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Create your own food source.

A greenhouse is the best way to assure you have control of what you eat. Grow a fresh supply year round. You always know what’s available and what went into the food.

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Community Garden: Adapt8 and Marion-Polk Food Share

2014-05-23 MPFS

We teamed with MPFS back in 2014 and provided use of our 16′ x 20′ Solexx Conservatory Greenhouse to help them get a jump start on the seedling starts for their Community Garden.

Seedlings started for Marion County Food BankSeedlings started for Marion County Food Bank

It was estimated by Jared Hibbard-Swanson, MPFS Youth Farm Manager, that they were able to grow about 5000 plants over the course of the 3 months for their Youth Farm and had a great experience in doing so.

MPFS Youth Farm is a program that seeks to improve the quality, diversity and stability of our local food system by training Salem area young adults to grow food and run a small farm business.  All of the youth who participated in our program in 2014 were able to acclimate a strong commitment to fighting for a fair food system and a few of them even saw themselves working directly in food production to bring nutritious and safe food to the community.

Jared also noted that throughout 2014, the Youth Farm had donated over 2,500 pounds of fresh produce to MPFS pantries and meal sites while selling another 2,500 pounds to support their business

2014-05-23 MPFS all loaded up

It was so great to support MPFS with donated canned goods in the food barrel we had here onsite. We were able to join in to provide healthy fresh produce for those in need. It’s a small thing we can all do to help those in need and together WE CAN make an impact.

Please donate to your local food banks to help make a difference in your communities.

You can learn more about Marion-Polk Food Share Programs at:

Or by visiting their Facebook page at:

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Container Gardening and the Advantage of Adding a Pot Latch

So many people now are enjoying container gardening, whether planting flowers or herbs. By using a Pot Latch you increase the amount of space that you are able to use by getting your smaller pots up off the ground and mounting to a fence or post in your yard.

Planting with Pot Latch

The other benefits of growing vertically include: the controlling of potential pests as they are right in front of you and harvesting is made easier as there is no stooping or hunching over.

It increases accessibility for gardeners with disabilities because they can tend to and pick from a chair or garden seat. You also will have lest waste not having fruits hiding under lush growth.

We are running a special right now on our Pot Latch; Buy One Get One Free. Follow this link to our web page to place your order for our Pot Latches and the quantity that will work for your specific needs to get growing vertically!

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Gardening and Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is known to some gardener’s as the start of planting season. Late May is a safety zone; a projected end to any frost. If you are trying a garden out for the first time this year, here are some answers to questions you may have.


When planting flowers in your garden during the summer you may ask: What is the difference between an annual and a perennial?Annual Marigolds Things that bloom all summer are annuals and they give you the most color. Perennials return year after year, but they don’t give you color all summer long. Perennial Hydrangeas It’s easy to make a selection when purchasing flowers based on what looks beautiful, but something important to think about is what each plant needs. Some require the sun and others require the shade.


What is the easiest vegetable to plant in my garden? Starter plants such as cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and beans, are very simple to plant from seeds (tip: everything you need to know is right on the back of the seed packets), just remember to keep your garden weeded and fertilized with cow manure or organic fertilizer.

New Garden

For planting trees / shrubs you may wonder the best size of the hole to dig.  You want to make sure that the hole you dig is one and one half to two times the size of the root ball.  You will also want to make sure the area in which you are planting has good drainage.  You can fill the hole/pit with water and check that it drains out in 6-8 hours and there should be no problems. Finally, when planting, just make sure that the root ball is setting about 1″-2″ above the soil level so that the air reaches the root system.

New planted tree

Follow this link and take a look back at our website and all the books we carry for more information from gardening how to, composting, plant diseases, container growing and more.

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Tips for Successful Growing

One sunny morning , you might feel an irresistible urge to plant your garden. Before you pick up a trowel or open a seed packet, check out these hints to help you succeed.

Transplanting Seedlings
Whether it’s a flat of bedding plants from a nursery or seedlings that started indoors, you don’t want the transition from pots to garden bed to induce transplant shock. Always handle seedlings by their leaves. Leaves will grow back.

