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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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 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 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:
*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
* 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
* 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.
Set Up Shelving In January
*set up the shelving (staging) in the greenhouse
*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!
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.


meemsnyc said...

I am so envious of your greenhouse setup! Wow! Wow!

Sue said...

You're making me miss my greenhouse more and more! I used to love to get everything ready for the growing season. But oh, I don't miss the heating bills-lol!!
Have a great week, Tootsie!

Betty819 said...

Gosh, reading all of that tired me out! Growing in a greenhouse seems like a lot of work but I'm sure once you get the hang of doing things routinely and love it as much as you do, it's not work, it's a labor of love and the end result is worth it.

Do you think if there will be any adjustments to make in the greenhouse temps compared to where you had lived before?

Do hope you and the kids are feeling better now and are over that horrible virus bug.

The Japanese Redneck said...

You are one busy woman!

Sigrun said...

Kubota Man does all the mechanical stuff the first week of February. Heat on in the smallest greenhouse(2000 sq. ft) Feb15. Started plants come once a week for 5 weeks from different suppliers. Seeding started Feb 18--a different agenda every week till May 15.
Today I'm getting spikes, citrosa and some pot stuffers and herb started plants. Wednesday all the Zonal Geraniums and 400 pot stuffers.
I'm glad the computer knows what I'm seeding on Thurs and Fri, because I forgot.

Sigrun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nell Jean said...

We garden in two different worlds, Tootsie.

Your greenhouse in a very cold climate is so well organized. Mine mostly offers shelter from occasional freezes for plants that can stand temps just above freezing for short periods.

My pest control crew is a bunch of anoles and tree frogs and a fat kitty. I don't have much of a schedule, but it all gets done.

My new goal is more edibles.

Donna Heber said...

Hi Tootsie,

Thank you for sharing your greenhouse information with us. When I was a little girl we use to have a greenhouse - I miss those days.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea to give us a step by step - month by month instruction on a greenhouse! One of these days I am going to have it and will know exactly how to set it up thanks to you friend!!

How is the rest of the house coming?
Today was a day that I had off but am feeling so funky that I haven't gotten much accomplished besides the laundry.

bee blessed

sabri said...

23 days to spring and counting can not wait...was like a spring day here today went out to see what was peeping through my dirt...and it looks promising..i have been busy re-doing some trash to treasure ..hope to be here for friday flaunt your flowers..

siteseer said...

In case you didn't notice - :) I'm reading these backwards lol. I am so ready for spring... actually, we're getting temps in the upper 60's low 70's this week and things are popping up all over. Unfortunately, we are leaving for vacation in the south at the end of the week and I'll miss all of this loveliness. I'm so tempted to take leaves off of everything, but I'm concerned with the little bunnies eating all of the fresh green. Wish my little plants a lot of luck to make it 2 weeks til I get back.

siteseer said...

I'm reading these backwards :) Our weather has broke this week and we have 60's and 70's - of course we're planning on leaving for two weeks this weekend and I'm going to miss all of this loveliness :( Hope my fresh green stuff manages to make it til we get back. Why do I have to go on vacation? lol Oh yeah, to go to warmer weather lol

Bren Haas said...

Grow baby Grow .... I love it when you share your true love!

Happy January Greenhouse sista! Bren

NellJean said...

Routine maintenance here. I noticed some things yesterday when I watered that had roots growing out of the bottoms of the pots and need repotting. I looked back at last January and see where I put the little kitchen cart that is so handy. Time to rearrange some 'furniture' -- I have no place to sit.

Lori E said...

Love your header photo. Your flowers are so amazing. You must tend them with such loving care.
I know you do a lot of work but man oh man does it pay off for you in blooms.

La Petite Gallery said...

wish I had a green house, Boy you really put in some work. Now sit back and take a break, it's 2013. Happy New Year.
I'd love to be in that header, the yard is beautiful.

Liz said...

That is one of the biggest greenhouses I have ever seen, I'm green with envy.
Just about to go and sort mine out to start my chillis off.

kate maryon said...

Glenda I so wish. I had a greenhouse!! It's on the top of my 2014 list!! On those not so great days a greenhouse certainly does a lot for my attitude. While Inwas going to Olds college the greenhouses were a great refuge .... I will be chatting with you about what your experience has taught you as far as size and the absolute have to haves!! Hey! Are you writing this series for me?... Looking forward to it Glenda

PlantPostings said...

Wow, all great advice. I wish I had a greenhouse. Well, I guess I do--one of those collapsable jobs that I hope to set up after the snow melts. I also have a sunroom, which is a fun thing, too. Happy New Year, Tootsie!

Joani said...

Such great advice. In Arizona, the temperatures are already in the 70s and they are predicting that this will be a warmer than usual spring without any rain. The fall flowers are still blooming outside. I've planted a few seeds in hopes that we don't have any cold weather but can cover & protect. Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge.

Jean Campbell said...

Everybody needs a greenhouse. It's cheaper than a luxury vacation and the pleasure lasts.

Schlumbergeras have just finished blooming. Kalanchoes are starting to bloom and potted Hyacinths have great big buds.

There is always busy work, like emptying and refilling the containers that have cuttings rooting in water and seeing who needs a drink.

I think the cat enjoys the greenhouse more than I do. He spends nights in his cozy little hut but as soon as the greenhouse door opens when the sun shines on it, he is ready to take up his post insdie.

La Petite Gallery said...

Dear Glenda, I am so buried in snow here on the coast of Maine. What a Feb.the
blizzards keep coming there is no where
to put it. My roof is making cracking sounds. Be well safe and warm.

La Petite Gallery said...

Happy Valentines Day... Wish I had a greenHouse, enjoy be well. yvonne