It is late August and I am chatting with my daughter who lives in Northern Alberta, Canada. Her outside garden has never looked so good because of the heat and regular rains. But she is wishing she could get another month on either end of the growing season.
Greenhouse Gardening Tips
If you watch old re-runs on Netflix you have seen how fashions and styles have changed dramatically since Seinfeld was filmed in the 1990s. The same is true for food – especially lettuce.
I first wrote about “novel” mesclun greens (mixed lettuce) in 1995. Since then, they have become so popular, that bagged lettuce is the only lettuce most people know. And this is too bad because lettuce greens or bagged greens are really just immature greens like kale and lettuce leaves. So, for something completely novel, why not go back to the future? Grow full-size head lettuce in your Greenhouse Garden this year.
Most people don’t remember life before the small bags of lettuce leaves so commonly sold now at big box stores and local farm markets. But if you want the crunch of lettuce in a BLT sandwich or if you want to replace Pita bread with a Keto-friendly lettuce leaf wrap for lunch, then start growing your own heads of lettuce this season.
The Trouble with Greenhouse Tomatoes
Do your greenhouse tomatoes have heat stroke?
If your tomato blooms are bending and falling off, flower and all, they are having a heatstroke. When extreme heat hits, greenhouse tomatoes fail to set fruit even as the leaves keep growing and new blooms appear.
Pests, Worm Castings and Algae
What are Worm Castings?
Before we get to greenhouse gardening algae, let's talk about a shopper on Amazon that complained about bugs in her worm castings. If you don’t speak garden lingo yet, worm castings are simply worm poop. They are mixed with soil in garden beds or in pots to make tomatoes grow faster, stronger and healthier. And just in case you missed the memo, worm poop comes with bugs of its own. The good ones.
So Many Tomatoes, So Little Space
Greenhouse tomato growers are rightfully confused when they see so many kinds of greenhouse tomatoes for sale. Karen Olivier, an independent tomato breeder from the Secret Seed Cartel, estimates there are 20,000 kinds of tomatoes listed right now and she is adding to that number by breeding new tomatoes every year.
A few years back my greenhouse tomato leaves were purple, yellow and spotted. Not all at once, but over time and on different leaves. It was the second year I was growing in my greenhouse and the commercial potting soil I bought was low on phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. The leaves on the plants were telling me what was going on. And it didn’t look good.
August crops are growing so fast that I should have a time-lapse camera to record the speedy growth. It’s a good thing I’m home all month to watch the changes and get the next crops planted and growing. Check out my tips to grow your own food too!
Surprisingly, Summer is the perfect time to prep for winterization
Managing your winter greenhouse with crops coming and going is a bit of an art form, so please bear with me. It involves starting seeds directly in greenhouse soil and also starting seeds in flats on shelves or potting benches.
Hand watering is fun for gardeners. If you are around to get the job done. But a wilted plant is a stressed plant and stressed plants get buggy. I would love to stay home all summer watering my
greenhouse at exactly the right minute but that’s just wishful thinking. The truth is, life gets in the way and instead of tending my tomatoes and pacifying my pak choi with hand watering I seem to travel just when my babies need me.