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Monday, January 5, 2015

Tasks: The Greenhouse In January

For a while now I have been considering sharing some of the ins and outs of my greenhouse. I am often asked what to do each month and why...so I thought I would put together a series of Monthly posts that will share what I do as each month passes...and prompt those who need a bit of a reminder!

Many greenhouse growers use their greenhouses for a short period during the warmer months of the year, but there are a small percentage of us that grow year round! This month by month outline will share what tasks may need to be done year round. Keeping in mind that I garden in a harsh climate in Alberta Canada, (zone 2) the outdoor growing season is from mid to the end of May until the hard frosts take my gardens in mid to late September or early October. If your climate is a bit milder than mine, you can adjust your greenhouse schedule to suit your climate. This schedule is made for a plan to plant outdoors in Mid to late May.
JANUARY.
January is the start of a whole new year! It is a good month to take a look at what you have growing in your greenhouse, take inventory of your supplies, and begin to plan for the coming summer months. In the cooler climates, the greenhouse will already have been insulated and inspected for the cold temps of the winter, but this is a good time to take a quick look to make sure that all the equipment, heaters, fans, and thermometers are in good working order. It is a great time to begin to plan for your gardens for the upcoming garden season!
In January I prepare MY greenhouse by:
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*making sure the greenhouse is well insulated, and that all drafts are plugged. Take extra care to look especially round the doors, eaves and vents.
* make sure all snow is removed from the roof as soon as it falls, to not only ease the pressure on the roof, but to allow more light to enter the growing area.
*set up my water system. I do not have running water in my greenhouse, therefore I use large clean garbage cans. I clean and fill my water cans, so that they are ready for the upcoming months, and that I have a water supply for the rest of winter.
* keep garden hose on hand for the filling of the cans, so that it is not frozen.
*purchase several bales of potting soil
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* on a “warm” day, I prune and/or re-pot and then bring all the tropical houseplants that I house over the fall and early winter months into the house to make room for the upcoming spring plants.
*order seeds for the upcoming spring crop
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* remove all dead leaves from plants that are remaining in the greenhouse, prune and/or re-pot.
* clean and tidy up the greenhouse- including washing the walls/windows and all shelving
*spray for pests (If necessary I will use a mild insecticide to make sure the environment is ‘clean’ for the young seedlings to come
*test the heat, thermostat, thermometers and fan system.
*plan for extra/supplemental heat sources if necessary. The temps can fall rapidly and harsh cold is common in Alberta in the winter months. -37C is not uncommon.
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Set Up Shelving In January
*set up the shelving (staging) in the greenhouse
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*begin to fill pots and line trays for the seeds to be sown in
*it is a good idea to begin a greenhouse journal, either by hand or on your computer to track your activities for future reference, and for the planning/scheduling stages
* start to get excited for the spring seeds to arrive and get plans made for the gardens this year.
What greenhouse tasks do you do in your area in the first month of the year?
I will see you again in February!
Until then, Happy Gardening!
(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
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