Hi. What a fantastic Greenhouse you supplied us. We requested a Twinwall Polycarbonate roof on our Shade house section instead of the aluminium shade panels.
This has been absolutely brilliant and enables us to grow plants that don’t like being wet all year round and when we have flowers they don’t get ruined by rain. Here a a few photos
Greenhouse Gardening Pest Control
Greenhouse gardening pest control is very important and it is becoming a big issue as this will ensure that your plants’ state of health is good. Read on below to learn about this topic and the potential pests you may come across.
Greenhouses provide the warmth and humidity so that plants can have optimum growth. However, gardening problems like having garden pests in the greenhouse are very likely as well because they enjoy the conditions within the greenhouse. They often sneak into the greenhouse via holes and small gaps.
So firstly, lets get familiar with some of the pests you may encounter.
Now, without further ado, let`s look at some greenhouse gardening pest control measures that you can apply as soon as possible so that the comfort bed of your plants will not be destroyed by these notorious creatures.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Just like any other gardening tools, your greenhouse requires cleaning and maintenance as well. Be sure to give dirty spots some scrubbing so that fungus and bacteria will not have a chance of breeding.
In addition to this, it would be very beneficial to schedule an annual greenhouse cleaning routine (best done in the summer). For this, you need to transfer all the plants and equipments out. Clean the walls, corners, racks, secluded spots and floor using detergent and warm water so that insects, germs and bacteria will be killed.
Sorry for over-exaggerating the process but you need to make sure that your plants are free from pests infestation before you move them into your greenhouse because once in there, pests will breed at optimum speed.
If there are any stems or leaves that are damaged, remove them from the plants. You can also place your plants in water in order to drown these creatures.
Chill Pests To Death
When you face pest infestation problems that are very serious, you may want to put your greenhouse into chilling effect during the winter so that pests, including their eggs, will be frozen to death.
Sterilize Your Gardening Materials
Again, this is not a hypocrite move if you really want to prevent any pests that our eyes cannot spot directly. Sterilize your gardening tools using a basic water-detergent solution.
Also, instead of using normal garden soil that might contain eggs or small pests, you should use potting soils that are purchased from nurseries as they are sterilized and full of nutrients.
While working on your garden everyday, you must also look out for the signs of pests. If you spot the normal characteristics of a plant being infested, you should immediately remove the plant from the greenhouse and treat it separately.
You may also want to segment out your greenhouse so that there is a space for you to treat infested plants. Most of the time, pests will release some kind of chemical substances to attract more of their species. Thus, moving your plants out of the greenhouse may not be the choice.
Mesh Screens To Stop Flying Pests
Another greenhouse gardening pest control measure would be to install mesh screens on all air ventilation facilities, if any. However, you must not seal out every air vent of your greenhouse.
Setting up mesh screens on all air vents can prevent flying pests such as roaches, hornets, moths and whiteflies from entering your greenhouse via the air vents.
Natural Biological Control
You can always combat pests by introducing their worst natural predator into your greenhouse habitat. You can always purchase ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases from your local garden center or online stores to be placed within your greenhouse.
Here comes the question. What if there is no more pests and your natural helper starts to outgrow the number of pests? Well, they will die off due to the lack of food. They don’t feast on your plants due to hunger so don’t worry about that.
Browse through our website for our range of bird netting and insect screening products to keep your greenhouse safe from pests. www.wintergardenz.com.au
3 Exotic Greenhouse Crops
If you’d like to find something a little more exciting when you open the greenhouse door, these unusual crops will appreciate the extra heat.
Difficult to grow outside, melons enjoy the heat and humidity of the greenhouse. They are grown in the same way as cucumbers, trailing or climbing up nets, and are best planted on a mound, as they don’t like getting their stems wet.
You’ll need to prune them to encourage a good crop of fruit. Start by pinching out the growing tip to make the plant bushy, then restrict the plant to four lateral stems and pinch out their growing tips when they have six leaves. Plants fruit on sub-laterals formed on these lateral stems. You’ll also need to feed your plants and keep them very well watered once they start to flower and fruit.
