Dom Nizza
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

Greenhouse Gardening Small-Medium-Large Dream or Nightmare?

Have you ever wished you had a greenhouse to enjoy in Early Spring or even well into the Winter. Here are a few ideas you might consider. This one for the Ladies...

The quickest way to a spouse's heart is to build a greenhouse or Potting Frame to garden from. This one came in a Coldframe Kit at modest cost.

[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22322_3.jpg[/img] No the Lady doesn't come with it. .. :lol: ... :lol:

This kind has work benches and room to store those early seedling purchases for potting up hanging containers. Very little heat required and can give you a good start in the Spring.

[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22322_5.jpg[/img]

My first greenhouse looked like this one. I was able to Winter over some potted bulbs to bring out and force bloom. Naturally you never have enough room... but, that is another story. Do you have a greenhouse or coldframe and enjoy, let us know won't you? ..

TheLorax
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Greenhouse Gardening Small-Medium-Large Dream or Nightmare?
Nightmare right now. Was gone for a bit and was out assessing the rodent damage. Hundreds of rhizomes ripped out of pots with teeth marks in them. They seem to have sampled half of what I had out there in over the course of two weeks. Evidently the mice are coming up through the floor drains in the concrete and they had a field day while I was gone. I can't get over how they are able to squeeze through the little grids to the floor drains. They can't be much bigger than 1" x 1". They've got to be coming in through the floor drains otherwise they're scaling the outer walls to get in the exhausts or the intakes.

My cats are all indoor only slugs. They do absolutely nothing if a mouse gets in the house so plopping a few of my worthless old house cats out in the greenhouse would be a pointless exercise. I do have one dog that would eat a mouse but he'd also destroy every plant in his path getting at a mouse so tossing that thing out there would create more problems. I've got one mouse zapper out there right now baited with peanut butter but so far nothing has ventured in it... they're obviously finding the smorgasbord I've provided them considerably more appealing than the peanut butter. I won't use poisons on the mice. These mice would crawl off to die a horrible death and then get gobbled up by another animal and the poison would get two for one. The thought of a sticky tape or a snap trap bothers me as they're not exactly quick deaths so those are out. I'm ok with humanely destroying the mice though but it's got to be quick. Trapping them and relocating them didn't work.

Am going to have to deal with this somehow even if it means placing hardware cloth over the drains held down by rocks until somebody can hopefully tell me what to do about this. I've had an opossum out there but never mice. The opossum just played dead until I left then sauntered off. He did no damage other than to eat some left over snack food out there.

Have you any suggestions Dom Nizza?

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

Oh my... is all this happening in "your greenhouse"? Do you have a photo of it? ... It sounds, for momemt, that your "greenhouse might have to be refurbished.. ??? Mice and chipmonks can be a pain... need to know a little more. Don't despair ... you will survive.

TheLorax
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Yes, it's my greenhouse. All of this happened when I was gone for a little over two weeks for spring break with the kids. The opossum incident happened last fall.

I have some photos of when it was being built last year from the excavation of the site to the pouring and concrete finishing where they brushed it to make it non-slip to when it was being framed up to when it was being wired but I don't have any photos of it completed. I do have a digital camera and could e-mail photos to you. Not able to post photos because I never figured out how to do that.

Although this greenhouse was sited by architects to maximize the angle of the sun throughout the year, it was designed by people who have had greenhouses for more decades than I've been alive. They started out by making me build a bigger one than what I had originally planned. Then from there they pretty much knocked out every idea I had and went with their own. The floor layout I had originally wanted was even changed by them. Actually, I don't think there's much they didn't change from what I had originally had in mind other than that I still have double front doors and they said it would be fine to pour a 4" x 16" concrete bib out front for the decorative concrete planters I bought to flank the doors. They did their best to help me and very well could have made mistakes so it's ok if refurbishing is needed. I've been most pleased with the greenhouse overall until this happened. Some of the plants that were destroyed were rather expensive and more than I care to think about were CITES protected which is quite disturbing. I've got to stop critters from getting in.

What I can't figure out is how the mice climbed up stainless steel and aluminum benches to get to the plants. The pots that were on the floor I can understand but the most damage was done to the plants growing in the hydroponic trays that have 7" walls. They literally went from pot to pot systematically ripping out rhizomes leaving them on top of the medium to dry out. One could see the distinct teethmarks where they sampled everything that was up-rooted before moving onto the next plant.

We do have chipmunks around here but I'm pretty sure this is mouse damage because they left their tell tale little mice turds everywhere. Saw my very first chippie out of hibernation this weekend over by the sunflower seeds. We've also got skunks, raccoons, coyotes, fox, voles, moles, squirrels, a host of other creatures, of course deer plus a boatload of feral cats that we try our best to trap. Animal control comes and picks them up. The badger that was here passed away a few years ago.

My husband thinks we should consider a friendly barn cat from the hosts of people trying to give them away. Former house pet cats get taken for that proverbial ride to the country and end up dumped around here a lot so keeping one of the socialized ones is a possibility. It's heated and cooled out there with good ventilation and there is a perfect area for a litter box. This thought crossed my mind because I love cats and wouldn't mind the company out there but the thought of ending up with another cat that wouldn't kill a mouse crossed my mind and I'd have heart failure if I ended up with a sprayer and the vast majority of the friendly cats that get dumped end up being sprayers. Probably why they were dumped. The other issue is that I go in and out of that greenhouse so the odds are it would escape sooner or later.

