Archive for the ‘Greenhouse’ Category

On Corn

In the greenhouse, summer 2012


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A tonka poem has the syllable pattern of 5/7/5/7/7. Here is my tonka for this Tuesday.


Garden planted now

Waiting for seeds to grow well

Water when not raining

Patiently wait for nature’s course

Harvest when time, not before

The Raised Bed

Brassicas close, the lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsnips, carrots, and peas.

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This year, the raised bed in my greenhouse had an unwelcome surprise. Clover. I’m not sure how it got there, but I know how to get rid of it. Pull it. I had to be careful to do this on a rainy day. Why? I’m allergic to bees which find clover very attractive.

While pulling, I had to pull some of my intentional plants. These were separated from the clover and replanted immediately. I did lose a parsley plant that was choked out by the clover before I had a chance to pull it. I also lost one garlic plant when the leaves separated from the bulb. It wasn’t a total loss because I used the bulb in supper that evening.

Once the clover was pulled, the raised bed looked much better. It will need to be monitored for clover from now on, and I will be careful to pull it early, before it has a chance to flower.

The appearance of the clover in the raised bed of my greenhouse goes to prove that weeds will show up anywhere, anytime.

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My greenhouse is unheated, and there is an arctic freeze coming.  The forecast calls for twenty-nine tonight, minus four then next night, and nine the night after that.  A very frigid start to the week.  So far my greenhouse is doing well, except for the brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts) that were affected by the last very cold night.  Brassicas are hardy down to zero degrees, if they don’t have a head on them.  The cauliflower and broccoli are not looking too well.  Surprisingly, everything else is looking good, even the plants in pots on the workbench and greenhouse floor.

We have a propane heater that can go into the greenhouse for the next two nights.  I don’t exactly like the idea of the fumes.  The greenhouse is not air tight, so the fumes will be able to escape, which is good since they aren’t exactly healthy for my plants.

Let them freeze, or use a heater that puts out toxic fumes….hmmm, quite the choice.

The heater goes in.  I’ll keep you posted.

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I know I’ve been away for a while.  I apologize for neglecting this blog and everyone who follows it.  As you know, life tends to happen between plans.  Let me update you on the garden and greenhouse.

We have moved the chicken coop completely into the garden.  We close them in at night and let them out into the garden in the morning.  They love the extra space they have and love to walk with me whenever I enter the garden to give them food or water.  The rooster does his mating dance for the hens regularly.  Sometimes they mate with him.  Sometimes they don’t.  All of the brassica plants that I had in the garden have been eaten, of course.  They started with the leaves and quickly moved onto the stems.  Well, so much for early broccoli or cabbage, at least in the garden.

The greenhouse is another matter.  The brassica plants there are doing well.  We also have parsnips, carrots, and peas.  The peas are small and may not do much.  We’ll see soon enough.  The plants in pots on the work bench are overwintering nicely, too.  I have mugwort, evening primrose, garlic, onions, strawberries, brassicas, and sage.  They’ll be good and strong and ready for transplanting in the Spring.  I also have heather and rosemary in pots.  The heather can be transplanted into the garden in the Spring.  The rosemary will have to stay in the pot so I can carry it in and out of the greenhouse.

Trying to water the greenhouse in the winter can be a bit of a challenge.  If the hose is frozen, I have to use the one gallon waterer.  It takes a lot of time to water that way, but it’s doable.

I hope all your gardening endeavors are going well.

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I awoke this morning to snow falling outside.  So, after getting ready for the day, I took my camera and my dog for a walk.  There was just a light dusting of snow with more falling.  The air was brisk but the wind took the mist of my breath away before it could form.  The snow stuck to the grassy and dirt areas but not to the sidewalk.  Walking was easy, not slick at all, which is important to me since I tend to fall often and well.  This year hasn’t been too bad when it comes to falling.  Some years are really bad for falling.  One year, and I forget which one, I fell so many times that my family talked about special shoes or other things to keep me from falling.  I was sure once or twice that had broken my ankle or something, and since I don’t feel pain, I could have without realizing.  Well, not really, without feeling pain, I would feel the bone give, break.  I’ve dislocated my knee before and felt the bones move.  It’s an odd feeling.  I knew it should hurt, but it didn’t hurt at all.  Not feeling pain is scary.  I’ve gotten hurt before without realizing it.  Burns, cuts, scraps, bruises, happened without notice.  My family rightfully worries about me.  I do as well.

