Tag Archives: gardening

Food #gardening in mini greenhouses

The weather here in Melbourne is bleak and blustery, but we had a few minutes of sunshine earlier on so I raced out with my trusty phone to take these:

The pictures show the mini greenhouses I bought from Bunnings. They come in a flat pack -shiver- but everything fits together quite easily for a change, including the clear plastic ‘cover’ that fits over the frame. The covers go all the way to the floor [but do not ‘seal’ completely]. Access to the inside is via heavy duty zips.

I was skeptical, at first, but I quickly noticed that the interior of the greenhouses is noticeably warmer than the outside air, and visibility is usually low due to condensation on the plastic. I’m not sure how the plants will go in summer conditions, but at the moment I’m only watering a tiny bit, once every 2 weeks or so.

Wind is a bit of a problem here, but by positioning the mini greenhouses up against the wall, and anchoring them with big, earth filled ‘tubs’ [see below], both structures have survived the north winds we get up here, so far at least.

I don’t usually do product endorsements, but I liked the first mini greenhouse so much, I went back and bought a second one. The original contains some very happy lettuce and continental parsley while the new one contains BokChoy [?] also grown from seed.

If anyone is interested in growing some winter vegetables, here are the salient facts:

Position:

North facing deck, up against the brick wall of the house for both extra warmth and protection from the wind.

Supplier:

Bunnings in Eltham

Form:

Flat pack. No issues with putting it together.

Cost:

I think each mini greenhouse was around $29, so they were very cheap.

Tubs:

I found some ordinary, plastic storage tubs, the kind you can buy at the supermarket, and drilled holes through the bottom of each one. Then I placed the tubs on top of their own lids to catch excess water and provide a ‘well’ of water to draw on.

Cost:

The tubs were on special and again, at roughly $10 per tub, they were much cheaper than an equivalent plant pot. Another important point was that they fit very neatly inside the bottom of each mini greenhouse, thereby acting as a kind of ‘anchor’ against the wind.

I know the tubs won’t last for very long because of the UV etc, but when they disintegrate, I’ll simply buy new ones. In the meantime, I have lovely, lush lettuce almost ready to harvest and some Chinese vegetables coming on. Colour me happy. 😀

cheers

Meeks

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#Facebook #groups – looking for suggestions

meeka shockedI know this sounds odd, but are there any good Facebook groups dedicated to:

  • gardening
  • cooking
  • games
  • technology
  • other?

And if so, what’s the easiest way of finding them?

The reason I ask is because I have to teach a class on social media soon, and for the moment at least, Facebook is synonymous with social media for most people. Except me. I do have a Facebook account and an author page, and I can teach my students how to create their own accounts and use them, but I can’t honestly give them reasons for why they might want to. I’ve heard that Facebook has groups so I thought this might be something my students could enjoy.

Any suggestions? Anything that works for you? I’m all ears. 🙂

Meeks


Flowering #cactus – anyone know its name?

cacti and lettuce 4

There’s a story behind this ugly-duckling beauty. Back when I was a kid, this cactus sat on a sort of plinth, outside our front door. It got a lot of sun and little else. Yet it flowered every single year.

When Mum died and Dad came to live with us in Warrandyte, the Daughter and I closed up their old house. One of the precious things we brought to our much smaller house was this cactus. I put it in a bigger pot. I gave it fresh new soil. I watered it. And the damn thing languished out in the garden with not a flower in sight. Sulking?

Then, as a last ditch effort I decided to bring the cactus up to the north-facing deck. I plonked it against the wall and pretty much forgot about it. Now this:

cacti and lettuce 1

Isn’t it lovely?

I’m over the moon to have the damn thing flowering so beautifully, but I have no idea what I finally did right. That’s why I need to find its name; so I can look it up. If any of you know, please, please, PLEASE tell me in comments!!!

And now, just to round out this post, here are a couple of pics of something I know how to get right – lettuce.

cacti and lettuce 2

cacti and lettuce 3

All these lovelies grew from seeds I harvested last year. The two onion plants grew from a tenacious brown onion that sprouted in my cupboard.

-hugs to all-

Meeks

p.s. If you know how to propogate cacti I’d love to know that too. I’ve tried cutting off a bit and sticking it in the ground, but it didn’t work. :/


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