In my last post, (read it here), I introduced you to my greenhouse. To refresh your memory, here is what it looks like on the outside:
Right now the entire thing is wrapped in reinforced plastic, which helps keep the chill of these spring evenings out. We are prone to frost at night in this area so I’ve placed a heater on the inside, which makes the plants so happy. Toward the end of May, when we are out of the frost danger zone, the plastic will come off the roof of the greenhouse. Chicken wire is stretched across the top so my plants have continued protection from the wrath of spring/summer storms all season long.
Part of the roof opens up to allow air to circulate and heat to escape during the warmth of the day (it’s already getting above 100 degrees in there during the day, which is a little much for the delicate plants inside). A gutter catches rain water and moves it inside the greenhouse to a barrel. The barrel is attached to an irrigation system that gives the plants a drink. Anyone who knows gardening knows that plants thrive on rain water, more so than water from the faucet. Sometimes, you just can’t compete with Mother Nature.
The real fun is on the inside.
Planted inside are 4 tomato plants, 3 pepper plants, 2 cucumber plants, and a row of green beans. There is far less planted inside the greenhouse than last year. Last year I under estimated how the plants would take over, and while tending an injured leg it was quite a trick to safely maneuver through the inside. This year I left plenty of room for the plants to grow, and paths to walk along without risking injury (to both myself and the plants).
I’m utilizing more space outside the greenhouse for plants that enjoy the cool weather and aren’t bothered by the frost (I senselessly planted them inside last year). The broccoli is planted just outside the greenhouse. Green and yellow onions found a nice spot outside as well. I also have squash and zucchini planted outside, but these are not hardy plants that resist the bite of frost. I took a leap of faith and started them outside, covered by plastic containers that allow for ventilation but keep the frost off them. The containers are cat litter containers with the bottoms cut off (I like the idea of re-using items that would normally go to recycling or be thrown away. It’s good for the environment AND a money saver). The plants are going crazy, so my experiment was a success!!
I’ll keep you posted on how the plants progress – I mentioned in my last post that one of the tomato plants has flowered, well, actually TWO have flowered. Many would tell me to pick those flowers off and let the plants focus their energy on growing but they’ve been in the ground almost a month and last year they grew to over 6 feet tall (which was a bit excessive, I’m not trying to have tomato trees). So, I don’t think that’s an area for concern – I’d rather have the fruit than impressively large plants anyway.
I’m already impatient for the good eats that come from the garden. Nothing bought at the store even comes close to comparing to what is grown at home. So, Garden, hurry it up already!