All Things Gardening forum: Happy first day of winter !

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Dec 21, 2014 8:34 AM CST
Also known as the winter solstice... now the days can start getting longer again! Hurray!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 21, 2014 9:23 AM CST
I am ready for spring! Sighing!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Dec 21, 2014 10:01 AM CST
I love turning this corner.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Dec 21, 2014 10:48 AM CST
Same here!
Hurray!
We are getting a deluge of much needed rain today that I am very grateful for. But it really accentuates the whole darkness thing being socked in like this and now my wood is soaked so I'm going to have to bail on my little solstice bonfire part of the celebration Hilarious!
That's okay though--I'm really happy for the rain Green Grin! Now I won't have to water trees and shrubs under the snow Thumbs up
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Dec 21, 2014 11:03 AM CST
Obligatory:

Click here for Solstice Cheer!
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Dec 21, 2014 11:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Dec 21, 2014 2:51 PM CST
Asa, Jethro Tull was never a favorite of mine ... but this is great! thanks for sharing Thumbs up
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Dec 21, 2014 5:40 PM CST
I'm with Deb on turning the corned. Even though it will be getting a lot colder soon, just know the days are getting longer, and spring is not far away, makes me happy.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Dec 21, 2014 6:51 PM CST
Horntoad said:I'm with Deb on turning the corned. Even though it will be getting a lot colder soon, just know the days are getting longer, and spring is not far away, makes me happy.


I agree
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
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Ecscuba
Dec 22, 2014 9:22 PM CST
Yeah, glad for the longer days, but very discouraged. Greenhouse plants doing terrible.
haven't had many nice sunny days lately and it's very humid and it seems like maybe the CFLs I've added have warmed it too much and made the mildew grow ?? I have white mildew looking stuff all over the soil in almost ALL of the plants in there. Cleaned it off the top layer - and sprayed it with some neem oil (which said it was good for powdery mildew) -- but I'm not really sure it's powdery mildew since it wasn't on the leaves

I have great luck getting everything sprouted and then it goes downhill from there. I'm sure I'll learn over time, but my visions of eating arugula, lettuce and radishes this winter seem to be disappearing. darn. And I thought because I have a "green thumb" with house plants that this would be easy for me.
[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
[Last edited by Ecscuba - Dec 22, 2014 9:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 22, 2014 9:30 PM CST
Carol, how do you move the air in your greenhouse?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Dec 22, 2014 9:34 PM CST
Carol, gardening can be very frustrating at times, no matter how long you've been at it. (At least once a year something gives me a reason to say "I'm glad I'm not trying to make a living doing this," and I've been gardening for about 40 years now. There are a lot of things to learn, from timing, to what varieties to best in your area, to how much (or little) to water, etc etc etc. And then Mother Nature will still throw some kind of monkey wrench at you.

I'm far removed from your zone, but I can't help but think that things like lettuce, radishes and arugula would be doing better outside the GH in your area at this time of year. They are very cold tolerant crops, even if you have a light frost they will be fine; and if the temps are going lower than that, just a covering of Reemay (or a similar "floating row cover" material) should suffice to protect them. Obviously, though, I'm just guessing here -- lots of people on ATP from the south, I hope someone will chime in that has more definitive info. Smiling Just don't give up too quickly -- you'll be glad you didn't !
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Ecscuba
Dec 22, 2014 9:34 PM CST
@drdawg my GH is only 6 x 8 and I'm using a small clip on fan- and opening the vents in the ceiling (hoping some air flow is still there even though covered with the solar cover). Today it was sunny so I left the door all the way open. Put the clip on fan on a stool right in front of the door to draw in air. I haven't done that part for 4-5 days because it's been too cool, but I've kept the fan circulating even with the door closed.


[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Ecscuba
Dec 22, 2014 9:40 PM CST
@weedwhacker you are probably right in that those veggies might do better outside. We have tons of deer and they eat everything in sight, so that's a challenge too. I am terrified of snakes -- so I'd hoped to enjoy "gardening in the greenhouse" during the winter and avoid those snakes-- kind of scared that they might sneak out for a winter sunning !

This summer I used my finger to pluck a few dry leaves out of the parsley pot that was on a plant stand on the patio -- and lo and behold, a snake stuck its head out ! My husband couldn't believe it -- if there is one in a hundred miles it will find me! And, unlike Michigan where I grew up, we have rattlers, coral snakes, water moccasins, copper heads, and so forth, here. Thus I am very attracted to the idea of winter gardening - inside the greenhouse.

