Starting your own plants from seed has so many advantages! •Reduce your grocery bills •Grow special varieties of produce you can’t find in the grocery store •Maximize your foods’ nutrition by eating fresh picked and local •Save money and start flowers to fill your flower beds with color •Grow plants that are unusual in your area •Enjoy the best tasting food possible •Share with friends and family •And so much more! Make sure you get your seeds off to the right start for the most successful germination! Just click here to print your FREE Seed Starting Guide! which help you master the basics or improve your skills from previous years of seed starting. Gentle, even bottom warmth from our Seedling Heat Mats encourages faster germination, more successful starts, and less transplant shock. The 9″ x 19.5″ mat is the perfect size for one flat of seeds. Start your seedlings or cuttings with ease at a fantastic value! Everything you need for one flat of seeds is included in our Seedling Grow Kit. Organic plant starter cubes for cuttings and seeds for soil or hydroponics, made from organic material and are fully biodegradable. They will give you faster, more vigorous rooting. Perfect air/water capacity, and transfer easily into soil or any other medium Check out our website for our full line of seedling starter products! http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/category/seed-starting
Quick Tips for Organic Gardening
Tasting that first juicy tomato, crunchy pepper, or sweet strawberry is gardening’s finest reward! And even more wonderful than home-grown fruits and vegetables are those that are organically grown.
When you grow organically, there are many benefits for both you and the environment. Produce is healthier, more colorful, tastes better, and is better for you. The Earth gets treated better as well.
Read on for some tips on easy organic growing.
1. Grow in organic soil – If you’re growing in-ground, it’s always best to have your soil tested first, to find out what amendments are needed. Your county extension agent can also advise you on soil needs for specific plants. You can easily purchase sterile organic growing media for container garden plants; just be sure it also contains the texture and minerals that are needed for the vegetables you plan to grow.
2. Plant organic seeds and seedlings – The best way to grow organic is to start organic. Obtain your seeds and seedlings from a trusted source. If you can’t find organic seeds, then plant seeds that have not been treated with fungicides.
3. Grow companion plants – Plants can be compatible growing mates for different reasons. Some plants act as trap crops, luring in insects and thereby protecting the plants around them. Some plants drive away bad bugs; marigolds are a good example. Others plants attract beneficial insects; for instance, carrots, dill and parsley attract praying mantises and ladybugs.
Another way that plants can be simpatico is when quick-growing vegetables are planted next to long-season veggies; their growing and harvest schedules are varied, so they won’t compete much for nutrients and water. Some shallow root plants can be planted next to deep root plants, since they won’t compete for soil minerals and other resources.
4. Compost – Composting is a great way to recycle vegetable scraps and provide natural fertilizer for your plants. And using red worms, (vermicomposting) is the way to get prime compost quickly. These “Red Wrigglers” can compost half their weight each day! Check out our Worm Factory 360, this month’s featured product, to learn more.
5. Avoid chemicals – Rather than use chemical additives or man-made pesticides on your food plants, use 100% natural compounds. Compost makes a great soil amendment and fertilizer. You can apply insecticidal soap and Neem oil for bad bugs, plant companion plants that bad bugs find distasteful, or use sticky cards to catch them.
6. Attract beneficial insects – You can never have enough beneficial insects to protect your precious produce. One way is to obtain some good bugs, and place them in your garden. As mentioned earlier, some plants also attract them, including flowering herbs like dill, rosemary and lavender, as well as flowers like achillea and buddleia.
7. Prevent weeds Weeds are more than just nuisances. They can rob water and nutrients from your plants, and invite and spread disease. Hand-weeding, biodegradable mulches, and other non-toxic methods can be very effective at preventing and eradicating unwanted plants
8. Keep disease at bay – There are several ways to ensure that you’ll have very few, if any, disease issues with your vegetables. One is to practice crop rotation, so you’re not planting in potentially diseased soil. Another is to plant resistant varieties whenever possible. Pest prevention and control are also key, and easily accomplished without toxins. Sending in beneficial insects and using organic deterrents are two other effective solutions.
9. Remove debris and spent plants – Keeping the greenhouse clear and clean of plant debris is of utmost importance for maintaining a healthy environment for all plants.
