um, Greenhouse 101.

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Just Wingin It, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Just Wingin It

    Just Wingin It Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2013
    centerville texas
    We bought 6 acres this year.... and while my first summer garden was started late, and with lots of beginner setbacks, well, we ate two wonderful watermelons the size of softballs, the deer really enjoyed all the orange tomatoes and jalapenos, and we got to eat 3 banana peppers, 1 zucchini, 1 blackberry, 2 tomatoes, and a bumper crop of very delicious small yellow onions.

    My fall garden is so far doing much better! (thanks to my neibor's graciously letting me clean up their horse pens for them this summer)

    So, My black thumb is turning a little grey-green now. :)

    My husband wants to build a greenhouse so we can have veggies in the winter......... so I got a couple silly questions;

    If vegetables need bees to pollenate...... what can be harvested inside a green house without adequete insects?

    Do I need to add some sort of heating device for the winter?? its mid-texas, we get to freezing a few times a winter.

    its I need to cool it in the summer? (100 degree days)

    Its been a wonderful experience gardening, and raising livestock... (my poultry has done a LOT better than the garden.. thanks to all y'alls help here)

    any good websites or things i should know would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Websites! You mentioned websites!!! How about a sister site to this forum, run by the same great people that bring you BYC. There are even a few Texans over here. It's a small forum and a lot of us are friends but we always welcome new people.

    What can you grow without pollinators? For many things, you can be the pollinator. Many plants like tomatoes and beans have perfect flowers. That means they have both male and female flower parts. They don’t need anything to carry pollen from one plant to another. They generally need something (wind, insects, people) to shake the flower to cause pollination.

    Some things like squash have separate male and female flowers. You can tell the female because they have a tiny baby squash at the base of the flower. If you cut off a male flower and rub it on the female flower, you’ve just pollinated it.

    Each plant is likely to have its own special needs for you to be the pollinator. I’m not an expert on that since I don’t have a greenhouse but some of the people over on that site are experts. They can tell you about heating it or cooling it too.

    Some things don’t need pollinators. Lettuce, spinach, mesclun, chard, kale, cabbage, carrots. beets, radishes, oh, the list goes on and on.

    Hope to see you over there.
  3. Just Wingin It

    Just Wingin It Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2013
    centerville texas
    Awesome! Be right there!
  4. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We've been green-housing in northern Ok for the last two winters now. Any of your cole crops will grow great like broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussell sprouts, etc. Also any greens like lettuce, spinach, collards, mustard greens, etc. Even this far north we only need heat for those things on really hard freeze nights.

    Last year we grew green beans through Christmas and zucchini through Thanksgiving. Don't worry too much about Pollinators having to be bees. Flies will pollinate lots of things and so will ants, not in the same way obviously, but they will also inhabit your green house. Last year we even got a flush of squash bugs in our green house in early spring. Ugh.

    You will want to make your green house have some way to roll up the sides and vent from the top and even then it may be virtually unusable in mid-TX in the summer without shade cloth and fans of some kind.

    If your green house is big enough you can put in a 50 gal barrel full of water. Paint it black or just get a black one to start with. It will act as a heat sink and provide enough residual heat to keep it from freezing. But it all depends on how big of a green house you build.

    Our biggest challenge in winter green house gardening has been getting enough light to keep the plants growing.
  5. Just Wingin It

    Just Wingin It Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2013
    centerville texas
    i was thinking of flourescent lighting.... whats your experience with that? what was the results if it wasn't enough?

    thanks for the replies. :)
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    As RR said, Tomatoes and beans just need a little movement to pollinate, thus, unless they are hybrids, you can save your seeds and be reasonably sure that you'll get consistent crops next year. Any of the cucurbits need to be pollinated. Any crop where you are not eating the fruit does not have to be pollinated. (such as greens, coles, root vegetables.)
  7. texas75563

    texas75563 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2012
    Linden, Texas
    I live in northeast texas. I bought a cheap 8' x 6' green house to put some citrus trees and other plants in this year. I put a 200 watt flood light in a lamp to add some heat on nights that it freezes. So far we have had more than normal of those. The leaves turned brown on my bannana plants. Everything else is doing good. My improved meyer had 20 lemons on it. I picked part of them, probably need to pick the rest.
    My washington naval orange only had 1 on it. It should be ready to pick.

    My bannana plants have been bitten every year since I had them, about 4 years now. So that was no big deal. Once the main stalk gets going, 1st year you will probably have 2 plants come up on the sides that you can remove and transplant. Every year after that it is more and more. This year it was around 25 plants.

    A little small round paintbrush like you use with water color painting works good to do the pollination yourself.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  8. Just Wingin It

    Just Wingin It Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2013
    centerville texas
    ah, I was wondering how the citrus would do, I made a make shift plastic cover last week, to no avail, my tangerine just dropped all its fruit. :(
    those are beautiful fruit, good job!

    im still waitin' on that greenhouse, so far, my pumpkin, okra, and watermelon shriveled in the freeze outside, but the lettuce, chicorys kale, and onions are growing..... stunted growth again, I need to have the soil tested.
    this is my first rodeo.... I've never had a good home for a garden before. my first crop of onions were small and wonderfully sweet. i'm happy with that much success so far. The deer are bigger pests than all the chickens, ducks, wild rabbits combined!

    I get this gardening thing figured out, I will fence it in the spring

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