I walked toward my greenhouse and noticed that the dirt area near the new garage.  I took a photo of the grass and the dirt area before taking a photo of the snow on top of my greenhouse.  The plants inside drooped with the night’s cold, but once the sun comes out, whenever it comes out, they’ll perk back up again.  Most of the plants in there are hardy down to fifteen degrees.  Some are hardy as long as frost doesn’t touch them, or so it seems.  I’ve had such a hard time with rosemary overwintering outside up here on this mountain.  I have one in my greenhouse for its second winter.  So far, it’s doing very well.  It had flowers on it just a few days ago.  Beside the rosemary, sits a heather plant.  It also has flowers on it.  Maybe the heat of the greenhouse confused them.  I hope the flowers don’t make them more vulnerable to the cold.

I walked past the greenhouse without opening the door.  The chicken coop was the next thing I wanted to check on.  The chickens were all inside the coop, which kept them out of the cold and weather.  The coop is not heated so they aren’t exactly warm, but they aren’t freezing.  I worry about some of them.  They were injured by a raccoon who removed many feathers from their tails and necks.  The black one looks especially scrawny.  I hope the others are helping her stay warm.

Trees all around my home offer their protection from the wind, but because of the size of the open area, their protection is limited.  Still, they wave good morning to me as Thor walked toward them and  into the woods.  I take photos of him and the trees and the path to the woods.  He’s on his way to the creek.  He loves to play in the water, and he loves to drink the water.  It amazes me that he doesn’t feel the biting cold of the water on days like this.  Maybe he just doesn’t care that the water’s so cold.  Maybe all he sees is,….WATER!

I turn around to go back inside.  Over my home, I see the smoke coming out of the woodstove.  I love going into a toasty warm house after being out in the cold.  On top of the woodstove, there’s a tea kettle that will be nice and hot by now, so I’ll make hot chocolate once I go inside.  Too bad I don’t have marshmallows.  I love to watch them melt on top of the chocolate and stick to the inside of the mug and wrapping my hands around the cup.  I take photos of the smoke rising from the chimney in front of the trees and disappearing into the wind.

Once inside, the cats meow for attention or food, usually it’s neither, but they’re cats so who knows.  Salem, the black cat, fuzzes around my ankles.  Callie runs up the hall rather than take the risk that she might actually get petted, which she might actually like and that would scare her more than anything else.  Puff lies near the woodstove purring contentedly.  Warmth and her person and safety and more.

Life is good.Pristine Snow

Snowy trees in the backyard.  I've taken several photos of these same trees during this snow event.  You can compare this on to the ones in previous posts.

Snowy trees in the backyard. I’ve taken several photos of these same trees during this snow event. You can compare this on to the ones in previous posts.

My greenhouse is covered in snow.  Bet the plants inside are happy.

My greenhouse is covered in snow. Bet the plants inside are happy.

My dog, Thor, enjoying the snow.

My dog, Thor, enjoying the snow.

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These are the latest photos of my greenhouse.  It is unheated, but still manages to produce nicely.


Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts...one of each.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts…one of each.

Brassicas close, the lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsnips, carrots, and peas.

Brassicas close, the lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsnips, carrots, and peas.

Rosemary, heather, and comfrey in pots

Rosemary, heather, and comfrey in pots

mostly mugwort

A close up of the flowers on the Heather plant

A close up of the flowers on the Heather plant

evening primrose, onions, garlic, and strawberries in the gutters.

evening primrose, onions, garlic, and strawberries in the gutters.

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