm trying to make a stylish display at the western end of the greenhouse, but not much success so far. I'll get there eventually, probably just in time to move everything back inside

I've been planting out lots and lots of lots of tiny little seedlings that sprouted from many of the seeds that I sowed this past winter and kept in the greenhouse getting toasty warm.

Castor bean plants waiting to be planted in the front bed

More castor bean plants

The Musa sikkimensis is just as happy outside as in -- it's outgrown the "roof' of the Folly.

More former greenhouse denizens milling in place like children waiting for an amusement park ride

So...what's inside the greenhouse, if all these folks are hanging outside now?

Roma tomatoes and a variety of peppers, both sweet and hot

Sun Sugar tomatoes and basil

One of the Romas already has fruit

I bought my tomatoes at Windmill Nursery in Sumner. I did try growing tomatoes from seed this year, but they were stunted, despite being started in February as soon as the greenhouse was finished, as well as being on heat mats and with the heater in the greenhouse running pretty much full blast. They got a few drinks of fish emulsion as well, which should have helped them take off.

My still small tomato seedlings
I'm torn as to what to do with them. I put so much love and care into making them grow! But I have a feeling they're going into the yard waste bin.

I do have some nice-size squash plants, which are headed for the raised veggie beds in the back garden.

My Bromelaids are still cowering under the table -- they like shade, and I don't want them to scorch. They'll likely end up on the north side of the greenhouse, staged in some way.

Lots of empty shelves

I took some time the other day to organize all the stuff I'm going to store in the greenhouse under the table. For most of the spring, as I planted, I tossed all my little four-inch pots that I used for sowing under the table willy-nilly. Now they're tidy and ready for use next year.

I removed all of my cloches from the beds. Some of the seeds sown under them were successful, and some...not so much.

On top of the table, I'm storing organic fertilizers, tags and now unplugged heat mats. I need to move those boxes of fertilizer, the instructions say "Store in a cool, dry place" and this isn't that.

So, that's what's happening with my greenhouse in May. I hope whatever bad juju has stunted my own tomato starts doesn't transfer itself to the ones I bought. I have high hopes for tomatoes this year now that I have a greenhouse that will give them the heat they need to grow.


  1. Oh, Alison, my favorite blog feature -- peeks! So many interesting plants have escaped your greenhouse into the fresh air and sunshine -- or shade. I may stick some Castor Bean seeds in the ground since I never got around to planting them.

    I need to reorganize my greenhouse before I give peeks. Aren't pots a problem to round up? I store fertilizers mostly somewhere else because of the damp. Small containers like rooting powder and sulfur that I like to keep handy I put in a plastic container with a lid.

    Don't toss your seedling tomatoes. Either plant them in the ground or in taller pots, removing all the bottom limbs and leaving only the very tops sticking out of the soil. They can go into deep holes and root the length of the stem. I saw a photo the other day where someone laid the long stem horizontally and kind of coaxed the top leaves upright. I just dig DEEP holes. They might appreciate a spoonful of lime and a sprinkle of Epsom Salts. They look as if they're lacking some kind of soil nutrients.

    All my tomatoes are in the ground except a little fellow I pinched from the axil of a big plant and rooted just because I could.

    Noticed your Cycad is thriving and how about that banana!


  3. You have a tomato! How exciting. I think I am going to buy mine tomorrow.

    Love that bromeliad shot, you've got quite the collection.

  4. It looks so lonely in there. When your tomatoes all fill in, it'll be a jungle again! Thanks for the peek!

  5. You're making great use of the greenhouse, Alison! I'm impressed by everything you've grown from seed.

  6. It's so satisfying growing plants from seed. Good luck with the tomatoes, I plan to grow mine in big pots this year too. Yes, the Chelsea Flower Show coverage is proving highly distracting!

  7. What fun it looks like to have a greenhouse! You have some pretty cool stuff in it. I think you should go ahead and plant some of your little tomatoes. The ones I got at the farmer's market weren't very big, and they had gotten too cold a night or two, but once I put them in the ground, they started growing.

  8. Jean is right about your tomatoes. Plant them deep in the ground in a sunny spot, even your flower beds. They will take off.
    We emptied out our greenhouse this past week too. Everything is either planted out, set out in the yard, given away, or tossed. Now it's a shed.

  9. This reminds me I need to check on the tomatoes and peppers I planted the other day. I put a hoop house over them to keep them warm. I started mine from seed this year in early April and they are about as big as the tomatoes you started from seed. Tomatoes grow so fast they need to be potted up quickly, too. Yours look like they are crying out for more root space. Ideally I would have started mine earlier, but I had to wait until after I moved. Hopefully it's a warm summer and I get something out of them. If not, I'm buying some tomatoes from the local nursery tomorrow for insurance.

  10. Oh, forgot to say that I love your new Embothrium header and your background!

  11. Having that greenhouse is so well worth it and looks like you're making full use of it :)

  12. I've never had such a miserable lack of success starting seeds as this year. Even the trusty Zinnias pooped out after a good start. We'll make our yearly pilgrimage to the farmers' market on Sunday to buy starts from those who know what they're doing. Your use of your greenhouse is a fine example of how it should be done.

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