10. Harvest in timely fashion – We’ve found some detailed harvest tips for your vegetables, so you pick them at just the right time for the best flavors, textures, and colors.
11. Store produce properly – You’ve put time, effort and care into growing your organic plants, and now you can extend the life of the produce. For tips on storing all varieties of vegetables, be sure to bookmark this article about good storage practices.
Grow Organic for Good Health – The more organic your food, the healthier you and the land are. It doesn’t take much effort to ensure that your plants benefit from organic methods, which are much safer than the chemical-based agriculture that’s become common these days. Give organic growing a try, and you’ll be enjoying delicious, 100% natural produce and flowers in no time.
Want more growing tips? Visit our Resource Page.
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.
Top 20 Benefits of Winter Greenhouse Growing!
Have you thought about adding a greenhouse to your wish list?
There are loads of reasons why it makes economic, personal and environmental sense. To name just a few, greenhouse growing allows you to:
- Grow fresh, healthy produce that’s often unavailable in supermarkets.
- Enjoy colorful, fragrant flowers at any time of year.
- Ensure your family’s food is chemical-free and provides superior flavor.
- Produce larger, more flavorful harvests by controlling the growing environment, from temperature and moisture to lighting.
- Grow orchids and other exotic/non-native plants.
- Overwinter tender plants.
- Start seedlings ahead of the spring season, allowing for earlier and more abundant harvests.
- Minimize disease and provide protection from animal pests.
- Increase your gardening knowledge through practical experience.
- Enjoy a sense of accomplishment, mastery, and self-reliance that working in a greenhouse produces.
- Gain the health benefits of exercise and a sense of well-being.
- Boost your body’s natural production of Vitamin D when sunlight is otherwise scarce.
- Lower your grocery bills.
- Reduce the transportation expenses necessary to buy food.
- Preserve topsoil from erosion through minimal soil use.
- Minimize pesticide use.
- Use targeted watering to decrease water use.
- Reduce emissions from vehicles used to transport produce — yours, the farmer’s, and the grocery stores.
- Provide produce to neighbors or the community.
- Enjoy a welcome retreat from the barren winter landscape.
Abundant Reasons for Winter Growing
Growing in a winter greenhouse has so many personal, economic, and environmental benefits, for beginning gardeners and veteran growers alike. Here at Greenhouse Catalog, we offer a full range of greenhouse sizes, from small ones ideal for growing herbs to extra-large structures that can accommodate mature fruit trees. You can get started with a mini-greenhouse big enough to stand up and move around in, for as little as a few hundred dollars! In fact, such a starter greenhouse may be the perfect gift for a friend or loved one.
If you’re ready to set up your own greenhouse, or need accessories or supplies to enhance an existing greenhouse, we’re here to help you with all your needs.
Winter Greenhouse Tips
- Check the heating systems to make sure they are fully functional.
- Make sure there are no leaks or cracks in the structure; if so, repair them immediately.
- Sharpen and sterilize your tools.
- Bring container plants from outside into the greenhouse.
- Store dug-up bulbs in vermiculite or sawdust.
- Monitor temperatures to make sure they’re meeting your plants’ needs.
- Water as needed mid-morning.
- If possible, open the greenhouse on dry days to ventilate.
- Plan space now for starting seeds in January.
- Plant iris, triplet lily, and windflower and freesia bulbs.
Starting your own plants from seed has so many advantages!
- Reduce your grocery bills
- Grow special varieties of produce you can’t find in the grocery store
- Maximize your foods’ nutrition by eating fresh picked and local
- Save money and start flowers to fill your flower beds with color
- Grow plants that are unusual in your area
- Enjoy the best tasting food possible
- Share with friends and family
- And so much more!
Make sure you get your seeds off to the right start for the most successful germination!
Gentle, even bottom warmth from our Seedling Heat Mats encourages faster germination, more successful starts, and less transplant shock. The 9″ x 19.5″ mat is the perfect size for one flat of seeds.
Start your seedlings or cuttings with ease at a fantastic value! Everything you need for one flat of seeds is included in our Seedling Grow Kit.
Organic plant starter cubes for cuttings and seeds for soil or hydroponics, made from organic material and are fully biodegradable. They will give you faster, more vigorous rooting. Perfect air/water capacity, and transfer easily into soil or any other medium
Check out our website for our full line of seedling starter products!