[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Dec 22, 2014 9:45 PM CST
Blinking the poisonous snakes are definitely a big drawback to the south, in my opinion! Snakes in general don't bother me, but like you said, here in MI they are not dangerous. I lived in S. Carolina for a short time, about 6 months, and hated the fact that going for a little walk in the woods was so potentially hazardous...

I guess in that case I would suggest uncovering the GH and opening it up (vents, door, whatever) as fully as possible! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Ecscuba
Dec 22, 2014 9:59 PM CST
@weedwhacker Believe you're right --- so is @DRDAWG -- I probably need a lot more fresh air in there. I may add another fan - and open the door even when it's a bit chilly. I also wonder .... I've been buying Miracle Grow organic soil - in bags, and it's always very, very wet. Wonder if it could be breeding something. Every bag I've bought is that way. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've had this mold stuff appear.

Someone on this site suggested spraying with chamomile tea periodically to prevent it and that helped for 4-5 weeks Maybe I'm also misting too much and not letting things dry out like they should.

So, I'll try to stay positive and keep slugging away until I get better with it. I love getting my hands in the dirt.

[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Dec 22, 2014 10:12 PM CST
Carol, I HATE when the potting soil is soggy like that ! Around here, and probably where you are, they have stacks of the bags outdoors, where they're exposed to rain, and they soak up a ton of water. I try to either get bags that have been stored indoors, or are underneath the others and somewhat protected from the elements... it's pretty easy to tell when you pick a bag up, by the weight difference.

And yes, I would definitely just try to let the soil dry out -- a LOT. I doubt that you really need to do anything in the way of misting right now, with the lettuce, arugala and radishes, at least. (Believe me, I've killed plenty of plants with 'kindness,' as well as with neglect... it can be hard to get the right balance ! In fact, this past summer was the first time I can remember that I killed off some of my seedlings by overwatering... I decided to really go all in with the garden this year - instead of dividing my time with other hobbies like golfing - and might have gone a little overboard with the attention to the plants Rolling my eyes. )
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 7:40 AM CST
Carol, I have stated this many times, so forgive me if it is a repeat for you, but air movement is EVERYTHING in a greenhouse environment. Even though your greenhouse may be half the size of one of mine, the dynamics do not change. Plants, particularly tender ones simply don't do well in stagnant air. What does do well is mold, mildew, and other noxious fungi and bacteria! So get a (cheap) box fan and a timer, and run that fan 6-8 hr. every day (whether the door or vent is open or not). You can put the fan at the far end-wall, on the floor, and it won't "blast" your plants that way. Believe me, this alone will make a big difference.

Let your soil dry out before watering. I would only mist IF you see the leaves wilting and then ONLY do so in the morning. You want those plants and those tender leaves to have time to dry out before nightfall.

I custom-make all my potting mixes, so I don't use commercial potting mixes, at least not in its bagged state. I find it TOO water retentive and I want well-draining soil, not soggy soil. What you can do is get a bottle of Physan 20 and drench your potting soil before putting that soil into pots or trays (and I am guessing here, so others may have a better feel of what to do). You might want to just fill up a 5 gal. bucket of potting soil, drench the soil with the Physan, and use that soil as needed.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Ecscuba
Dec 23, 2014 9:22 AM CST
@drdawg thank you very much for the info. Heading to Home Depot to see if they have a box fan. Thanks for the other good info too. Never heard of that product for the soil but will find it. Fingers crossed I learn to greenhouse garden --thanks for the help.
[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 9:33 AM CST
Like most of us here on ATP, I learned from doing, and making my fair share of mistakes along the way. That's the advantage of your using us as a sounding board. We and now you learn from our mistakes. I guess you can say we are "mentors". Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 23, 2014 1:32 PM CST
I agree with all I read above: air movement and venting. It sounds like most of your crops are cold-tolerant, so daily venting may help a little.

I've read that underwatering is a good idea in wintertime hoop tunnels.

One way to mitigate the effect of soggy soilless mixes and humid or stagnant air is to provide a dry surface on each pot. Think of it as "mini-mulching". I like pine bark chunks around a half-inch for small pots, or up to one inch for larger pots. Water runs right around them. Then air circulates enough to dry the bark chunks. This may help keep soil-dwelling fungus and mold away from the plant stems.

You'll still have to keep the air moving and less humid, or mold spores will start living on leaves.

And bottom watering is sure to keep the root zone moist with less humidity than surface misting will. The soil surface needs to dry out often. Only the roots need water.

P.S. When water evaporates from moist soil, the evaporation removes a lot of heat from the soil. If the humid air then condenses on the plastic greenhouse wall, it exports that heat right out of the greenhouse. Dryer air will probably also translate into warmer air.

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