Not much to report on the farm this morning. The fall breeze is wending its way through every leaf and fern frond. Buddy paces the porch in search of the stingiest slice of sunshine. And I’m trying to prep the place for seven months of droplets, drizzle and downpours.
My greenhouse remains woefully optimistic, gloating over the fact that its tenants are protected until the first severe frost. Dahlias respond to cooler nights, blooming like the finale of a fireworks show, one last blast of color and exuberance before the show ends for the season.
Over the last several weeks, a flush of operatic songbirds have coopted my greenhouse as their performance hall. Every day is an ovation when song sparrows provide the curtain call. I thought you might enjoy shutting out some worldly noise, and letting in a simple song of joy.
Where ARE you , little Caruso??
I was acting as cameraman, not wishing to upstage the little warblers! Oh wait, I’m so dense, I’m not litte Caruso, you were talking about the birds. (Need more sleep.) 😉
For me, the most wonderful thing about a greenhouse is the smell when you enter. Living in the upper Midwest, with our harsh winters, the smell of damp soil (and feeling humidity) is heaven on a day below zero.
So true, especially when I push the zonal envelope by planting gardenia and jasmine, which adds a new fragrant dimension to the enclosure.
1. How do you keep the greenhouse cool in the summer and do you heat it in the winter?
2. What are you going to grow in the winter? Do you just leave the Dahlia tubers in the ground?
I actually have about 20 questions, but I am trying to restrain myself.
I deliberately placed my Greenhouse east of the property’s forest, so it would be partially shaded in late afternoon and begin to cool down in the heat of the day. I also have the design that allows the 70-foot side-wall panels to be rolled up and allow air circulation, and heat release. In addition I keep both end entrances open all summer with deer fencing curtains to dissuade hungry visitors. It’s still gets toasty but I hand water to cool the soil on plants that are wilting. And yes I leave the tubers in the ground, cease to water in November and let them go dormant. I also let the chickens in for a spa vacation and to do their manure magic and insect foraging during the fall and winter. Cheers
Thank you Tom. Your setup is brilliant.
Thank you, Judy. I so agree!
Hi Tom! Just wondering whether you plant directly into the ground in your greenhouse, or have raised beds or containers where the plants grow? It looks just lovely! Diane
Thanks Diane, I plant directly in the ground. No raised beds, just hand till with a b broadfork, the areas I want to plant.
Such a beautiful greenhouse!
Thanks Rose! It gets better every year as I learn its secrets and personality. It’s definitely a living structure!