Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012 journal

Late this afternoon the temperature was above 90 degrees, which is beginning to be not so unusual for this early in the season.  That being the case, the temperature in the greenhouse would have been over a hundred degrees if I did not apply the shade cloth.

Even though the tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants are warm weather crops, the mid afternoon sun, combined with the high temperature, would damage the plants in the greenhouse if the shading was not applied.  In this case, I am using a 45% black poly shading material, which is very durable and will last for many years.  With the deck behind the greenhouse applying the shading is very easy; I use a long aluminum pole to drape the cloth over the greenhouse.  In fact, it is so easy to apply the shading, that I don't hesitate to apply and remove it as conditions dictate.  

The author of one of my greenhouse gardening books states: only a tiny percentage of hobby greenhouse owners actually grow in their greenhouses, rather, they are used only for starting plants and extending the season toward the end.   However, in my opinion, difficulties aside, there is a great deal to be said for protected growing.  Traditionally, in this neck of the woods, Memorial Day weekend has always been considered as the earliest date to safely plant annuals and warm weather vegetables.  The above photo, taken on Memorial Day, illustates the obvious benefits of protected growing, as the plants are already well on their way to maturity and fruit production.  

Ava, who's pink watering can stands ready for use, is anxious to start picking cucumbers to make garlic dill pickles.  She can start tomorrow, as there is already enough cucumbers for a small batch, and it is not even June yet.....

Protected growing, ya gotta love it. 

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