Naranjilla, also known as the apricot tomato, is a cousin of tomatoes. Originating from South America, Naranjilla fruit are orange (naranjilla means “little orange” in Spanish) and the size of a small tomato. They are covered with short brittle hairs that repel insects and are easily removed by rubbing. Naranjilla are finicky plants. They don’t tolerate frost and don’t like really hot temperatures.
Therefore, best bet is to start them early in a pot in your home or a greenhouse. Once the weather is warm enough, set out the seedlings six to eight feet apart, preferably in well-composted soil in an area with some shade. With generous watering, the plants will grow into a spreading shrub up to eight feet tall. A healthy plant yields up to 150 fruit per year. Once ripe, the fruits are about two inches in diameter, with a greenish pulp.
Their taste has been described as a mix between tomatoes, apricots, and pineapple. Although occasionally eaten raw, traditionally the fruits have been used to make a refreshing summer drink or even fermented into wine.
Chili peppers make a great greenhouse crop, enjoying the extra light and heat. They’re treated in much the same way as tomatoes, you`ll be able to buy plants at your local garden centre and there’s a large range of varieties available mail order.
Peppers need to be given a feed every week once they start to flower and form fruits. And like tomatoes, they need to be kept consistently damp to perform at their best. The ‘heat’ of a chilli depends on a number of factors, including the variety you choose and the weather – so in the event that we have a long, hot summer, handle with caution!
Most peppers grown in NZ are Capsicum annum species, but if you can take the heat and don’t mind a bit of hunting around you can often find seeds and plants for some of the less well-known species, including Rocotos (or Lotocos).
Don`t have a greenhouse yet? Check out our greenhouse range on our website to get you growing! www.wintergardenz.com.au.
How To Use Organic Soil In Your Greenhouse.
Using organic soil in a greenhouse is a wonderful way to produce organic vegetables for your home. Organic soil uses only those ingredients that are found in nature. This produces vegetables that are healthy and free of any chemicals that many people are trying to avoid.
What Makes Soil Organic?
The use of organic soils in the greenhouse isn’t enough to make your vegetables organic. You have to take care that everything you put in or on your soil is likewise organic in nature. If you use non-organic fertilizer, the chemicals in it will mix into your soil and ruin the organic composition.
Methods used to control bug populations must also be organic in nature. Especially chemicals that are sprayed onto the plants to promote growth, kill weeds, or dissuade insects will be absorbed by the plant. Chemicals that are absorbed by the plant will be passed onto the vegetables they produce. This will result in a failure to produce true organic vegetables. When you grow plants in your organic soil, those plants thrive by pulling the nutrients they need from your soil.
Keeping the Soil Full of Nutrients
In order to keep the soil in your greenhouse full of nutrients, you will need to treat it frequently. The health of your plants depends on having nutrient-rich soil available to them at all times. To replace the nutrients in your soil, you should spread fresh compost on the soil surface every couple of weeks. Making soil compost for your greenhouse is easily done by yourself, and will save you a lot of money instead of buying it. To make your own compost pile, you will need to build a small box in a sunny area of your garden that is at least three square feet .
Composting material can be found in anything from garden clippings to fallen leaves or branches. The balance between types of materials is important and will determine the type of soil you ultimately create. For more information on this, recipes for your compost piles can be found online. Make sure to turn the contents of the compost pile every two weeks if your pile is in your garden. If you are making soil in a composting device, the process is greatly sped up and in that case turning should be done once a day. You should also learn about what should not be composted and why you should compost.
Feeding Your Greenhouse Residents
One of the best ways to keep your plants well fed is to keep nutrients in the soil by composting. If you feel that your plants need an extra boost, you still have multiple organic options available to you. You can find organic plant food to feed your plants. These mixes are often found in stores, and many can be attached to a garden hose to make distributing them easier.
If you would like to create your own plant food, there are many ingredients available. Common ingredients that can be spread liberally over the soil include: cottonseed, worm castings, peat, seaweed, fish meal, and manure.
However, make sure that the food you feed to your greenhouse plants is completely organic. If you are buying the ingredients to mix or add straight, look over the ingredient list to check that nothing except the ingredient is included in the package.
Organic Situation Control
Like with anything else in your organic greenhouse, the choices you make regarding weed control will affect the overall organic nature of your garden. The best method to control weeds without chemicals is to pull them by hand. Also make sure to keep the soil in between plants loose and turned frequently and to control any pests that may get into your greenhouse make sure that any sprays you purchase are organic.
