Saturday, May 16, 2009

Greenhouse Secrets

I really don't claim any secrets... and what I do may be all wrong, but so far its working for me. The greenhouse is a warm moist place where bugs loooooove to hang out. Two years ago I had the worst white fly infestation in the western hemisphere, I'm sure. Hubby remembered what a friend who ran a commercial greenhouse used to do. He wanted to try it in our GH... but it sounded extreme to me, so I was a bit nervous about trying. But what else could I do? The white flies were a buzzing white cloud in there, so why not try something new?

The first thing we did was scrub the greenhouse from top to bottom. Not a single thing was left in there but a naked tomato bed. As the season went on, it was an obvious success! Now we'll not do anything else. Here is how we manage the GH... fairly bug free:

1. Plant the tomatoes and let them grow big enough to be tied up,

2. Use soft twine to tie at the bottom of the plant,
winding the twine around the plant as it grows.

3. Pinch or cut out all sucker stems
that grow between the main stalk and the leaves.

4. As the plant grows, snip off alllll the older and lower leaves,
until what you end up with is a tall plant (up to about 10ft)
with no leaves except for the top 4-5 sets at the top.

5. Under plant with herbs that deter bugs...
the ones I use are spearmint, thyme, basil and Italian Flatleaf Parsley

Doing these things give us:
1. good air flow
2. Nothing much for the bugs to live on
3. Healthy plants loaded all the way up with tomatoes!

Last year I had only 4 plants in the GH...
but got 527 tomatoes from those plants. (:

You can see the new little tomatoes growing!
We are all waiting IMPATIENTLY to have home grown tomatoes again!

Here is the biggest one!

Elsewhere in the greenhouse...

... and outside the greenhouse...

Thyme, Flags, Valerian, Sweet Violets

Apple blossoms

Bottlebrush plant... don't they look happy?

Volunteers... potatoes and ?
(not sure whether its squash or pumpkin)

A newly planted Lime tree... a gift from Hubby
(he makes a killer salsa, and must have limes)

Walnut trees are just now leafing out

And another trial idea...
that has turned into a keeper remedy for keeping bugs and snails at bay...
Field Fabric on the potatoes and corn... for now.

I know... not real pretty, but look what's underneath!
PERFECT plants! (:

And a few pretty pictures...

A lovely visitor

And the only place in my garden to sit... where there are no edible plants!
Actually, I take that back... you can see right behind the bench,
scented edible geraniums, and thyme in a tub.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend~


  1. Vicki,
    This is just gorgeous! I am very impressed by the greenhouse and all your beautiful plants. I love the little sitting area too and that bottlebrush plant, how unique, I've never seen one. Cindy @ Applestone Cottage

  2. Wow Vicki...what a very productive greenhouse you have!!! And all those tomatoes...The apple blossom reminded me of my Grandmother...that was one of her very favourite perfumes♥I have just shown my Hubby this post...
    Look forward to hearing about your Borscht when you get to make it...
    And yes we were indeed the Dancing Queen and Princess...I managed to get JoJo up towards the end of the concert...and yes I will blog about it later on in the bogged down with a horrible cold at the moment...Love to you, Dzintra♥

  3. Vicki,
    I am impressed with your "green" ideas to twart the creepy crawlers in your greenhouse and garden. Beautiful pictures and in spite of the fog, a gorgeous landscape. Lovely to see!

  4. Your green thumb and green house are amazing!! What an awesome job!! Love the garden cloth idea!! and your little visitor he is very cool!
    You have a beautiful garden, thank you so much for sharing all your tips!!
    Soak in the sun!! It's been pouring down rain here too, just what the garden ordered, but a bit hard on the spirits :(
    ttyl ~ Madai
    Ps thank you so much for stopping by my little world!