Friday, April 16, 2010

Solarium, Greenhouse, Dirt and Bed Construction

We're making great progress on the construction of the beds and filling them with soil. Check back Monday night for a picture of our progress this weekend. We should have a couple more beds built and almost half filled with soil.

The garden looks so bare and utilitarian right now. I can't wait to see if full of flowers, fruit trees and greenery!

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are plugging along slowly. They all have flowers and are starting to set fruit. The minimum temperatures each night have been about 40 degrees the past few days. Tomatoes like a minimum temperature of 50, so this is pushing the envelope for tomatoes a bit.

Peppers also like a warmer environment than we've given them recently, but we're trying to see just how much we can get away with. We're growing the tender vegetables in 3 places to see where they do best. We've got peppers in containers in the solarium, in the beds of the greenhouse and have some seedlings that we just started for planting out into the garden after our last frost date (June 1). These peppers are also flowering and beginning to set fruit. We've got antohi romanian sweet peppers, jalapeno, cayenne and a bell pepper variety.

Next to the radishes in the greenhouse I've planted some sweet peas to grow up a trellis. This should look pretty when they begin to flower!

The arugula and lettuce are growing great in this spot in the greenhouse. We've started harvesting the lettuce and have been harvesting the arugula for a few weeks.

Our germination and propagation station is plugging along!

The indio mandarinquat is flowering. This tree is doing the best out of all of our citrus. It was the only one that didn't lose a lot of leaves this winter. We can't wait to enjoy this fruit. I'm planning on making marmalade.

Another shot of the indio mandarinquat. Behind this picture you can see the door to our bedroom. It opens into the solarium. We love our house and still feel like we won the housing lottery.

A view of the cabinet mountain range as seen through our jungle of tomato plants in the solarium.

Seriously, it's a jungle. These plants are almost as tall as me. With the plants up on a table for better light, I am starting to have a really tough time pollinating everything.

Some trays of onions and herbs thriving upstairs.

Baby tomatoes in the solarium! I would estimate we've had about a 60-70% success rate with our pollination. You really begin to appreciate the work that bees, butterflies and bats do when you are faced with the task of pollinating 40+ plants.

This is an antohi pepper inside our solarium. How long from flowering to mature peppers typically? 6 weeks?


  1. I have a question. Where did you keep the mandarinquat tree in the middle of winter and did it lose all of it's leaves? I really must try a potted tree like this sometime.

    Your beds are looking great.

  2. The mandarinquat stayed in our unheated south facing solarium. During the winter, night time temperatures regularly got down into the low 40's. It lost maybe 1/5 of it's leaves. The lemon and lime were in the same spot, and they both lost well over half of their leaves. They've got lots of new growth on them now though. I think the short days in the winter significantly affected everything, but it certainly did not kill the plants.