Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Greenhouse Workday


What's a gardener to do on a warm and rainy day in February? Garden in the greenhouse of course! It is here I can enjoy blooms and still get my hands dirty while keeping out of the weather. The amaryllis in my garden are always wintered over in the greenhouse. By the time they bloom it is usually time to bring them outside for some sun. This 'Apple Blossom' is getting close!

Found treasures from the property help to brighten the inside of the greenhouse when it is so dreary outside.
'Diamond Frost' blooms like a champ when moved to a greenhouse for the winter. Last spring I actually had some of this handy euphorbia come back when I left it outside. I hope it does so again, but just in case these plants are on standby.

'Pineapple Sage' is so beloved by the honeybees I move it inside to winter over as well. It blooms almost all of the time.
My real mission in the greenhouse was to plant up some pseudo terrariums. I planted a few of these last summer and I must say they have done fairly well in the house. They are shiny, airy, green, clean, and easy to care for. I decided to plant a few more. I find my glass containers at Goodwill for great prices.
Then I use activated charcoal on the bottom of the glass to help keep down odors since the glass jars I use don't have drainage holes. I then place a coffee filter on top of the charcoal to keep the next layer separated from the charcoal. The next layer is sand. Sand helps to provide good drainage and gives excess water a place to go. The top layer is a light potting mix such as the Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm, and Citrus mix that I prefer. I then plant a tropical plant inside the jars and cover the soil with sphagnum moss. I find diffenbachias and peperonias work really well in the jars. Not all plants will do well. Then again, you do have to water them and I am not always good at that so that could be a problem. Hmmmmm
The final result is an eclectic collection of house plants all sell contained.
While I was in the greenhouse I got pretty ambitious and decided to plant some seeds. The above 'Oven Roasted' Brussels sprouts were planted early last month. They are resting outside to get hardened off for planting in the garden. Brussels sprouts are cool season crops so I start them really early. It seems that more and more the big box stores are not carrying cool season starts; so starting seeds at home ensures I have a supply to plant out in the vegetable garden.
This was the final result of planting. I planted: 

San Marzano Tomatoes
Napoletano Basil
Pineapple Tomatoes
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
Italian Marconi Golden Peppers (Sweet)
Grand Bell Peppers (Mix)
Mexican Sunflowers
I have heat mats under the seed pots. This handy thermometer helps to maintain the heat at a steady 69 degrees. Once the seeds germinate and begin to grow I will turn off the heat mats.
A trick I learned years ago in order to prevent damping off is to sprinkle a layer of milled sphagnum moss over the newly planted seed beds. The milled sphagnum moss helps to keep the soil surface dry and prevent the damping off fungi from taking a hold and killing the new seedlings. Of course, be sure to start with sterilized seed starter or mix your own like I do.

One last plant from the greenhouse is a white lantana blooming up a storm.....

on this greenhouse working the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. What fun to have a greenhouse. I envy you for having this lovely space to play in during winter. I haven't thought about going to thrift stores for terrarium containers.

  2. How wonderful to have your own greenhouse! I have a few plants overwintering in the house and the garage, but I have limited space, so I don't have many. I've been wanting to plant a terrarium again--thanks for all the good tips!

  3. Your greenhouse looks like such fun.

    Happy February ~ FlowerLady