August 31, 2014

End of Month Views, August

There's nothing much to see in the August greenhouse. Summering plants abound outside.

Gusmania, Bird's Nest Fern and Tillandsia cycanea in sturdy square terra cotta pots from Viet Nam.

Looking from the other direction, Rhipsalis and Burro Tail Sedums. Little bits of these are rooting in the greenhouse along with bits of Christmas Cactus. I can't help myself when pieces break off.

Beside the greenhouse are more summering plants.
I looked back at last winter's blog posts to see where all these are supposed to go and wondered where the newcomers will perch.

Bromeliads are bigger and more numerous than last year.
Maybe I can make a Bromeliad tree and go vertical.

I try not to think about the pots of Begonias, Foxtail Fern, Spider plants, Rusellia and Graptopetalum. I only think of cuttings when I'm outside watering. 

More white Lantana outside.
Inside the greenhouse I cleared 10' Alternanthera plants behind the two panels to the right and squeezed my tomato plant into the corner. I estimate I have 5 weeks to get ready for plants moving inside. Sassafras suckers came up at the end of my potting bench are among the things I will deal with. 


I haven't made up my mind about Christmas plants. Pots of Amaryllis need preparing if they are to bloom midwinter. Bulbs need ordering if there are to be Hyacinths to give away and new Amaryllis. It is hard to think about Christmas in 95º weather.

August 30, 2014

Tomato in Its New Space

The last post concerned a Better Boy cutting that has reached 5 feet tall and would be that wide in every direction if it was not in bondage, tied to a PVC pipe in its bucket.


Moving the tomato freed up about 38" x 38" of floor space where it sat just inside the door. I kept brushing against it going in and out which can bruise the leaves.


Squeezing into a space 27"x18" through a tiny gap between the ends of the shelving without breaking a limb was a real trick.  
Limb ends rest against the greenhouse walls. Come cold weather, bubble wrap will protect it from cold if I can work the plastic down the walls.  

Yesterday Alternanthera filled this space.

Two small tomatoes hung on through the move. 
I give it a gallon of water when it was in place.



While it isn't the best location for a tomato, it is the best use of space in a small building. Indeterminate tomatoes tend to vine upward, so the roof's the limit. Right now it's only 5' tall. Lanky limbs can be secured to the posts of the shelf unit beside it. I'll be able to reach the shelves without an obstacle.

Tomatoes in the winter of 2012-2013 were successful for 
fruit but so much in the way. Every year I rearrange. 
There's never a perfect layout.

I looked back to see when I brought in other plants last year. October 10, 2013 I was bringing in the tenderest. 

The tiniest signs of fall are here despite high temperatures. Virginia Creeper and Sassafras are dropping red leaves.  There was fog this morning.  




August 28, 2014

Alternanthera 'Purple Knight' forced to make room for a Better Boy

Alternanthera is a grand foliage plant. The smaller cultivars make great edgers, fillers and contrast material.

"Purple Knight' is usually a weaver among tall stems. I used it last year with leggy purple/pink roses.


The greenhouse has Purple Knight seedlings from years back rooted in the floor under the south bench. It filled the south side of the building. Temperatures over 100º encourage it in bright sunshine and plenty of moisture from the mist system.

I figured it shades the few little cuttings and seedlings on the shelf underneath it, so I let it grow. With fall coming on, it has to be cut back to the ground.

This tomato cutting in a bucket needs the corner space.
It tends to grow up and out until unrestrained it could fill a 75 cubit foot space: 5'x5'x5' and is in the way in the middle of the greenhouse. 

This corner must be freed for the Tomato.

Despite the heat, nighttime temps got low enough to set fruit.

Blooms keep coming. I hope for  more fruit set.

I don't know how I'll fit everything in when time comes. Amaryllis can hang out in the tool shed while they dry off awaiting time for Christmas bloom. A host of Christmas Cactus and their relatives will vie for shelf space along with some potted Calla Lilies that have stayed green but found it too hot to bloom. The Bromeliad Bunch will take up considerable room. My Bird's Nest Fern is bigger than ever, don't know if it will stuff under the lowest shelf where it was happy last year. 



I put off taking cuttings. Shrimp Plants are a must; Persian Shield may be fewer. Pineapple Sage might just be one big pot, it's been such a water hog this summer waiting for fall bloom. I'm considering how many Pentas I can squeeze in. Oh. Where will I put the pots of Begonia, Foxtail Fern and Spider Plant trios? I potted them up together last year to save space. Maybe others will have to bunk together this year. Wonder what else could share containers? 

I gave the Cat notice that traveling space to get to his favorite perch will be shorter and narrower this time.  I was hoping for a little tea table and a couple of chairs. 

Last February

August 13, 2014

No Blooms in the Greenhouse for Bloom Day

The only thing blooming in the greenhouse is a lanky tomato plant. The temperature is too high for fruit set so it just gets taller.



Outside, Tillandsea cyanea has bright bracts but no blue blossoms as yet.



Most of the greenhouse plants summering outside are waiting for cool weather or short days before setting buds.

August 04, 2014

Bird of Paradise and Hidden Ginger

I despair of ever having a Stretlizia that blooms. This one is putting on a third new leaf. It was killed back to roots in the winter. I vow every year to buy a new one and keep it in a pot. Fall comes and I decide there isn't room. I think it is one of the best plants in a greenhouse for height, prettier than a Banana. 

Curcuma is a dependable bloomer. It needs a rest period, so getting killed to the ground is no big deal for it.

August 01, 2014

Itsy Bitsy Yellow Mushroom

When I watered a Pothos Plant the other day, I noticed tiny yellow mushrooms and then forgot about them.


By today when I watered the cap had broken off the stem but I made a pic anyway.

Searching tonight how to make a driftwood heart, I ran across a site where somebody asked about mushrooms in their houseplant pots and there were my mushrooms!

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, aka Lepiota lutea, the yellow houseplant mushroom.

If you want to know more about this common houseplant mushroom Tom Volk will tell you all about it.  

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