In the greenhouse borders

From not having a greenhouse (functioning) to having a greenhouse that is almost full has happened very quickly. 

Outside it is cold (for June) and very dry, made worse by bouts of wind (you can read that any way you like!). So very little is growing or making progress in the back garden. In a sense, I was relieved to read on Charles Dowding’s website that he, an expert gardener, was having to deal with the same issues. At least, it can’t all be my gardening technique!

Anyway, as I have no more grow bags, I decided to investigate the  borders for planting. On one side of the greenhouse, there is some useable soil, which has not been used for growing anything other than garlic and rocket since I have had the house. However, the other side was garden path and the soil there is very compacted.

water draining very slowly due to soil compaction

In the hole above I put lots of organic matter and then I built up the soil with compost and manure round the courgette I put over the hole. The courgette is in a sorry state after being outside to be hardened off – unsuccessfully, due to the aforementioned weather conditions. 


weather-beaten courgette plant

But now it is in a warmer, sheltered environment, I hope it will have a chance of survival and, you never know, it might produce some fruit.

On the other hand, the tomato plant and aubergine plant that went in the opposite border with some reasonable soil are already healthy specimens, which I want to keep that way. They will, I am sure, enjoy the slightly more comfortable temperatures (24 degrees C as I finished up) than they have had, even overnight, in the house.

the better border


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to In the greenhouse borders

  1. awesome update Helen thank you for sharing have a blessed day

  2. drofmit4108 says:

    Helen, the courgette….
    being all alone and in the greenhouse….
    will need hand pollinating.
    Pick off a male flower and rip off the petals….
    gently, mind…
    to leave the pollen loaded stamens…
    ram that end into an open female flower and wiggle it around.
    It isn’t a tedious job and is a guarantee of fruit!!

    We do it to all our cucurbits, even the outdoor ones….,
    be they courgette, cukes, squash or pumpkins…
    even the melons….
    I do it as I look for possible pickings and twist the female flower around the stem of the male flower….
    that way I know which I’ve done.
    Good luck and heavy fruiting!!

    Oh! and bury that stem right up to the first two green leaves…
    the courgette will root sideways out of what is now stem…
    and will grow away vigorously…
    it is called “ring culture”…
    and it works for tomatoes as well!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks very much for your suggestions, Tim. If I put another courgette plant in there is there more likelihood of pollination naturally? I did hand pollinate my cucumbers and pumpkins last year….

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Not really, they are in a greenhouse…
        even if you have open doorways, windows, etc….
        the pollinators have got to find them.
        Outdoors there is a greater chance…
        except all the flowers tend to be BELOW the big wide leaves!!
        And you will find that one plant will be out of sync with the other…
        either both will put out loads of male flowers…
        good for tempura flower buds tho’…
        and then they will put out female flowers…
        and nary a male flower to be seen!
        I have on occasions made a male squash flower last ten courgette females…
        and that is outdoors!!
        Cukes don’t need hand pollination… they are pretty self-fertile.
        As there is only two of you, recommend you plant Diva next year as a cuke…
        divine eating for two… so none left in the fridge!!

  3. Good luck with that soil. I have spent ages growing mine .. adding loads of organic matter, homemade compost (nearly good enough to eat šŸ™‚ ), manures and mulch, mulch mulch! That tom looks mighty happy …

    • Helen says:

      Yes, the tom does look healthy and vigorous, doesn’t it?

      The soil is actually quite light in that part of the garden, so even if it had never been compacted it would need a fair amount of amendments anyway.

      I have no idea yet it there will be a greenhouse in this position next year, but cine what may, that soil will be a lot more useful when I’ve finished with it šŸ˜‰

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s