For other pests and plant diseases you could even introduce predators like spiders into your greenhouse. These predators will take care of all the pests for you without the use of harmful chemicals.
These methods will leave your greenhouse garden soil in its original organic state and still keep your plants healthy. www.wintergardenz.com.au.
Gardening with Kids
Kids are apparently more likely to eat vegetables when they have grown them themselves. A National Trust Survey conducted in the UK of 1000 kids aged 8-12 found that almost two-thirds would rather eat their own homegrown fruit and vegetables than those bought from the supermarket. Naturally, this entails having their own gardening space, which according to the research, a majority of the kids also want.
Children love to jump at the opportunity to get their hands dirty and there are many ways in which they can pitch in and get excited about growing plants. Whether you dig up the ground, build a raised bed, grow in a greenhouse or fill containers, the act of caring for plants and learning where your food comes from is a wonderful and valuable lesson for children. Check out some of our reasons and tips for gardening with kids below.
A garden encourages you to spend time together out of the house
Tending a garden is an excellent reason to get out of the house. It requires little but regular care, usually just a few minutes of weeding and watering each day, which is perfect for a small child’s limited attention span. Most kids will jump at the prospect of being told to dig in the dirt, pick weeds, plant bulbs, and soak the earth with a hose.
Grow vegetables that your child wants to eat
Picky eaters are more likely to eat vegetables that they have harvested themselves. They'll become curious about the growing process and want to sample the fruits of their labour. Let your kid choose which vegetables he or she wants to grow, and add a few that you’d like them to try. Go together to buy seeds or seedlings at a local nursery. After planting, watch the parental instincts emerge as your child tries to care for the baby plants.
A garden is an outdoor classroom
Teach your kids the names of the plants, insects, birds, animals, butterflies, soil and compost that you see on a daily basis while working in the garden. Kids love learning about nature and memorizing facts. From integral earthworms to yucky potato beetles, you could be fostering your child’s future love for biology by poking around in the dirt.
Gardening is good for the world
The more people who take responsibility for even a small portion of their food production, the better off we’ll all be. Growing food teaches kids about what sustainable agriculture should look like. Instead of vast mono-crops, kids can learn about the importance of genetic crop diversity. Try growing unusual varieties of vegetables -- yellow tomatoes, blue carrots, and purple potatoes.
Grow a healthy mind
Gardening is so psychologically stimulating that horticulture therapy programs are used in hospitals, domestic abuse shelters, nursing homes, mental health institutions, and prisons. Community gardening is also popular and even schools are introducing vegetable gardens. This is because gardening makes for happy people and happy land. It teaches kids to become aware of the seasons and what can be grown in a local environment at certain times of the year, instead of taking imported fruits and produce for granted.
Here are some tips to help you garden with your children:
For more info to help you garden with kids, keep an eye on our website for cool and creative ideas in the garden. www.wintergardenz.com.au.
Some Of The Many Benefits of Greenhouses.
While most people know that a greenhouse is used to grow plants, many don`t understand the benefits that come with the use of greenhouses. Whether you practice gardening as a hobby and you need to plant for domestic consumption, or plan to have a big garden, a greenhouse will maximize production, increase productivity and encourage plant health.
With a greenhouse, you have the ability to control the environment in which your plants grow.
The greenhouse keeps temperature at a level that tropical plants need, keeps certain humidity that many vegetables and peppers need, and keeps away pests, animals and children. In a greenhouse you can also keep constant the amount of water that plants receive, so drought or floods are no longer a problem.
You can grow fickle plants inside your greenhouse.
Since you have control over the humidity, temperatures, water, and lighting to some extent, you can grow plants that are very particular. This can be good for those who are growing for profit as those types of plants tend to sell for higher amounts.
You can extend the growing season.
This benefit is felt especially in plants that require a longer time for them to grow. Having to worry about climate change can be difficult as it`s hard to maintain consistency when growing veggies. However, a greenhouse gives you the ability to do just that as you have total control of humidity and temperatures.