The mouse zapper is empty again this morning. Batteries are working.

TheLorax
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Here are some photos compliments of Dom Nizza!

https://www.mycommunity.com/Ridgewood/view.php?action=detail&type=stories&sub_id=22351

That's one of the drains I think they are coming up through.

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

TheLorax wrote:Here are some photos compliments of Dom Nizza!

https://www.mycommunity.com/Ridgewood/view.php?action=detail&type=stories&sub_id=22351

That's one of the drains I think they are coming up through.
Here is one photo that I could not add to that LINK you provided for everyone.
. [img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/17039_19.jpg[/img]

You have a Beautiful Garden.next to your Greenhouse. Right click the photo for the LINK... It's OK.
Last edited by Dom Nizza on Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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imagardener2
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Location: Three Rivers, TX

[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_1.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_1.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_3.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_3.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_2.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_2.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_4.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_4.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_5.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_5.jpg[/img][/url]

Dom Nizza
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Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

imagardener2 wrote:[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_1.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_1.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_3.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_3.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_2.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_2.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_4.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_4.jpg[/img][/url]__[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22351_5.jpg][img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/thumbnails/22351_5.jpg[/img][/url]
Good job... nice to have people that know this stuff ...
I'm going to take a nap now... :wink: ... :wink:

TheLorax
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Oh Lordie lordie lordie, this is way beyond me. I just learned how to cut and paste and I was all but disjointing my own arm trying to pat myself on the back for learning that trick.

Thank you both, very much.

That garden photo he posted above for me is from the magazine page and is sort of what I had in mind for a vegetable garden only a raised bed design so that photo sort of goes with this thread over in landscaping-
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7280

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

In the meantime..

In the meantime... when I need a new greenhouse.. or coldframe I
would explore these new Kits... to be assembled. Then again, I'd be
more incllined to get some help... like these guy.

[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22322_1.jpg[/img]

I can sit back and supevise... the kits are well planned and made
easier. But, at least these guys bring some extra refreshments. :lol: ... :lol: ...

TheLorax
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Is that a FarmTek kit?

Dom Nizza
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Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

First Time Cjold Fraam.

If you are a first time gardener looking for a small cold frame
to work in these two might be worthwhile to consider.
They range between $300 to about $450. I don't
make referrals but, you can find them easily enough.
[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22322_2.jpg[/img]
Plastic one piece cover .. heavy duty. Can be dismantled
if you wish.
[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/22322_4.jpg[/img]
This Dome shape is interesting with potting table in center.
Both very functional .. but necessary to have a portable radio
playing four part harmony music for successful propagation... Oh ..
that's another garden secret. Will check back with you later
on that one. Have fun... enjoy your gardening... 8) ... 8)
...

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

In house gardener complains

My son... Christopher complained I haven't posted a photo of him at the "old greehouse" first ....

[img]https://www.mycommunity.com/uploads/17039_27.jpg[/img]

Chris and I put this one up about 20 years ago. Simple kit (about $300 and additional lumber for $50 ... It's gone and Chris.. still cuts the lawn. :lol: ... :lol: ... :wink: No ladies, he is not available.

TheLorax
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Do you have a greenhouse for yourself right now Dom Nizza?

Tell me about your portable radio secrets! I like the music for me but my plants don't much seem to give a hoot when I play Latin Salsa out there. Ingrates!

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

TheLorax wrote:Do you have a greenhouse for yourself right now Dom Nizza?

Tell me about your portable radio secrets! I like the music for me but my plants don't much seem to give a hoot when I play Latin Salsa out there. Ingrates!
Who told you about my "Music to Grow By" stories? Latin Salsa Music has limited use as a progation helper. I will report back later on the "Study" I did and discovered the kind of music needed in a greenhouse for real success.. ... 8) ... 8) Have you been reading some pages from my book?

TheLorax
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Saaaaaaaaaaaaay what? My plants don't appreciate Latin Salsa? what about Big Band and Swing, Reggae, Merengue, and Cumbia? They do wonders for me! We mustn't forget about the gardener who takes care of the plants!

Yes, I read a little bit but mostly on espalier. I must have missed your "study" so please do report back. Maybe me and my plants can find a happy mid-ground in which station gets played in the greenhouse.

Dom Nizza
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: NJ the Garden State

Just so we don't have a run-away thread on "music in the greenhouse" and music to dance by... I will just share this with you. WQSR radio in New Jersey played all kinds of music ... but, in addition, I go further back to the 1920's ... when music from this singer, the first of the "crooners", led the way... then followed with these others all described in this story in my own home town.
[url=https://www.mycommunity.com/Ridgewood/view.php?action=detail&type=stories&sub_id=22224]CLICK RIGHT HERE NOW for the story and photos][/url] Then ask your Mom and Dad what kind of music they liked and danced to. There are two original recording LINKS in the story that you will enjoy I am sure. Check it out.
I will then change my photo signature in the classroom...

TheLorax
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Location: US

Hey Dom, Neat info. Everyone knows those two but not too many have even heard of Russ Columbo.

Say, you forgot to share your "Music to Grow By" stories! Try as I might, I never could find them at your blog site.

Update, the mice are entering through the pvc pipe and coming up through the floor drains in my greenhouse.

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