It was last May when I last wrote an update about what’s happening in the greenhouse – not very helpful!
In reality the greenhouse is almost impossible to use for anything from Mid-June until September because it is just too hot. The shade netting (which is on the inside) is hardly ever removed as even in winter on sunny days which are probably the majority the temperatures rise to the high 30’s°C during the day even if it is very cold outside. Two of the roof lights open automatically when the temperature reaches 20°C and if I am here I open the door on sunny days. Usually from April onwards the door remains open all the time.
Just before leaving for Christmas in the UK, all the citrus plus a couple of pots of scented geraniums, were moved from the terrace into the greenhouse, just these take up a good 50% of the available space. Floor space is also taken by large pots containing carrots, parsley, coriander and spinach plus 2 pots of Ranunculus, one white and one orange.
In the foreground you can just glimpse the new heater, it is set on the lowest setting so will hopefully not be costing too much, it should keep the temperatures inside to just above freezing, so far when it was minus 5°C outside with wind-chill making it seem colder still the temperature fell inside to a low of 0.9°C, which was warm enough to keep everything growing well. The downside is that the fan dries the air and plants need more water.
The Ami major sown on 7th September has grown much too quickly, there are 24 9cm pots, really they need potting on as they are already beginning to flower and they are toppling out of their pots because they are a bit leggy despite having been positioned on the top of the shelves so they can receive all the light possible. Yesterday after taking these images I cut back more than half of the plants to hopefully make shorter stronger plants but I am aware that I will have to sow some more to ensure that I have some of a suitable size to plant out in spring.
The sides of the greenhouse are glass and the roof is plexiglass, sorry about the reflections that make it difficult to see what is outside and what’s inside, it was a very sunny day!
I love the taste of passion fruit and sadly it is something that is hard to find here in Italy (well where I live anyway), so I was thrilled when a friend gave me some seeds that she had bought while on holiday in Costa Rica. There were about 4 different varieties of passion fruit so I was even more thrilled when it was the ‘edulis’ ones that germinated. There are three plants each about 80cm tall; if anyone knows how they should be pruned to produce fruit I would be most grateful to know. They were sown on 14th April 2014.
Don’t be deceived by the label, they aren’t Nepeta but mixed antirrhinums still from the packet purchased last spring for 29 cents. The stronger but shorter plants to the right are A. Large White from Sara Raven.
Since September I have been sowing trays of salad leaves to provide some tasty salads during winter.
There are also lots of cuttings some that have already rooted and been potted on demanding light and space.
I will try to be more diligent about reporting on the greenhouse, seed-sowing etc.; I will aim to write once a month during the first week of the month.
Do you grow salad leaves for the winter? If you have a greenhouse what is growing in yours now?