Plants benefit from light and heat in the greenhouse
The sun enters the windows resulting in energy (or heat) which is then stored inside. Greenhouses have windows or ventilation systems to prevent excess heat. Since the greenhouse is a closed chamber, the heat is kept overnight, which helps plants grow freely without having to fight the cold. Although you may want to wet your greenhouse manually, there are also other options like sprinkler irrigation, drip tape or drip tube to automatically watering plants. There are sensors that monitor the temperature and humidity and start / stop ventilation when needed. With automatic systems for cooling the greenhouse, daily maintenance will require less time.
A greenhouse keeps out pests such as insects and small or medium animals that can create problems in your garden, such as cats or dogs. Your plants will be protected from these much better as there is a physical barrier to keep things safe.
A greenhouse allows you to organize your veggies into sectors. This makes things easier to manage, keep clean and tidy as well as maintain constant optimum conditions.
Growing consciously and fearlessly
You also have the opportunity to grow organic herbs, or at least know what chemicals were used. Another benefit is that you can start growing earlier without fear of seasons or that something unexpected can happen.
Consider using a greenhouse in your garden this year so that you can take advantage of all these benefits. As a tip, to minimize costs it helps to make a list of what plants you want to grow, how much you want to grow and how much space they need to grow properly, so you can choose the correct size and greenhouse facilities. Check out our wide range of sizes and extras at www.wintergardenz.co.nz to make sure you get what you need.
A tough member of the cabbage family, Kale is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals and it is one of the most nutritious garden vegetables. An excellent source of Vitamins A, B, C and E and minerals - calcium, iron and phosphorus. While it is generally thought of as a cold weather crop, it is fairly resilient and can tolerate temperatures as low as -7 °C and as high as 27 °C.
Kale was originally most commonly used in Mediterranean countries, especially Portugal and Italy, often in dishes with potatoes and garlic sausage. It can be used in salads to give ‘bite' or it can also be cooked. The older leaves can be quite strong, so the young leaves and central head should be used. The side-shoots that develop in spring are full of flavor.
Before you begin to grow, choose a variety that best suits your growing climate. Kale is usually grouped by leaf shape, and although growing times vary between varieties, most kale is ready for harvest between 45 and 75 days after transplanting.
Once you know your Kale, follow the steps below on growing your own.
Kale is easy to plant. Choose a pot or a garden plot. Set plants at the depth at which they are growing in the container. Space them 18 to 24 inches apart. The leaves will grow bigger if given a lot of space, but smaller leaves tend to be the most tender. Choose an area with full sunshine if you’re planting during autumn, and an area with partial shade if you're planting in the spring.
Kale will grow in any soil, but make sure that you plant your kale in healthy soil. Sandy or clay-like soil will hurt the kale's flavor and production ability. Ideally use ground that was fertilized for a previous crop. The soil pH should be 6.5 to 6.8 to be sure about your soil pH, test the soil with a do-it-yourself kit.
If you're starting your seeds or planting indoors, plant them between five and seven weeks before the last frost. If you're going to start your kale outside, plant the seeds two to four weeks before the last frost or at least 10 weeks before the first frost.
Kale leaves are sweetest in autumn, after they’ve been touched by a light frost. Pick the oldest leaves from the lowest section of the plants, discarding those that appear yellowed or ragged. Leaves can be picked off for use in salads or allow the loose head to form.
For ideal kale growing conditions, check out our greenhouse shelving kits on our website that allows them the space they demand to grow. www.wintergardenz.co.nz.
With spring and summer often comes the desire to plant things. If you are someone who enjoys growing and preserving your own food but you’re also someone who just doesn’t have the outdoor garden space that you need, we’ve got a great collection of projects for you.
We’ve found some fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. These range from herbs and, fruits to tomatoes, cucumbers, and just about anything else that you would normally plant in a larger garden.
The difference is, you can grow these on the deck or porch or wherever you have room because they’re all in some sort of container. Plus, these foods grow very well in containers so there are no worries of getting smaller than average tomatoes. If you want a huge beefsteak tomato in a container, that’s just what you’ll get. So whether you have a huge gardening space or not, if you want to grow your own foods, you can and we’ve got the perfect foods for you to grow in those containers. Take a look, pick out your favorites, and DIY your way to more homegrown food on the table all year long.