And as always – Happy Gardening!
We are gearing up for the Oregon State Fair this year and staff member Michael Taylor has been spending time preparing helpful tips for winter growing he will present three different dates on “Winter Gardening in the Greenhouse” (check out the link for dates and times). Take a look below for more information on the Farm and Garden Competition, how to participate and be entered to win a gardening kit worth $120.00 courtesy of The Greenhouse Catalog.
The Oregon State Fair is gearing up for its annual Farm & Garden Competition
All you have to do to participate is…
Adult Best of Show winner will get two Embrace Oregon Wine tour tickets! Youth prize: $25 Wilco gift card
All adult participants will be entered to win a gardening kit worth $120, courtesy of Greenhouse Catalog.
Click HERE to download the Farm & Garden handbook with details on all our competitions! Information about our exhibitors and programming is at: http://oregonstatefair.org/competitions/farm-garden-floral/
We’ve finally reached Summer!! Here are some basic things to do in your garden to maintain it and extend the color. Happy Gardening!
Mulch: Spreading a 2-inch-deep layer of mulch over your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden. The mulch blankets the ground, shielding the soil from the sun. This keeps it cooler, so your plant roots are happier, and prevents moisture loss from evaporation. Happily, there’s not a single best type of mulch. Anything made from organic matter — shredded wood, pine straw, a mix of grass clippings and shredded leaves, etc. — is going to help your soil in the long run as it decomposes and adds to your soil structure.
Weed: Many pesky weeds love summer heat and quickly take the jump from tiny to gigantic. It’s important to pull them from your garden, because weeds steal moisture and nutrients from your plants. Many weeds also encourage insect pests and diseases to pop up in your garden. Weeds are easiest to pull when they’re young and small. They also come out of the ground easiest when the soil is moist. Another reason to get them while they’re young: You can stop weeds from producing seeds. A single dandelion plant can produce 2,000 seeds in a year. A weed such as lamb’s quarters can produce 150,000 seeds in a year. That’s a lot of future weeding you can save yourself from doing! Remove spent blooms from many of your annuals and perennials, and you might see more flowers! Called deadheading, this process prevents plants from producing seeds so they put more energy into beautiful blooms. Deadheading cuts back on future efforts, too, for plants that self-seed. Perennials (such as columbine, coneflower, cup plant, false sunflower, garlic chives, and verbena) and annuals (such as datura, flowering tobacco, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, larkspur, and spider flower) can self-seed to the point of being weedy in the garden.
Watch for Pests: Like weeding, keeping an eye on pests and diseases in your yard should be done all year. But midsummer seems to be particularly popular for these gardening obstacles. Some of the more common midsummer problems to watch for include:
- Black spot
- Cucumber beetles
- Japanese beetles
- Powdery mildew
- Squash bugs
- Tomato hornworms
Water: If you experience dry summers, or a dry weather pattern, you may wish to water your garden to keep it looking its best. Most common garden plants prefer an average of 1 inch of water a week. It’s best to apply that inch all at once to encourage plant roots to sink down more deeply in the soil. When watering, apply water directly to the ground rather than getting a plant’s foliage wet; water sitting on the leaves can lead to disease. Soaker hoses are great for this!
Add Color with Summer Annuals: Once summer heat arrives, many spring-blooming annuals such as pansy, viola, and osteospermum fade. Make your yard look its best by pulling out the spent plants and replacing them with heat-loving varieties such as angelonia, lantana, ageratum, coleus, pentas, portulaca, salvia, sweet potatoloving annuals grow quickly in warm temperatures and will soon provide a beautiful burst of color.
Plant Summer-Blooming Bulbs: Summer bulbs such as calla, canna, and dahlia are surefire ways to add color and drama to your landscape all summer long. These varieties are tender, so if you live in a Zone where they’re not hardy, plant them after all danger of frost has passed. Once temperatures rise, they grow quickly.
