My Garden Is Full Of Surprises :0)

in #gardening4 years ago (edited)

My greenhouse story: April has been hot. And dry.
I haven't checked the official sites, but I'm pretty sure this it has been the hottest an driest month of April in decades, if not since 1830.

Greenhouse Goodies

Click to enlarge
I've been enjoying the weather a lot. But the gardener in me is a bit frustrated. While it feels like summer already, it is too soon to start planting my veggies in the garden. Our average last frost date is May 15th, and from past experience I've learned to respect that date. Despite the high temperatures we're experiencing now, there's no guarantee it won't be freezing here a week from now.

So, my patience is being tested, just like during the previous years.


Outdated Pics


Quite a lot is going on already in the garden. Last week, I took photos of everything, but didn't get myself to make the post. Making a complete overview would take up a whole lot of time, so I kept postponing in.

Of course... we're one week later now, and those pictures are already completely outdated. To avoid giving myself a work overload,I've decided to split things up.
In this post, I'm going to walk you through the greenhouse.


The Luxury Of A Greenhouse

Instead of the cold frames I was using last year, everything goes inside the greenhouse now. In the afternoon, the temperature in there goes up to 38°C (91.5°F), so it is the perfect spot to keep my seedlings until they can be planted outside.

Chinese Artichoke (AKA Crosne), Yacon, Peppermint, Chives, Wilde Garlic, Upright Pennyroyal, melon pear and pinapple sage are gathered here until they can be transplanted to their permanent place in the garden.

Greenhouse goodies

Click to enlarge
.I'm still experiencing issues with my back, I had decided to keep the sowing to a minimum this year and just buy seedlings. Other years, my electric propagator works overtime this time of year, but I haven't even plugged it in yet.

The few things I've sowed (some basil, giant sunflowers, regular-sized sunflowers and 3 cannabis plants I'll be growing for a friend) I have put in a couple of mini greenhouses and put those in the main greenhouse. Plenty of sun and warmth there, so the propagator became obsolete.


The sunflowers have popped their little heads above the sand two days ago, same for the basil (which needs to be thinned out urgently). Yesterday, I also noticed the little cannabis seeds turned into tiny seedlings.


Click to enlarge
Growing things for others - especially cannabis - is not my favorite thing to do, to be honest. I mean, my friends see me as a wizard in the garden, but the truth is that I just wing it. Most of the time I follow my gut feeling and experiment. But hey, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, right?!.

Being responsible for other people's cannabis plants makes me a bit nervous. It's completely different from growing anything else. They're counting on a good harvest; failing is not an option. So you can imagine how happy I was to see the little seedlings pop up from under the sand. First hurdle taken.


Craving For Fresh Lettuce

I also sowed some lettuce here and there. Because of the situation with COVID19, we're trying to avoid shopping for food as much as we can. One trip to the shop every two weeks does the trick for now, but after the first week, I'm really craving for fresh veggies. Being able to pick lettuce, rocket, lemon balm straight from the garden has never been such a delight as it is this year.

Green house lettuce

Click to enlarge
In the front yard, we still have some beets and some carrots that survived winter, and quite some purslane that grew back pretty fast.

So even though it is still very early in the season, we do have fresh veggies whenever we want them.

A couple of weeks ago, I also bought two cabbage seedlings. One has been planted in the garden outside, but because we had a couple of very cold nights, the other one is growing up inside the greenhouse until all risk of frost is gone.


Greenhouse Cabbage

Click to enlarge
Just a few days ago, I planted a bunch of plant onions next to the lettuce I sowed, and they seem to be growing at warp speed.


In For A Surprise


Before winter, we added our home made compost to the raised beds in the greenhouse. Truth to be told: we don't take compost rules very strict. We try to, but somehow we always manage to add things to it that shouldn't be added, like plants and flowers that already went to seed, or leftovers of fruit that still have seeds in them.

As a result, I now have some mystery plants growing in the greenhouse.

At the same time lots of weeds are popping up. Last year's calendula flowers, borage and Marigolds dropped a lot of seeds on the soil, so they're starting to pop up again too. When everything is so small, it's not easy to determine what exactly is growing.

One of the first surprise plants was this one:

Greenhouse Squah


When it was smaller, I couldn't really tell if it would grow into zucchini, cucumber, melon or squash... the small seedlings of those all kinda look alike, in my opinion.

It has grown a bit bigger now and I'm pretty sure it is a squash variety. That would make sense, since we had a squash plant growing on our compost pile last year.

I'm gonna let it grow a bit bigger and stronger before I move it to the garden and plant it in one of the outside beds.