It’s not surprise that tomatoes grow well in containers. After all, they do sell them in those upside down growing containers, right? If you love fresh tomatoes throughout the year, you can easily grow them in just about any sized container, depending on the variety of tomato that you want to grow. You will want to be sure that the container is large enough to handle the plant and you can begin with seeds or starter plants, whichever you prefer. Also, add a cage to the outside of the container for extra support as the plant gets taller.
You can grow basil indoors or out and it’s great for adding to soups and other recipes. Even if you don’t have an all-out herb garden, you can grow a bit of basil for your favorite dishes. You’ll need a six inch planter, some fresh potting soil, and of course, the basil. Keep in mind that when you water basil, you need to avoid getting the leaves and stem wet. It’s best to pour water directly onto the soil. You also need to provide it with a bit of direct sunlight every day so if you are planning to grow it indoors, make sure that you use containers that you can easily move to the deck during the sunniest part of the day.
All types of squash grow well in containers, particularly summer squash. Squash will actually grow just about anywhere you plan it. It’s a very hardy and versatile plant so if you want to add fresh summer squash to your dinner table, grab a few containers and plant those seeds. Keep in mind that you will need to harvest the squash regularly when it begins to grow so that the plants don’t get bogged down. You should be able to get about three squashes each week when they start growing so be sure to get them off the plant to make room for new growth.
Parsley grows very well in containers so if you love adding fresh parsley to your dishes, this is the perfect herb to grow on the balcony or porch. Parsley grows well in small containers and only requires partial sunlight so it’s the perfect food to grow in apartments or other tight spaces. You will need to keep the soil moist for the best results and take care that you don’t overwater your plants. It grows best in temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees which makes it perfect for winter container gardens. Just remember to bring it indoors at night so that it doesn’t get too cold.
Strawberries actually thrive in containers despite being known as a plant that needs plenty of room to grow. They are actually one of the best plants to grow in pots and they thrive even indoors so you can grow your own fresh strawberries all year long. You need to choose a sunny spot and this can be by a window. Strawberries can also be supplemented with artificial sunlight, which makes them perfect for winter growing. You do need to choose a container large enough to handle them and make sure that you harvest them regularly when they begin to produce to make room for additional growth.
You can enjoy pineapple any time during the year by growing it yourself, even if you don’t live in a tropical area. Start with a fresh pineapple and cut off the crown, leaving a bit of fruit at the top. You’ll want to soak the crown for a day or so in water to allow it to soak up moisture and then plant in a gallon sized plastic container. You will want to choose a warm, sunny spot for your pineapple which makes it a great choice for balconies and decks. If you are growing during the winter, be sure to bring the plant in at night.
Oregano is a very popular choice for container herbs and it grows very well in any sort of container. In fact, growing oregano in a container helps to prevent spreading so if you want to keep your oregano under control, containers are actually recommended by most expert gardeners. You just need a small container for each plant and a bit of potting soil. Oregano is an easy to grow herb and it’s very hardy so you should have no trouble getting it to grow well. Choose a sunny spot to put your oregano during the day and then bring it in at night, especially if you are growing it during winter.
Having an herb garden doesn’t actually mean having a large garden space. You can grow many herbs in containers and rosemary is one that does very well with regards to container gardening. Choose potting soil that has a minimum of peat moss. Rosemary prefers alkaline pH so the acid is great for helping it to thrive. You’ll want a bit of sand in the bottom of the container for drainage and the surface should be allowed to dry out just a bit between waterings although it should never be completely dry.
Sweet peppers really thrive in containers so if you love adding red, yellow, or green peppers to your favorite foods, you can grow them easily even without a garden space. Choosing the right size container is important here. You want the peppers to have room to grow and not be squashed. Smaller peppers will require at least a 2 gallon container while larger varieties will need a 5 or 10 gallon pot. You will want to allow the peppers at least 8 hours of sunlight each day when possible so choose a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. You can bring them in at night if you want, just take them back out each morning for full sunlight.
Chives are without a doubt, one of the hardiest herbs that you can plant. They grow very well in containers or just about anywhere else you want to plant them. Chives are great for adding flavor to soups, dips, and of course, baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so once you plant them, they’ll come back year after year. You can move them indoors if you want to keep your harvest going all year long, but they do prefer a bit of sunlight throughout the day so choose a spot where they can get some sun at least through a window during the winter.