Pinch Mums and Other Late Perennials: Keep mums, sedums, asters, and other fall-blooming perennials standing tall by pinching the top inch or two of new growth. You can do so up to the Fourth of July. Pinching the tops of the plant typically gives you a more compact, sturdy specimen. It may also give you more blooms from the sideshoots that develop, though the blooms are typically a little smaller and appear a couple of weeks later. Other perennials that you can pinch in May and June:
- Balloon flower
- Bee balm
- Joe Pye weed
- Perennial sunflower
- Russian sage
- Remove Faded Flowers
Raise Your Mower: Raise the height of your lawn-mower blade if you have cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, or fescues. More leaf surface keeps the plants healthier during hot, dry weather.
Start a Fall Vegetable Garden: Vegetables fall into two basic categories: Cool-season and warm-season. The warm-season varieties — tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash — are all going now. Once temperatures cool, these plants will fade. Enjoy continued harvests by planting cool-loving vegetable seeds — including broccoli, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, and spinach — now so you can enjoy fresh, delicious harvests this autumn.
We are sure your weekend will be filled with things to do with Dad but we wanted to provide you some ideas of what you can get done in your greenhouse this month…
When you are able to set out your tomato plants, remove the lower leaves and bury in a trench, leaving the top tuft of leaves showing. This gives the plant additional roots and strength. Remember that planting seeds in cold soil can promote disease and slow germination. Plant new starts inside a black plastic pot that has the bottom cut out and is half buried in soil to protect the plant from cutworms and warm the soil. Everything grows very fast as the weather warms, so keep the your garden spot weeded to give your crop optimum water and nutrients. Stressed or sickly plants invite pests and diseases. Seed fast-maturing crops every two weeks now for a continual harvest. This is also an excellent time to take cuttings for the greenhouse. Root cuttings in coconut coir on your heating mat.
Give yourself a special treat this summer by adding the beauty, color and flavor of flowers to your summer salads, ice cubes and cool drinks. Some flowers to have growing in your garden for this purpose are borage (cucumber flavor), nasturtiums (sweet & spicy), chive blossoms (sweet, subtle onion flavor), calendula (saffron color), rose petals (fragrant, calming), and common orange daylily (fresh green bean flavor). Also try honeysuckle, daisies, pansies, carnations, cornflowers, gladioli and geraniums. Pick fresh each day. Rinse quickly under cold water and remove pistils, stamens and white base before adding to your finished dish. Young violet leaves can also be used. They contain three times the vitamin A of spinach and five times the vitamin C of orange juice! Enjoy!
Start broccoli now for a fall crop and fragrant Nicotiana for your fall garden. Cooling the greenhouse can be done by using a shade cloth, placing a couple of black buckets of water inside for evaporation cooling as well as spraying plants and walkways. Also our greenhouse can be picked up and moved into the shade. If you are closing the greenhouse for the summer, this would be a perfect time to empty, clean, disinfect, sterilize soil and do repairs. Review previous winter/spring season and related expenses. Plan and buy supplies for the coming fall and winter season. Have you outgrown your greenhouse? Now would be the perfect time to add an extension.
We have reached the conclusion of our seasonal project with the Marion-Polk Food Share in our endeavor to help stop hunger in our local area.
You may remember we teamed with MPFS back in March and provided use of our 16′ x 20′ Solexx Conservatory Greenhouse to allow them to get a jump start on the seedling starts for their Community Garden.
It was estimated by Jared Hibbard-Swanson, MPFS Youth Farm Manager that they were able to grow about 5ooo plants over the course of the 3 months for their Youth Farm and had a great experience in doing so. The MPFS You Farm is a program that seeks to improve the quality, diversity and stability of our local food system by training Salem area teenagers to grow food and to run a small farm business. All of the youth who participated in our program last year have espoused a strong commitment to fighting for a fair food system and a few of them even see themselves working directly in food production to bring nutritious and safe food to the community. Jared also notes that over the last year, the Youth Farm has donated over 2,500 pounds of fresh produce to MPFS pantries and meal sites while selling another 2,500 pounds to support their business.
Although it’s been great to support MPFS with donated canned goods in the food barrel we have here onsite, it’s nice to know we were able to join in helping to provide healthy fresh produce for those in need. It’s such a small thing we can all do to help those in need and together WE CAN make a difference. Please donate to your local food banks and help make a difference.
You can learn more about Marion-Polk Food Share Programs at:
Please visit their Facebook page at:
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.
The other benefits of growing vertically is the controlling of potential pests becomes easier as they are right in front of you. 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!