Greenhouse Management

Several volumes could be written on the subject of greenhouse management and of the various plants which can be cultivated in greenhouses in the small garden. However, the common type of greenhouse is one which is designed to hold a variety of plants; and the problem for the amateur to decide is usually what plants he will grow together in his limited space and with limited heat, for obviously the single greenhouse cannot be a stovehouse. As a rule, the Orchid family and most tropical plants are not found in the single greenhouse. They need constant syringing at certain seasons and the atmosphere maintained for their health is undesirable for many of the commoner plants grown by amateurs. If the greenhouse is just used for raising seedlings and wintering rather tender plants, the decorative appearance is best maintained by using the commoner plants such as Schizanthus, Torenia, Browallia, etc., and the nearly hardy plants such as Amaryllis, Lilies and Cyclamen. The best advice that can be given is to avoid attempting too much. A cool greenhouse can be made exceedingly attractive by the judicious selection of plants suggested here, and at the same time it can serve a double purpose. That of housing seedlings and cuttings and in starting growth.

A profitable method of using a small greenhouse is to grow winter-flowering Carnations, followed by a Tomato crop in summer and Chrysanthemums in the autumn. They nt in with each other so that the major part of the space is occupied by each crop in succession.

As an alternative, the greenhouse may be made a continuous centre of interest and admiration, if a suitable selection of plants is grown to make a special show for each successive month. Thus, when January’s sweet-scented Hyacinths and Lilies of the Valley fade, February’s Tulips and Daffodils are in their glory. The dainty Azalea and Laburnum of March give way to the deep blues and purples of April Cinerarias and Gloxinias.

May is ushered in with a fine show of Calceolarias and Schizanthus, the velvet bees and dainty butterflies of the flower world. June’s gay Begonias and scented Lilies are followed by the dainty coolness of Campanula Pyramidalis, or the fragrant fresh Carnations.

The August show might be heavy-headed Fuchsias and upstanding Amaryllis; in September Pelargoniums, the flaunting beauties of the series are in their prime, and the lovely crimson and cerise of the hothouse Cyclamen, or the Poinsettia’s painted leaf vie with the rich outdoor colouring of October.

Chrysanthemum the Golden brings into November’s dull days a summer glow that fades into the snowy purity of December’s Narcissus and Roman Hyacinths, thus ending the year with a promise of spring.

Potting Soil

In greenhouse management one of the most important things is to keep a supply under cover of the following materials.

Seed-sowing compost is best made of three parts fibrous loam, one part sharp sand and one part old, decayed leaves all well rubbed through a fine sieve. To this mortar rubble or lime can be added. In most cases the leaf-mould can be omitted entirely. Potting soil is varied according to the type of plant, remembering that a good number of the greenhouse plants require peat, some require sphagnum moss, and, in most cases in preparing soil for pots, sharp sand is used. It is therefore advisable to keep a stock of all these materials and also some broken charcoal and lime-stone chippings. All these are required at times in the greenhouse.

Pots, in various sizes, should be kept clean in readiness for use. Every pot after being once used should be scrubbed with disinfectant soap and water and allowed to dry before being used again.

Seed Boxes and Pans

These should be kept clean in readiness for use, and a supply of broken crocks, pieces of broken pot, broken brick, etc., should also be kept, as these are wanted in all potting operations. Labels and indelible pencil, a syringe, canes for training and a long-spouted can for watering, are other essentials for greenhouse management.

It is advisable, wherever possible, to keep all the materials used, in the greenhouse or under cover as close to the greenhouse as convenient, partly for ease of working and partly because soil, pots and so on should be used at the same time that seedlings are being pricked out and potted on. The slight check of putting a tender seedling into ice-cold soil might easily be fatal.

The Propagating Frame

In most small greenhouses a propagating frame is useful.

In this cuttings can be kept in a close, damp atmosphere during the time that the roots are forming, whereas if they are in the greenhouse difficulty may be experienced in keeping them uniformly moist.

Propagating frames are made in various shapes and sizes, according to the type of plants to be grown. They are merely miniature portable greenhouses.

03. September 2013 by admin
Categories: Kitchen Gardens, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Greenhouse Management

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