Since I’m used to Spring starting in late February/early March in Texas, it seems to be forever until the warmer weather arrives in New England. And we still expect more snow to come in the next few days. I began to get some Spring flowers for indoors. I did the same last year. This seems to help tremendously to overcome the Winter depression. Kevin and I discussed the insolation of the sunroom. That way, we could have a green room year around. And Sara has a party room. But this won’t be happening very soon. It needs some planning and time to get it done. In the meantime, I keep my flowers near the living room window during Winter.
The temperatures seem to be perfect for the greenhouse garden, this October. We still have quite a few snacker tomatoes. The beef-steak tomatoes are still green. And the flowers seem to do well. I also could harvest a banana pepper, a bell pepper, two eggplants, and half a bowl of cherry tomatoes and golden sun tomatoes. This Summer I started late because I waited for the greenhouse to be built. Therefore I will have a late harvest in Autumn.
This morning we had cool temperatures in the low 50s (11℃). The greenhouse door and windows are open. But the plants are still protected from the cooler wind. Everything begins to produce after the warm summer temperatures in August. It’s nice to visit the greenhouse and snack on some cherry tomatoes, while we wait for the beefsteak tomatoes to grow and ripen. This morning, I snacked on a bush bean as well. Hmmm! Homegrown food fresh from the vines is so tasty.
Yesterday morning, I checked the plants in the greenhouse. After I added some fish emulsion to the watering can a couple of weeks ago, everything looked great and green, yesterday. The tomato, basil, and zucchini plants grew much bigger. My eggplant fruit didn’t grow much. But it has two more blossoms. Hopefully, our sunflowers will take off soon. They would provide some shade for me to sit in the greenhouse in the afternoons.
The vine tomatoes and peppers begin to ripen in the greenhouse. And the seedlings emerge from the soil. So far, I have borage, bush beans, cucumbers, and sunflowers as seedlings. I believe that once it is a little bit cooler, some more plants will pop out of the raised beds. Due to last night’s rain, it was cooler today. This might help with seed germination. I also have a greenhouse helper: Button, the spider. She makes sure our plants stay bug-free. I haven’t seen Karmo (toad) in a while. He’s probably camouflaged or hiding in the soil.
This evening, Kevin and I worked on the other two raised beds in the greenhouse. After I positioned the cinder blocks in place, we filled in the beds with wood branches and dirt. Now, we let the soil set for a couple of days, before I begin to plant and sow more vegetables and some flowers in these raised beds. There is still so much Summer left in Connecticut. Time to make use of it.
Last week, I ordered more seeds from Botanical Interests for my greenhouse garden. And today, the package has arrived. The company always puts so much L.O.V.E. in its packages. Since it is only mid-July, there can still be so much done in a New England garden. Some of these plants can handle low temperatures, once they have established their roots in the ground. In the meantime, I want to enjoy some yellow, orange, and red colors inside the greenhouse in Autumn.
We have some growth in the greenhouse. The sun-gold tomatoes begin to ripen, the celery has recovered from the Black Swallowtail caterpillars, there are more bell peppers, and the bush beans sprouted in the raised bed soil. My Buddha statue was weathered and cracked. The top piece fractured just the right way so that I could place the face and portion of the upper body in the soil.
Now, that it is Summer Lisa has a lot of work done in her garden. She has a wonderful vegetable garden, with all kinds of goodies: eggplants, banana peppers, poblano peppers, tiger-striped bush zucchinis, all sorts of tomatoes, and tons of herbs. In the back, Lisa planted a lot of flowers for a colorful Summer. Her garden looks so beautiful. And Trixie, Lisa’s cat, agrees with me.
In these photos are some of my plants: eggplant, Golden Sun tomatoes, McIntosh apple, and Mandevilla blossom. Today I’ve also been sowing borage, Bush beans, Italian Flat parsley, marigolds, Mesclun lettuce, Purple Hull Peas, and sunflowers for companion planting; Common Buckwheat and Crimson Clover for improving the soil with nitrogen and attracting beneficial insects.
IT’S DONE! We finally finished building the greenhouse. Kevin had only to install the brackets, the doors, and some small pieces to keep the greenhouse sturdy and protect it from future storms. It looks great. Now, I can work on the rest of the raised beds and do some planting for the Summer/Autumn Season. There is still so much time left and the growing season can be extended before it will get really cold again. YAY! I’m so excited!
Sara and I are so excited, we are raising our first set of Black Swallowtail caterpillars in the greenhouse. First, we had the dill in small pots outside. Then we saw five caterpillars on the plants and decided to plant the dill, where the birds have it harder to get to them. Right now, the Black Swallowtails are still small. But when they are nice, big and juicy, they are fair game for cardinals, jays, robins, … etc. to feed their offspring. Soon, we have to get some netting for the caterpillars. Once they become chrysalis, we can relax again. When they emerge from the chrysalis, Sara and I will name and release them with best wishes into the wild.
Our banana peppers, bell peppers, basil, celery, eggplant, lavender and tomato plants are doing very well. Our eggplant has shown a lot of growth in the last few days. Sara found Karmo, the toad, in the greenhouse again. He loves his daily intake of bugs. I mentioned to Sara, we need to build him a toad house where he can hide from the warm sun during the day. Right now, he stays cool by burring himself into the moist soil and comes back out in the evening hours. I’m glad we have finally built the greenhouse. It grows amazing food and attracts beautiful wildlife.
My neighbor, Lisa, always gives me these beautiful plants for my garden. Lisa works for a garden nursery. And once the season is over, she gets all the plants she chooses for free. They usually still last throughout the whole Summer into early Autumn. Who knows? I might be able to extend the season all the way until the first freeze, in the greenhouse. So far, our tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs and flowers do well. It’s not too hot for them. Sara can’t wait for me getting more raised beds and plants into the greenhouse. She enjoys hanging out there. Especially, when it rains, she still can sit in the greenhouse and watch the raindrops hitting the roof while she plays with toads. And our cats would be in ‘heaven’.
This morning I planted my bell peppers, banana peppers, beef steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sun gold tomatoes, basil, and eggplant in the greenhouse raised bed. Some peppers and eggplant show some fruit on their vines. With the rest, we still have to wait a little bit longer. I’m so excited, I’m growing my first garden in New England.
Ms. Lisa is our neighbor across the street. She always loves to take care of her garden in Spring/Summer here in New England. I also learn a lot from her flower gardening skills. Lisa works in a flower company. Once the Spring and Autumn seasons are done, she comes home with plenty of flowers and herbs. At this moment, her Allium, Coral Honeysuckle, Wisteria and a few other plants are in bloom. Trixie, Benny’s ‘girlfriend’, loves to stroll in the garden. She’s such a cutie pie. Last year, Trixie was still shy. Yesterday, she came to me and let me pet her. Success! Animals do know if they deal with a good or a not-so-good person.