Hardening Off
Hardening off gradually introduces seedlings to the conditions in your garden. Bring all seedlings—store-bought and homegrown—outdoors and expose them to a steadily increasing amount of sun, wind, and temperatures lower or higher than what they were used to indoors. This will take about 2 weeks. Don’t rush it.

When to Plant
The ideal time to plant is when it’s overcast, with rain in the forecast and no frosts or heat waves expected. If conditions don’t cooperate, then try to plant in the late afternoon or early evening to minimize the time the seedlings bake in the sun. The day before planting, water the soil so that it is moist, this helps make planting easier and also gives your seedlings fertile ground to get a good start.

In the Ground
Keep your seedlings in the shade until you’re actually ready to plant each one. Don’t pull a plant out of its container until you’ve dug the hole for it. If you can’t easily pull it out of its container by the leaves, hold the pot in one hand, flip it upside down, and give it a sharp tap on the bottom. The root ball should slip out into your other hand. Snip away any damaged roots with scissors or pruners. If the roots are a solid mass, gently tease some away from the center, trying not to break them. Firm the soil around your seedlings, but don’t press so hard that you compact it. Give each seedling a thorough watering.

The First Days
Your seedlings have become established when you see healthy new growth. This can take a few days to a week, depending on the weather. Wilted leaves or drooping stems can be symptoms of transplant shock. Seedlings can go into transplant shock if they weren’t hardened off completely or if the weather is extreme. Most plants recover in a few days; but until they do:

  • Check that the soil is firmly around the plants so that no air pockets are drying out the roots.
  • Protect the transplants from sun and strong winds with row covers, sheets, or cloches.
  • Water only if the top inch of the soil is dry. Don’t water if the soil is already wet; it won’t help.

Planting Depth
Plant seeds too deeply, and they may never germinate. Plant them too shallowly, and the topsoil might dry out during germination. Generally, you can plant a large seed at a depth equal to three times its diameter (not its length). Seeds of peas, squashes, and sunflowers and those of similar size are considered large seeds. Plant smaller seeds about 1/8 inch deep. The seed packet will give the proper planting depth for that particular seed.

Some seeds need light to germinate, so you can’t bury them. Either sift fine soil over them or leave them uncovered. But make sure the seeds make firm contact by pressing them into the soil.

Happy gardening and check back on our website for gardening accessories.

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Marion-Polk Food Share Update

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since our original post on the Marion-Polk Food Share to Stop Hunger… Volunteers with the Food Share continue to come out to our 16′ x 20′ Solexx Conservatory several times each week to tend to the plants needs and as you can see by the pictures everything looks great!

5-1-14 Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Gardens Program     5-1-14 Marion-Polk Food Share     5-1-14 The Marion-Polk Food Share

The Youth Farm as mentioned last month is managed by Jared Hibbard-Swanson and is an educational project collaboration of Marion-Polk Food Share and OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development aimed at increasing the quality, diversity and stability of the local food system in Marion and Polk counties. The 2-acre farm is located at the Oregon School for the Deaf and is run by local teens.  They will be putting on a Spring Fling and Plant Sale with the vegetable plant starts in these pictures on Saturday May 10, 2014 from noon to 4pm.  Please take a look at the link to the flyer for this event and help support our local Marion-Polk Food Share.  Spring+Fling+Flyer+Option+1pdf2

5-1-14 Youth Farm

Please check out their link at:

And visit their Facebook page at:

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Greenhouse Supplies

Earth Day April 22nd

About Earth Day Network

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air ActClean Water ActEndangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

But Earth Day Network does not stop there.

All of EDN’s activities, whether greening schools or promoting green economic policies at home and abroad, inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children. With its partner organizations, EDN provides civic engagement opportunities at the local, state, national and global levels. At every turn, EDN works to broaden the definition of “environment” to include all issues that affect our health, our communities and our environment, such as greening deteriorated schools, creating green jobs and investment, and promoting activism to stop air and water pollution.

Over the last 50 years, EDN has executed successful environmental campaigns on issues ranging from climate change and drinking water to voter registration and saving the whale. EDN is a recognized leader in creating civically–oriented innovative programs with partners outside of the environmental movement to tackle new challenges. Their core programs today focus on:

Greening Schools and Promoting Environmental Education

Accelerating the Global Green Economy

A Billion Acts of Green®

The Canopy Project

Click here for further information or how to get involved at a local level.

