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Newsletters & Company News

Greenhouse Newsletter - Greenhouse Tomatoes and Starting Seeds

January 1st, 2007:

GREENHOUSE GAB

January 2007
Volume 21

IN THIS ISSUE

January in the Greenhouse
Greenhouse Tomato Facts

 

The new year brings with it a time for both reflection on the past year as well as fresh beginnings for the year ahead. I can't help but reflect on our past customers, the wonderful people who I have met and many who I have gotten to know by corresponding through email and telephone calls. Some customers make a purchase quickly, while others may have the idea for a year or two before they actually buy. In any event, all of our customers are very excited once they make their purchase and await the delivery of their very own greenhouse! In reflecting back, our business is usually exciting and happy, however, sometimes we hear from people in sad situations.
 
Our eldest customer, Ed, longed for a greenhouse his entire life and finally decided at the age of 82 that he should buy one. An avid gardener, Ed was looking forward to starting plants and flowers from seed and using his greenhouse as a winter retreat that he could enjoy just by sitting inside. I am sad to say that Ed only enjoyed his greenhouse for a year as he recently passed away. While it is sad that he was only able to enjoy his greenhouse for a year, I am very glad that he was at least able to experience the pleasure of having his own greenhouse.
 
On a happier note, we received a telephone call from a customer who wanted to surprise her husband with a Juliana Compact 8.3 Greenhouse for Christmas. Brenda, from Homestead, Florida, requested that if at all possible, could we hide anything that said "greenhouse" on the cartons, just in case her husband was home when delivery was made. We re-packaged Brenda's greenhouse in plain cardboard ensuring that nobody would be able to guess what was inside. Brenda wrote to us:

"Thanks very much for the info and the heads up on the contact number (for shipment) if the shippers don't get hold of me. Thanks even more so for the care and understanding in the packaging. That will work out great if I am working and my husband accepts delivery. I am sure his green thumb will be happy for hours and years to come! Thanks again for offering such a wonderful product."

 
For me it was worth the extra effort to provide the "generic" packaging for this customer. I find it very gratifying to know that I had a hand in someone's Christmas surprise!
 
 
January is one of my favorite months for greenhouse gardening. It starts first with planning.what seeds will I start? Tomatoes, peppers, what flowers? What will my color scheme be this summer? Exciting new beginnings.what a great way to start the year. Having a greenhouse allows you to leave "armchair gardening" behind, keeping your green thumb active year round.
 
Now is the time to get your seeds growing in the greenhouse for the upcoming spring/summer season. It is best to choose disease resistant seeds and you can look forward to your first harvest in about two months.
 
Always follow the directions given when planting seeds to ensure optimum germination. I like to organize my seed trays in the order that the seeds will germinate, and remember to label your trays with a waterproof marker. For quick germination, you can create a "greenhouse" within the greenhouse by wrapping your seed trays in a plastic bag. This creates warmth and moisture that aid in quicker germination.
Check your trays daily to ensure they are not dried up. Misting kits are ideal for supplying the proper amount of moisture when seed starting.

 

 
Once the first leaves have appeared, water the seedlings with a diluted fertilizer. It is best to use one that is high in phosphorous and low in nitrogen.
 
If you are starting tomato plants, start marigold seeds as well. That way you will be able to plant the marigolds around your tomato garden attracting beneficial insects while repelling the harmful ones. As an added benefit, the marigolds will also add some "punch" to the garden with their bold color.
 
 
Greenhouse tomatoes are a favorite. Everyone enjoys the flavor of a freshly picked tomato! The U.S. is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world. Americans consume over 12 million tons of tomatoes annually. Out of the 75 lbs of processed tomatoes that each person consumes annually, each person consumes about 20 lbs of fresh tomatoes. It is estimated that about 40 million people in the U.S. plant and enjoy their own greenhouse tomatoes each year.
There are many tomato seeds to choose from today. Try one of the "white", "pink" or "yellow" varieties. If you're "armchair gardening" this month, check out the new tomato seed selections and order early.
 
Ensure that you supply your tomatoes with uniform watering to reduce cracking. Tomatoes usually split when they have been over-watered.


 

"Blossom end rot" is one of the biggest challenges in growing tomatoes. This is a black leather lesion that forms on the blossom end of the fruit. The fruit often rots, shrinks or develops odd shapes. Crush clean used egg shells and place them in the hole when you are planting the seeds/plants. Some people claim you will never have the problem of blossom end rot if you follow this egg shell tip.

 
Backyard Greenhouses
A div. of Ecolad Corporation
1-800-665-2124

 


Written By: Shelley Awad
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