I gave a tour of the greenhouse last month, but a lot has changed in just a few weeks so I thought I would give a quick update on what it looks like in there today. It’s still loaded with trays of seedlings, and there’s a lot of edibles growing in the beds and on the benches. I’ll start with what’s in the beds.
I have had good success growing cucumbers in the summer greenhouse. They actually seem to do better for me there than they do in the open garden. I grow only parthenocarpic varieties that don’t need pollinating, and most are also gynoecious with all female blossoms. This year I’m growing a couple of tried and true slicing cukes I’ve grown before, Tasty Jade and Corinto, plus a new beit alpha type called Socrates. I’m also growing several pickling types, including Harmonie and Vertina. I use remesh cages to support the vines, which is easier for me than putting up a trellis in there given the relatively tight quarters.
I started the cucumbers in 3.5″ pots, two seeds to a pot. Since cucumbers are fussy about being transplanted, I handle them carefully and disturb the roots as little as possible. Most all of the seeds germinated, and I will thin to one plant in a few days once they have started to get settled in. I’ve got five planted in the bed on the right side.
Since the shelves are full of flats at the moment, I also use the tops of the cages to hold a few extras. Some of the petunias have started blooming in the pots. The pink blooms in the photo are Tidal Wave Pink. I’ve already planted a few of these outside in containers.
Also in that bed I have parsley planted. I harvested all but one of the overwintered plants to make room for new ones. I left one plant, a flat leaf variety called Splendid, so that we will continue to have parsley while the new plants get growing.
On the other side, the bed there has overwintered I’itio onions and kale growing. The kale is starting to bloom, and I am harvesting the rapini along with the leaves. I’ll leave these plants for a while so we can enjoy the kale a bit longer.
I plan on setting a couple more cucumber plants in this bed too. Right now I need to find a home for the window box containers which are planted with lettuce, mizuna and pac choi. I can’t leave them outside because the deer would eat them all up in no time. Currently I am taking them outside during the day and then bringing them in at night.
On the benches, I have several salad boxes planted with greens. That’s lettuce in the below photo, and it’s almost ready to begin cutting.
I’ve got two mini salad boxes planted with arugula. Some of that is going on a pizza I have planned for later in the week.
And I just planted another mini salad box with more lettuce. I have lots of lettuce seedlings ready to plant and I am trying to find homes for them.
One of those flats of lettuce seedlings is sitting on the potting bench. My plan is to get them planted in one of the cold frame beds later this morning.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the greenhouse in April. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!
I have a terrible time growing cucumbers because of insects that create a disease environment- such as wilt. Any suggestions on what I should grow relative to cucumbers?
Bacterial wilt is a big problem with cucumbers. That is one reason mine do so well in the greenhouse, because the beetles leave them alone in there. I don’t know of any wilt-resistant varieties of cucumbers, so the best strategy I know is to spray for the beetles or else cover the vines with row cover material. If you cover them, then you need to grow parthenocarpic types that don’t need to be pollinated by insects.
Your greenhouse looks very productive. Are those drawers that you use on your bench.
Those are salad boxes that I made, and they have a screened bottom. You can see how I made them here: Salad Boxes.
Wow, everything is looking nice and lush in there. I couldn’t imagine having to contend with a big creature like a deer, just the amount of damage they can do to a garden.
It might be too hot in our greenhouse for kohlrabi and Asian greens, even with the windows open they look like they’re suffering.
I am constantly shuffling under the grow lights, especially at this time of year. I could really use a greenhouse right about now, although I have a feeling that it would fill up in no time.
Slightly envious of your cucumbers Dave…mine are at the cotyledon stage still! The wire cages look a good idea! What size is your greenhouse?
It is 8×12 ft, Kathy. Of course, I wish it was a bit bigger!
My greenhouse is already plenty hot enough to have the auto windows open most of the day, but it still drops to below freezing temps most night and I’m currently limited to the few cold season plants for now (radish, an overwintered spinach). But I definitely could have / should have started more than that by now. I’m still getting used to how to use the greenhouse.
I absolutely love how you make use of the space. And I also thought those salad boxes were old drawers – very useful to have a handle to move them around.
At the risk of repeating my comment (I thought I had already, but might not have sent it properly), just wanted to say thanks, as always, for the greenhouse inspiration. I went right out after reading your post and got a salad box ready. I love how you make use of all the space!
It is amazing how well greens grow in the salad boxes. I put handles on mine because they can get heavy when full of wet soil. They are also portable in case you want to take them outside.