Monday, 6 February 2012

Geenhouse Ramblings in February

The weather this first week into February has been fabulous.. +10 C and sunny every day.

In the greenhouse, all goes well.

Looks kinda sad this time of year, but has been sunny and warm so all is coming along nicely....

The heater continues to work properly and the heating cables are working a charm.

These sunny days help save on energy as it limits the amount of heating and lighting required.
Water is free and abundant as we use only captured rain water (see Greenhouse Goes Up) and in the winter on the coast, we tend to get a lot more rain than sunshine. This year, a lovely balance of both..so far, lol!

January's plantings (artichokes, geraniums, Bellis, Campanulas) are now sturdy little seedlings that have been transplanted into their permanent homes. They are being fed once a week with a weak solution of organic liquid seaweed fertiliser.

Green Globe Artichokes have been transplanted into some of my new biodegradable pots. 

February has brought on the planting of early vegetable seeds such as hot peppers, onions, leeks, celery and cabbage. Many herbs and perennials, plus a few annuals, are going to be planted over the next few weeks.

Fibre packs of Onions

Cuttings have been taken, misted, placed on heating cables
 and covered with clear plastic to hold in moisture.

These spring planters were planted last fall and then popped under the greenhouse tables.
Just about time for them to be pulled out of hiding.

You will continue to see a lot of Pelargoniums (aka Geraniums) on my blog throughout the year..
They are my babies and I totally adore them.

I try, whenever possible, to use only biodegradable pots or pots made from recycled materials. They are more difficult to source out and can be costly in comparison, but I believe that it is worth both the time and the money... I just hope my customers feel the same way!

Fibre pots hold up well to the rigours of greenhouse growing, watering, and humidity, condensation, etc... I use them for hanging strawberry baskets, perennials, shrubs,  and roses. I also use fibre flats instead of plastic 6 packs for things like onions, sweet peas...

Tomatoes thriving in 6" fibre pots (2011)

Peat pots were trialed on some herbs and cukes, promptly fell apart, not to ever be used again.

Coir Pots were also trialed, were soggy, messy, and most importantly, plants did not thrive in them, so therefor, they are also in my never-to-be-used-again file.

I have found some new pots this year which will be used for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. I am very excited about them...
They are biodegradable, said to hold up well in the greenhouse, and will decompose within 9 to 12 months.
They seem sturdy and I really love the look of them... However, they are a bit brittle, so hope they do not shatter.

My new biodegradable pots... aren't they lovely?

These bio pots are only available in a 4.7" size though, which is too large to be practical for everything in a greenhouse setting (too much shelf space used and also too costly for customers)
Pelargonium seedlings in 3" plastic pots.

Am still looking for the perfect 3 or 4" bio pots to hold my perennials and annuals so am not all the way there yet. Will still need to use some pots that are not biodegradable this year, but already much less than last year.  

Of course, I also use fun pots like terra-cotta, tin, galvanised, and ceramic, as well, on perennial herbs or finished planters  :)

This is my potting area, it sees a fair amount of action this time of year..

Seeds are planted here
Seedlings are transplanted here
Cuttings are taken for rooting here..
 
In the silver pan is perlite
The blue tub holds my soil mix which is a mixture comprised of potting mix, perlite, vermiculite, and organic compost.
The journal tells me what to plant and when, plus helps me track the dates of transplanting, quantities grown, etc..
The green tray holds my seeds, organised in order by their to-be-planted dates.

Soon, this corner will change again, set up instead for potting up larger plants like bare-root roses or perennials...

It is a practical area more than a pretty one...
I would love to have the greenhouse all pretty, all the time
But... it is simply not possible.
Not all things about growing can be 100% pretty, all the time, but to me...

This is heavenly.