New mini greenhouse

I’ve been planning to build a mini greenhouse by the back door. The original idea was to use various bits and pieces of scrap this and that to construct it from scratch, frame and all; but then my parents offered me the frame of their old one (the cover having expired).

So with a big pile of bubble wrap and some parcel tape, this is the result:

Bubblewrap Mini Greenhouse
As you can see here, there’s no proper door closure

Just in time to house my chilli pepper over winter. The highly scientific “put a hand inside it” temperature check suggests that it is doing its job in keeping things at least a little bit warm.

This was also one of my Permaculture Design Diploma projects, and you can read the first draft of the design writeup here.

This week I also harvested the last of my tomatoes, and pulled the old plants up. I have a fair few green tomatoes, but also a surprising number that had gone odd-looking — slightly brown or black, but not in a pattern suggesting blossom end rot. My only guess is that it’s been cold enough that they’re suffering from that. Certainly some of the plants have died off already, so it may just be that any surviving tomatoes died with them. I’m sure I’ve harvested this late before without problems, but perhaps it’s been warmer for longer those times. My tomatoes also started later than usual this year, due to the bad spring. I will bear it in mind for next year; and I still got a decent crop. The remainder of the red ones went in a very low oven for a couple of hours today with some oil, and became very tasty indeed.

Another go at the grape vine, with snail defences from the start this time.
Another go at the grape vine, with snail defences from the start this time.

Then today I planted a new grape vine, with full snail defences from the start. Let’s hope it’s more successful than the last one.

Very late potato-planting

Having harvested a handful of new potatoes from the balcony the other week (and then having to deal with the ants’ nest thereby uncovered), I then noticed that I still have a couple of seed potatoes left from earlier in the season, which whilst a little wrinkled look basically still sound. Then, I came across a blog post talking about planting potatoes entirely out of season for a Christmas harvest.

This fits nicely with my beliefs about experimental gardening, so I’m off this afternoon to dump the earth back in the potato-box, and see what happens. I will report back.

In other balcony-gardening news: the red arrow-head lettuce appears to be flowering and setting seed (much to my pleasure), as is the dill (which pretty much just bolted the moment it was a real plant). I shall try planting some more of both.

The cherry tomatoes are doing well (2–4 to harvest daily, which isn’t bad at this time of year), and are still busily setting more of themselves. I am tempted to try planting seeds from the earliest-growing one (a Peace Vine Cherry), to see if I can get a second batch of plants to provide a late harvest. It might, of course, just be a late harvest of green tomatoes; but this would suit me fine, as I very much like green tomato chutney and I’ve just eaten the last of last year’s.