dirty greenhouse

One week of winter left


This year has whizzed by, and the fun is about to start.  There is a lot  of anticipation and expectation this season, probably more so than ever after the disappointment of last time.  There was just too much rain.  My hope that things will be different this year is due to the shift from a soggy La Nina to a drier El Nino.

The days are getting longer and the sunsets are stunning!

Having said that the new weather pattern won’t be without its challenges, and it is supposed to bring winds from the west – so right off the ocean.  It is also supposed to be hotter and drier and as much as dry right now sounds perfect – it could easily morph into too hot and even too dry and give us drought. But the weather in the garden is always some kind of problem and the best we can do is adapt and learn.

garden view
Today looks like a lovely day to potter about sorting out the greenhouse.

The great news for me is that after a full week of feeling miserable with the souvenir cold I brought back from our trip away, I am finally feeling human again.  I was cautious not to overdo things while unwell as this will just prolong the illness – a lesson I’ve learnt the hard way over the years.

Greenhouse stuff
All of the greenhouse stuff is currently lingering on the outside waiting to be sorted, cleaned and returned to where it belongs.

So, feeling alive and well I have a week to finish off all my winter tasks.  I have given myself a bit of a deadline, however it is entirely self-imposed and imaginary for the most part.  The real spring action won’t really start until later in the season.  For now, it is all about continuing to prepare beds, keeping weeds down, finishing a winter project – I’ll do a separate post about this one.  Hubby the Un-Gardener has promised to help me with it this weekend – which would be good to get done before Father’s Day next weekend as I did ask for it as a Mother’s Day present so it would actually get done.  To be fair it has been an extremely busy year for everyone here.

dirty greenhouse
Hmmm – it does need a bit of a deep clean….

The most important task to get done is to clean the dome and get it ready for the traditional start to seed sowing on the 1st of September.  It is a little like nesting and getting the nursery ready for a baby.  You don’t want to start seeds in a dirty environment to have pests and diseases ready and waiting to greet the new arrivals.  I have already kicked out my overwintering tomatoes and peppers.  They’ve done their job – the tomatoes over the winter were so delicious with a deep intense flavour.  But a close inspection I found pests and disease.  There was Tomato Potato Psyllid on the peppers!  Oh, the horror!  I wasn’t having that!  I took drastic action – let’s just say they are all now dead, although the plant may also die.  There was also a fungal disease in the tomatoes so out they went.  They have done their job.

Tomato Potato Psyllid on a pepper plant
Oh no – that is not happening in my greenhouse or even my garden for that matter!

With the discovery of TTP in the greenhouse I wasn’t taking any chances, so I pulled everything out and fumigated the space.  There should now be no insects in there at all.  Although it doesn’t take long for them to start sneaking back in.

Fungal disease on tomato
This could be one of several fungal diseases. I’m not going to let it hang around while I investigate – it is outta here!

My next job is to scrub the benches with a bleachy solution, wash the windows – inside and out and sweep up all the dust and dirt.  I always wear a mask when sweeping up – not only because it  is dusty and dirty but with dry dirt there is always a risk of legionella’s disease and that isn’t something I want to find out what it’s like.  Once its clean and fresh, I’ll give the wood a quick once over with linseed oil to protect the wood from the magnified heat and light through the glass.

tulip bud
I can’t muck about for too long – spring is doing its own preparing!

Then everything can come back in and be organised and sorted out and put into logical places to make sowing seeds and transplanting an easy process.  One thing I didn’t do over the winter but should have was to wash all my pots.  I have to decide if I want to wash pots as I go or just set up a wash station and do a marathon session.  I did need some clean pots for the weekend workshop I did back in July and was in a rush so popped some pots in the dishwasher…  shhhh!  Don’t tell Hubby the Un-Gardener!  But they did come out so lovely and clean!

So aside from the Mother’s Day project – the main focus this week will be cleaning and preparing for green babies.

Come again soon – I’ll show you the finished clean and tidy greenhouse sooner rather than later.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

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