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Summer time and the livings easy. Wait, it’s too sunny let me find a tree. Now that my rhyme is over, let’s get down to business. With the arrival of July comes more sun and a lot more heat. You may remember me complaining the lack of sun and heat the past few months, but that’s all in the past. Now, I’m layering on the sunscreen and spending more time in our retail shop to soak up the A/C. But the time I am spending outside, is often spent worrying over my garden. All this extra sun and the accompanying heat can make for very thirsty plants. This to say, you’re going to need to use more water than last month to keep your plants, as well as yourself, hydrated. If you are looking for something to do inside your greenhouse, fear not! There is still plenty to do, aside from just cleaning and upkeep.
If you do have a lot of free space in either your greenhouse or garden space, maybe think about how you can use that to help others. Food insecurity is a huge issue in a lot of the United States and many who suffer from it don’t have the resources to grow their own food. Helping out where you can could make all the difference in someone else’s life. If you are able to grow extra produce and donate it to your local food bank, we encourage you to! Giving back and supporting your local community is a great way to help make it a better place to live. Not only could it help your community, it will give you more gardening to do and who doesn’t want more plants to care for? If you can’t, no pressure, but if you are able, we encourage you to please give it a shot!
More to the point on your greenhouse this month, things can get a bit warm this time of year. The general rule of thumb is to try and keep the temperature inside your greenhouse at or below 90° F. Anything higher than that really wouldn’t be conducive to growing too many plants. Just as important would be to ensure the temperature is staying relatively stable throughout the day. Drops at night are inevitable and anticipated by your plants so don’t worry too much about that. But during the day, try to keep the temperature around the same to keep from confusing your plants too much. Any drastic changes, in either direction, can cause some problems. Make sure you are venting your greenhouse during the day. Open your screen door vent early in the morning if you have one as well as any other lower air vents to allow for cooler air intake. Close the vents up come the evening to ensure more even temperatures in your greenhouse. Make sure your air circulating fans are running 24 hours a day at this point. High temperatures and no air flow can create a rather stale environment that is great for growing molds and other problems for your plants. Air flow can also help both spread and evaporate water, helping your plants stay properly hydrated. Fans also can help generate and spread carbon dioxide inside your greenhouse, helping your plants photosynthesize.
If you haven’t already done so, you should be shading your greenhouse! Shading can help give plants a break from direct sunlight that can be amplified by the glazing on your structure. Sure sunlight is good for plants, but too much can kill plants. Apply shading cloth to the exterior of your greenhouse to ensure the sunlight has an extra layer to penetrate before it reaches your greenhouses’ glazing. This will help to cool the rays of sun and making sure things stay relatively temperate in your growing space. There’s plenty of other way to help keep your greenhouse cool from misting to heat sinks, check out our previous blog “Cooling Your Summer Greenhouse” for more information on that!
Along with the changing of your calendar, this month brings with it some heat! Daily watering is very much necessary this time of year so make sure you stay on top of that. Remember to water during the heat of the day to ensure any excess puddles or splashes on leaves get evaporated by the heat of the sun. If you, like many, are planning to take any trips this summer make sure you have a plan. A friend, neighbor or relative is a great way to make sure your plants stay happy and hydrated while you’re gone, but it isn’t always a possibility. Self-watering systems are a great way to combat the lack of plant sitter, if you’re unable to find one. Watering systems are also a great idea if you want to garden but can’t stay on top of it all the time. These systems have scheduled times when they release water to your plants, so long as their tank is full. If you have a large collection of plants inside your greenhouse you may be interested in one of our misting systems. Misting is a great way to both cool off as well as provide some moisture for your plants. You can potentially do it yourself using a garden hose and a sprayer nozzle, but it can be time consuming. Save yourself some time and energy and have one of our misting systems take care of it for you! Self-watering and misting systems are great ways to ensure your garden is happy but you don’t miss out on any summer fun!
Pests and disease are a big problem this time of year. Generally, as your plants grow, so too does the risk of disease and pests. Check your plants daily to make sure they are staying healthy. A lighted loupe magnifier is a great way to make sure you know what you’re looking at and can properly identify pests. Knowing what you’re fighting is half the battle after all. Slug hotels are also a great way to get rid of those slow moving pests that take over this time of year! Slugs are pretty nasty, we all know that. But getting rid of them doesn’t have to be! Slug hotels attract slugs to them allowing you to get rid of multiple at once without having to touch a single slug! They may not be quick, but they can take over your garden without you noticing so don’t sleep on slugs! Neem oil is a great way to help prevent disease on your foliage, but it’s not a cure all if a full-fledged infestation takes hold. The best way to battle pests and disease is to be prepared beforehand! Nothing will help you keep your garden happy and healthy like staying ahead of things.
With summer here a myriad of new activities comes along for you to partake in. Whether you want to stay inside with the A/C and catch up on your shows, sit outside and read a book or quite possibly anything in between, you can likely get it done within the next few months. Sunshine and less rain means more outdoor time, so stay on top of your sunscreen, I write this mostly to remind myself… Keep yourself and your garden hydrated for optimal performance, in both cases. Whatever you want to do this summer, get out there and do it! Watch the weather plan to ensure you’re not planning a lake day when the forecast calls for rain. As with staving off pests, stay prepared.
If you are actively not trying to garden inside your greenhouse this month, don’t fear, you have a few options. If your greenhouse is all cleaned out and in tip top shape, there are a few clever ways to enjoy your greenhouse. If it’s not yet clean and up to stuff, read our blog “Greenhouse Maintenance”. An empty greenhouse will still be an incredibly warm place to be during the summer. If you’re into low heat saunas, get yourself a chair and sit in it! If conditions are just right, you can actually use your greenhouse as a makeshift food dehydrator. Dehydrated foods have a much longer shelf life than their moisturized counterparts. This can be tricky to achieve, but it can be done. With the help of your ventilation systems and fans, your greenhouse could become a very comfortable sitting place! Being that the walls and ceiling give you protection from the elements outdoors, but you can see through them, a greenhouse is the perfect place to hang out during summer rain storms. If you own a hot tub, you could potentially turn your greenhouse into a great hot tub home! The structure is already designed to handle all that excess humidity so you need not worry about that. The main challenge is generally getting the tub inside the already constructed greenhouse, but people have overcome larger obstacles. For more ideas on how to use your greenhouse for non-gardening purposes, read our blog “Why Own A Greenhouse?”.
No matter what you plan to do inside your greenhouse this month, have fun with it! I say this a lot, but gardening doesn’t have to be work, especially inside a hobby greenhouse. Remember you bought this because you wanted a place to be able to have fun gardening all year round. I’d personally recommend being a bit less ambitious in terms of growing plants this month, take advantage of the summer while it’s here! Yes this is a great month for propagating next season’s plants, but it’s also a great month to go hit the bay, or lake, or golf course, or any other outdoor activity that we in Washington can really only do a few months out of the year. Have fun with your garden, or whatever activity you want to do! Stay safe out in the sun, drink water and use sun screen! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you again next week!