This last week, one unidentified plant started growing faster than the others. I vaguely recognize its shape, but I can't pinpoint it. It looks a bit like a small gooseberry or tomatillo plant, but I'm not sure about that. I've decided to let it grow up and hopefully I'll be able to identify it soon.
(Feel free to let me know if you recognize the plant and can name it.)

In the bed on the other side, another big question mark. It's not as recognizable as it should be, because it suffered from a bit of slug damage. I hope it survives so I can figure out what it is.

Greenhouse mystery


In the same bed, I noticed another plant this morning. The shape of the leaves and how the leaves are attached to the stem, remind me of lemon pear (AKA Sweet Pepino). That would be weird, though. I've been growing plants in the greenhouse for a couple of years, but the fruits - which contain the seeds - are picked when they are ripe, and I eat every single one of them. They're too delicious to let them go to waste. The plant simply doesn't get a chance to reproduce. So probably I'm way off and it's something completely different. But what, then??

In one of the big containers, some rocket popped up. Never grew rocket in the greenhouse before, so I assume the seeds got there by wind, or maybe even pollinators, although I'm not sure that's even possible.




I had lots of differen tomato plants last year. By the end of the season, the greenhouse was a jungle, and I couldn't prevent that some of the tomatoes fell off the plants and onto the soil.
A mild winter followed, and it seems like some seeds that were left behind sprouted agin.

This one was the first one I spotted. It's still very small, and I have no way to find out which variety it will go into. I don't really care. I love it when nature surprises me.

Greenhouse tomato


These little ones are for sure Red Robin tomatoes, as they started growing in the pot where I had that mini-variety growing last year. I still need to decide which one I will keep.

Greenhouse Red Robin


The ment verbeena lost all its leaves during winter. Since I have neglected to water these beds all winter log, I had not expected that it would have survived winter.
Apparently, I was wrong. Small green leaves are forming again. I wonder if the stems will grow as long as they did last year. They were easily 3m long.

Ment verbena


And of course, the lemon balm bushes I planted on both sides of the greenhouse entrance are growing at warp speed again. I placed them there to repel musquitos and other annoying bugs. This will be the third year they will be guarding the gate to paradise.

Next to their repelling talent, they also make a delicious and healthy tea. And on top.of that, they're absolutely stunning.



More is yet to come. I have ordered a lot more veggies and herbs (both culinary herbs and herbs that can be use for medicinal purpose).
I had promised my girfriend to keep it small, but I assume that when you're reading this, you'll understand it's nearly impossible to pass on all those interesting fruits, veggies and herbs.



Need Some Advice


While you're here, I might just as well ask for some ideas on a problem I have. A problem.of which I 'm not sure how to handle it. I've tried so many different things, but so far without any succesd...

Ants... sigh...



I really need to get rid of the ants that are all over the beds in the greenhouse. Last year, there were hundreds. This year, it feel like there are hundreds of thousands.

I'm fully aware that ants an sich are not really a big problem. They only do little harm.

The big problem is that not so long from now, aphids will start appearing, and we all know both species share a symbiotic relationship: ants protect aphids in exchange for the sugary substance the aphids produce.

The best way to fight aphids is by using ladybug larvae. However, when there are a lot of ants around, these larvae don't have any chance on survival.

I tried garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice, (pepper)mint, pepper and cayenne pepper, detergant, neem oil, coffee grounds, honey and yeast.... all these remedies work for about a day. Then they just return.

I can't move the nests, because they are somewhere inside my raised beds.

I'm not intetested in chemical solutions.
But I'm all out of ideas at the moment.
Feel free to shoot your tips.i'm desparate enough to try them all 😉



Future Plans

I would really like to turn my greenhouse in the regular wilderniss again.
I'll probably not go crazy with tomato plants this year. 7 plants were way too much for the two of us.

I'd like to add some melons this year too, and - if I get a chance - some more uncommon fruits and veggie. I'm always on the lookout for new experiments.

What have you been growing in your greengouse that is out-of-the-ordinary? I would love to hear it!

What have you been growing in your greengouse that is out-of-the-ordinary? I would love to hear it!


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You have a picture in this post that is labeled "Lettuce"

Actually they are "mustard greens". I love to eat them with grilled chicken with it dipped in kalamansi or english name kalamandin, with steamed jasmin rice.

hey @simplymike ! I don't know if you remember me, i was previously @herbertholmes . I stopped using Steemit for a variety of reasons and at the moment I can't access my original account, but I'm trying to reach out to some people I connected with in the past.

On a note more related to your post, this season I've been starting to give my first go's at vegetable gardening(despite having grown up on a farm, doing it myself I consider as "new").

Anyways just wanted to drop a line to see if you're still around. Hope all is well!

This post earned a total payout of 3.618$ and 1.809$ worth of author reward that was liquified using @likwid.
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