Before we wrote this article, we of course had to read the first article about our greenhouse again. To go back to when the house was still empty and we could enjoy the most beautiful sunset while having dinner in this glasshouse.
It is incredible what happened since. It is a wonderful feeling to see how everything has changed and we now get the fruit of our hard labour. We are so happy to have Bauhaus as a partner for our Juliana greenhouse* and that we could realize this special garden project with them. We want to tell you the story of our house and our young plants.
First, we had to prepare the perfect conditions for a healthy growth in our glasshouse. With hard work, row by row, we folded dung into the earth, to accumulate nutrients in the soil.
Afterward, the young plants could finally be planted – even if we were a few weeks late. The tomatoes were planted right and left from the center aisle, in four rows each with three plants.
They showed us how good it was to get out of the pots by gaining in height and volume day after day. We bound the tomatoes to the greenhouse’s crossbars. For that main shoot we bound a cord beneath the first leaves and connected it with the upper greenhouse struts. After that, the plants had to be wound carefully around the cords, thus headed into the right direction. Another regular task when growing tomatoes is pinching off side shoots at the stem. This way, the nutrients are concentrated in the fruits of the main shoot, the plant can grow straight and does not need more space, plus the sun reaches all fruits better, thus letting them ripe faster.
But back to the greenhouse. We noticed pretty soon we had found the perfect place for our glasshouse. The sun can warm the fruits the whole day. During this record summer it was almost a bit too much to be good. It got very hot very fast in the greenhouse. At first, shadow nets on the southern side of the house helped, and later high plants like sunflowers, which we sowed outside the house. To get the temperatures down and to ensure a good ventilation, the doors stayed open during the day, and the windows adjusted to the temperatures with automatic window lifters. This way, we got a great climate in the house.
Despite the hot summer, we only had to water the plants twice or three times a week due to a thick layer of mulch. We could bring the few rainfalls to good use, though, thanks to the roof of the greenhouse. The Juliana Greenhouse has gutters, with which we collected the rain in a barrel.
Of course, we want to tell you about our harvest as well. We started with the cucumber harvest in July. Since then, we could collect 5 cucumbers a week. The first aromatic tomatoes we could harvest in August because of our belated start into the gardening season. Meanwhile, we collected 25kg, and our plants are still loaded with unripe fruits. After the sudden drop of temperatures the last days, our first action of the day is controlling the temperatures in the greenhouse. On sunny days, we still reach 30°C despite the low temperatures, and at night the temperatures stay at 15°C while it’s around 10°C outside. We hope to harvest fully riped fruits during the next days. For all those of you who love gardening we wrote down all breeds we have in our greenhouse: salad tomato Tigerella, salad tomato Friesje, cocktail tomato Cerise Yellow, cocktail tomato Black Cherry, Marktomate San Berao, beef tomato Paprikaförmige, beef tomato Marmanade, beef tomato Schwarze Russian, Riesentomate Ananas.
Four breeds of basil, which we planted between the tomatoes: Genovese Basil, bush basil, red leaved basil and mammoth basil.
Three breeds of aubergines: Blue Queen, Melanzana Prosperosa, Baby Aubergine Ophelia.
Concerning bell peppers and chilli, we planted ‚Sweet Banana‘, ‚Runde Ungarische‘, Vietnamese chili and Ecuador Purple Chili. Last but not least the cucumber breed Tanja
Our conclusion after our first summer with a greenhouse: the Juliana Greenhouse has the perfect size for our needs. For two persons the amount of harvested fruits is already too much, but since we prepared a lot for the colder days and also guests helped eating our supplies, we were good in the end. Out of the tomatoes we cooked sauce, for example, or we dried them and pickled them in oil. We even tried a tomato marmalade. The cucumbers ended as kimchi, out of the chili we made a fermented hot sauce. This way we can enjoy the fruits during the cold days or have the perfect base if we are in a hurry while cooking.
Apart from the size of our greenhouse, we are still excited about the quality. By now, it survived quite a few stormy days and even a light hailstorm. If by any chance anything breaks we know that the glass plates can be replaced without problems. Due to the robust construction, the house can be upgraded with diverse kninck-knack like window lifters, automatic watering, rain barrel, shadow nets, climbing supplies, etc.
As soon as the last fruits are plucked in October, we empty the green house and prepare it for the next season. Until it is time to grow the young plants, the greenhouse will be a place to linger. Lamps and candles will be inside, a small table. Not only for the plants, but also for us the greenhouse has become a wonderful place which we don’t want to miss in our garden anymore.