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Greenhouse Supplies

Coco Fibre Pots – Great for Tomato Plants

Coco Fibre PotsDid you notice our Top Pick of the week–the “Root Riot 50-cell tray“?  In preparation for our annual Spring Gardening Clinic (coming up May 17th, 2014) here at the Greenhouse Catalog headquarters, Kathy (our resident greenhouse growing expert) started 50 tomato plants in the Root Riot seedling starter kit. The tomato plants will be a free gift for our guests that attend the gardening event.

The Root Riot gave us a 96% yield and last week Kathy transplanted all 48 plants into our 3” Coco Fiber pots. As you can see they look healthy and strong!  We are strong believers in these coco pots because of the benefits they provide, such as: being recyclable, having great water retention, causing little to no transplant shock and knowing when we plant them directly into a pot or the ground, they are completely biodegradable.

Coco Pots soaking in No-Hole TrayRight now, we have a fantastic SPECIAL on the Coco Pots, so be sure to stock up on Coir coco pots.  100 pots for only $21.95, regularly $26.95.

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Greenhouse Kits Greenhouses

Solexx used in Aquaponics

We love finding Solexx Greenhouse projects on the internet. Here is a Solexx custom greenhouse used cover a tank of Tilapia fish.aquaponics greenhouse

“Hoop frame is for a cold frame style greenhouse with a soft poly draped over it. All we had to do was assemble it. It worked out perfect for the Solexx covering.” greenhouse with Solexx greenhouse coveringlocale=&exposeKeys=&xg_pw=&xgsi=&groupId=&groupUrl=&xgi=&page=1

Gardening Greenhouse tips

Hardening Off: From the greenhouse to the garden

No matter how cozy the greenhouse is in the winter, spring time is the best time to get out into the fresh air!

Getting ready to move garden pots from the greenhouse to the garden

Your plants are no doubt equally eager to move outside and stretch in the sunshine. For best results, the plants you’re moving from a sheltered greenhouse to the great outdoors should make the transition gradually. Wide variations in temperature or too much rain, wind, or sun all at once can damage tender young plants. Here are a few pointers to help them acclimate and thrive in their new home.

A week or more before you plan to move your plants outdoors, start the transition process, known as hardening off. Reduce frequency of watering and greenhouse temperatures, to help ease your plants into the shift.

Watering:  Your seedlings can go a little dry between watering before they’re set outside. Bottom watering is best, since overhead watering can cause foliage diseases. As you water less frequently, check the plants. If they don’t droop, they’re probably strong enough to start the transition.

Temperatures: The 85-degree temperatures that you needed for your seeds to germinate should be brought down to around 65 degrees for seedlings. A thermometer is the easiest way to monitor the temperatures in the greenhouse, so you can make adjustments with heating and ventilation.

A visit to the Porch. An unheated, protected area will allow plants to gradually adjust to cooler temperatures. A porch or enclosed deck can be a great transition space between the greenhouse and garden. If you ventilate the space, keep the plants away from drafts. If such an area is not available, you can also shelter your plants under an evergreen or in the shade of your house.

Field Trips: Take your plants outside on mild days when there is little wind or precipitation. Frost or fabric covers can be used for extra protection. Just be sure that the plants aren’t being pressed upon directly.

Moving Day!

For container plants, wait until it’s in the high 50’s or low 60’s to move them outside. If it’s dry, sunny, and hot, put the plants out later in the day, so there will be some shade and cooler air. A slight drizzle is good, if the air isn’t cold.

For plants being transplanted in-ground, soil temperature is even more important than air temperature. So test the soil temperature for a few days. Remember, nighttime soil temperatures will be lower, and shouldn’t drop below 60 degrees.

The Pot Lifter  makes it easier to  move your heavy pots from the greenhouse.

Hardening off is a simple process, requiring just a little time and a lot of love. Gently ease your plants into outdoor living, and they should quickly start thriving in their new environment.

For more information about our greenhouses click here

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