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Greenhouse Report Summer 2013

Starting Plants

It is September now and I'm catching up on what I learned this summer. 

  1. The inner greenhouse cover was great!  This winter I plan on putting up the inner greenhouse cover much earlier and now that we have power (and the internet) in the greenhouse the plan is to get a web cam out there and some heat!
  2. Cover plants in the spring.  I love to garden and having the greenhouse meant I had starts that needed to be outside sooner.  That is great, I had the plastic to cover them to keep them warm, but I did not think they needed it.  They did,  And I'm a slow learner.  I had to replant my garden TWICE this year. 
  3. Change the soil for tomatoes.   We reused our large pots from last years tomatoes and had fire blight.  Everything was looking great, and then the blight hit.  Karl fought it all summer and we were able to harvest some tomatoes .  But not as many as we could have had we used clean soil to begin with.  So although our tomato plants look good, they could have looked MUCH better.
  4. I love gutter gardening!  I read a great article and watched some videos on gutter gardening at the Remote Gardener website.   The first round of starts I used the old method of putting seeds in a 6 pack.  The second round of starts I used rain gutters.  They grew faster, they had more root room and were easier to water.  Transplanting was a breeze. 
  5. Not everything likes rain gutters.  Ok, so I get a bit focused.  I tried to do EVERYTHING in rain gutters.  In fact, I tried to put all my lettuce in the rain gutters by the house.  That did not work so well.  Soil and water and the type of plants made a huge difference.  The rain gutters in the yard did not get watered enough and I think the soil was to poor.  I read a great article today about a gal growing in rain gutters and her suggestion was to use fertilizer every 10 days.  I think I will try that next year. 
  6. Location, location, location!  It was nice to have the lettuce by the house, the grandkids love to snack on the greens as they ran by.  So I think I will do lettuce and munchies by the house again, only next year I will make sure to have rich soil and fertilze more.     
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Facebook Updates

It has been a long day and I am ready for it to be over.  I now have my site and Arlee's posting to their Facebook pages in a manner I like.  So we will see now if it works like I think it should.  There is always a difference between perception and reality. 

Once I test these two sites, then I will follow through with my clients who are interested.  They will be able to see what the system behaves like.  It is always a challenge to explain technical concepts to people whose lives are very full, and who do not have time to really focus on details.  A demo works so well for them.

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My blog test

Children of the sun, see your time has just begun, searching for your ways, through adventures every day. Every day and night, with the condor in flight, with all your friends in tow, you search for the Cities of Gold. Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah... wishing for The Cities of Gold. Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah... some day we will find The Cities of Gold. Do-do-do-do ah-ah-ah, do-do-do-do, Cities of Gold. Do-do-do-do, Cities of Gold. Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah... some day we will find The Cities of Gold.

I never spend much time in school but I taught ladies plenty. It's true I hire my body out for pay, hey hey. I've gotten burned over Cheryl Tiegs, blown up for Raquel Welch. But when I end up in the hay it's only hay, hey hey. I might jump an open drawbridge, or Tarzan from a vine. 'Cause I'm the unknown stuntman that makes Eastwood look so fine.

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Gardening in the Gutters

I have fallen in live with gutter gardening!  Karl and I stopped by Home Resource in Missoula - where we picked up several gutters of various lengths.  Jennet and Ed are gardening with me, and they helped cut ends and I drilled holes in the bottom of the gutters.  They are the ones in the lower rack. 

Never being one to sit still, I went back and purchased some more.  Only this time I did not drill as many holes in the bottom.  The gutters along the back wall, starting at the top, are filled with lettuce, strawberries and rosemary. 

Automation

Karl ordered some fans and better ventilation.  I am looking forward to not having to monitor the system in person. 

A friend and I are working on the Raspberry Pi, greenhouse automation as well. 

Plastic

As much as I would love to take the plastic down, it really helps with the temperature.  The high is rarely over 76 and the low is rarely under 40. some neighbors lost their seedlings when their greenhouse reached over 100 degrees. 

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Facebook

I am developing a Facebook Application. As always developing any application is a time consuming process. Here are some things I learned, which I want to keep track of (hence the post).

  1. Login Information for FB apps
    • FB sets timed tokens for applications.  This page says we need to have a long term token. The type of app I'm creating will need a long term token.
    • Offline_Access permission, the permission I thought I was using correctly has have been depreciated (Dec 2012).  As of this moment (I'm still researching) it looks like there is a multi-step process to get a long term access code.
    • This page says the FB 'new and improved' Fb code does not work as expected.
    • This page has an answer I will explore.  I will then get back on here and update my notes.
      •  
  2. Facebook explains extending tokens here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/howtos/login/extending-tokens/ 
  3.  

Research Pages:

 

Get Access Tokens from here:
https://developers.facebook.com/tools/access_token/

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Winter Lessons 2012-2013

I started playing in the greenhouse a few weeks ago.  This is the first winter I have had plants in the green house through the winter.  They came through in great shape!  I had worried...I have a wonderful huge jasmine plant that is about 5 years old now.  When it blooms the yard is filled with the wonderful smell of jasmine.  I did not want to lose it.  

Greenhouse plants
First Winter Lessons 

  1. Having an inner greenhouse is very important.  I created an inner greenhouse with plastic.  The inner greenhouse buffered the plants from the temperature swings.  Sunny winter days would see the greenhouse soar to 70 degrees, but the inner greenhouse stayed at 50-55.  During the night the greenhouse dropped to 15 or less and the inner greenhouse stayed at 30 or above.  The inner greenhouse was what I could throw together, it was not very pretty or easy to enter. I will have a better one for this coming winter.
  2. I did not have to water very much.  It surprised me how little water the plants used through the winter.  Now that may change when I get some heat out there.  But I only watered about once ever 3-4 weeks.  
  3. Choose the bug battles. The mandevilla vine (top shelf of the rack) had scales, so I let it go. I was not in the mood to fight scales.
  4. Sacrifice plants help keep aphids down.  At the start of winter I pulled my pepper plants, tomato plants and other flower plants I keep all year.  (Jasmine, fuchsia, etc)  I was not happy to see one pepper plant covered with aphids.  I was so surprised that there were so many and disheartened.  With winter rolling in fast, I had visions of a huge aphid house instead of a greenhouse.  I took the plant outside and let the cold weather kill the plant and aphids.  That was the only aphid problem I had all winter.  May all winters be so bug free!
  5. The back wall is the warmest place.  The goal of having a pit greenhouse was to utilize the warmth of the earth.  It worked like a champ.  The only thing I did have was the barrels of water and probably 20-25 2 gallon plastic jugs of water.  These I placed around the plants.
  6. Move the air!  I have all this warm air, and I should have moved it around.  Next winter I will put small fans to help move the air from around the water barrels.  I think that will help even out the temperature in the room and keep the whole room warmer. 

2012-2013 Winter Plant List

  • Fuchsia
  • Jasmine
  • Lettuce
  • Anise
  • Oregon Peas
  • Stevia
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Pineapple Sage
  • Curry
  • Marjoram
  • Petunia (volunteer plant)
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