Growing Fruit in the Greenhouse – Strawberries and Melons

Growing Fruit in the Greenhouse

Victorian kitchen gardens often had a separate greenhouse just for a grape-vine, and a peach house for fan-trained peaches or nectarines. However, you can grow fruit productively with other crops in a small greenhouse.

Strawberries in pots or hanging baskets only occupy the space for a few months at the beginning of the year and can give you a very early crop. Melons are annuals, grown like cucumbers, and a grape-vine can be accommodated along with other plants provided that you prune it rigorously to keep it in check. You could even grow a fig tree in a pot and move it outside for the summer

 

Growing Strawberries – Fragaria x ananassa

Varieties

growing fruit in the greenhouse - growing strawberry Any variety will do (you can take runners from your garden plants), but an early one is best.

Planting

Pot up plants in late summer, and pot on when necessary into 15cm pots of nutrient-rich potting compost. Keep the pots outside in a cold place for the first part of the winter — this chilling induces good flowering and fruiting. In midwinter, bring them into the greenhouse and gradually begin watering. Start to feed them when the flower buds appear, and keep the greenhouse well ventilated once these begin to open.

Harvesting

Harvest from late spring to early summer You cannot force the same plants twice, so when fruiting has finished discard them or plant them in the garden.

Pests, diseases, and disorders

Because the plants are inside for so short a time early in the year few problems occur, but watch out for aphids.

 

Growing Sweet melons – Cucumis melo

Varieties

Choose a cantaloup variety such as ‘Sweetheart’ Fl or ‘Ogen’, as other types usually need some heat.

Sowing and planting

As with greenhouse cucumbers, take particular care to protect the stem from rotting. You can let the plants ramble over the ground or bench, or scramble up netting, but they will take up less space if you tie them up canes or string like cucumbers. Pinch out the side shoots one leaf beyond a developing fruit, and do not allow each plant to produce more than three or four fruits. Unlike cucumbers, melons must be pollinated in order to fruit. Insects should do this for you, but if fruit does not develop, then try doing it by hand.

Harvesting

Harvest from late summer to early autumn.

Pests, diseases, and disorders

Powdery mildew and red spider mite are the main problems.

29. November 2010 by admin
Categories: Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Growing Fruit in the Greenhouse – Strawberries and Melons

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