sunflower22
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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:27 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Greenhouse Problems

Hi everyone
I am new to this forum, just joined today. I have a really big problem that i been dealing with since last year. I just got a greenhouse built out of pelxi glass last summer. I thought great my plants that need more heat will grow much better, however things seemed to turn out not so good. My tomatoes took forever to fruit, the flowers were their forever and something was just so off about the plant. The tomatoes grew great strong, tall, and green however the flowering was too long and fruiting took forever! :x Also i was expecting a much better result from my green pepper plants, eggplant, and beans, however those were not so great either. All the flowers on the squash just kept falling off ... and the broccoli just got eaten by pests. Without the greenhouse in the past years my garden had done better and i had way less pests. I'm thinking maybe something to do with oxygen level, pollination ..something along those lines.... i need a way around this because i spent a lot of money getting the green house built !! Can anyone help me out please... i must be doing something wrong... or not doing something !!???

THANK YOU !

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BrianSkilton
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

Hey there, welcome! I'm no expert, but I have a few questions...

1. Did you fertilize the plants? If so with what...
2. Do you have air circulation, this will prevent plant diseases and such...
3. What are the temps like in the green house?
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

sunflower22
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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:27 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Yes i did fertilize with miracle grow. When i first planted i don't think there was too much air circulation because i thought the plants did not need it, however when i started noticing it was too hott i started leaving the green house doors open (i didnt do this until a couple weeks later). I don't know what the temp was like the green house but it was pretty hott in there for sure, i thought all the plants could handle a lot of heat. Later on when all my squash flowers fell i looked up online that too much heat can make them fall and when bees cannot pollinate them...so I'm guessing that was the problem for the squash... but i do not understand why the tomatoes did not do well...

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BrianSkilton
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

I would say, get a fan on the ceiling (doesn't have to be a good one, make sure its clean though) of the green house, make sure you have very good compost for your plants when they get bigger....and make sure to not over water. The tomatoes shouldn't have been affected by the heat, neither should have the tomatoes. Sorry I wish I could be more help. :?
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

Timlin
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

Oh dear. In my greenhouse I have an auto-open window on the roof and it opens as the heat builds. To compliment that I have a small door on the back of the greenhouse I can chain open for ventilation and I prop the entrance door open on warm days. Even days that are not so warm will overheat your greenhouse if the sun is shining.

I use a small hobby water paint brush to pollinate the tomato blossoms. As each opens (and each morning for all that are open at the moment) I go from blossom to blossom with the brush and just gently brush the middle of the blossoms.........they quickly let me know pollination has taken place as the blossoms die off and tomatoes commence to grow.

I have a different paint brush in each tomato plant container ....... for convenience. It works well.

I do the same with the peppers.

I only grow a few plants in the greenhouse all summer (I seed the earliest in early January and those are producing tomatoes now.......I'm just drooling as I wait for the first tomatoes to ripen.) I seed again in mid February and then in Mid March I seed the tomatoes that will grow outside in the garden. It extends my summer gardening season here in the north where the seasons are so short.

Depending on the heat or the location of your greenhouse a fan inside might be necessary to keep the air moving and the building cooled a little. (Even you might need a shade cloth for those really hot sunny days. I never need that it's too cool up this way to be necessary)
Last edited by Timlin on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BrianSkilton
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

Timlin is right and has the perfect solution for pollinating the tomato plants, you could also use a q-tip but his method is much better. That's just it tomatoes won't self pollinate if they are not outside where insects / wind is.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

One of the biggest adjustments I made in my greenhouse was to incorporate a bank of small fans at the roof peak, to push warm air down and to give good air circulation. Also, you will need a decent exaust fan to help cool the greenhouse on warm days. The passive vent will not be enough IMO. For sure, buy a couple of inexpensive hi-lo thermometers so that you can monitor temperature extremes. For vegetables the lows should not dip much lower than 50 degrees and the highs should not hit much over 90 degrees. Finally, when trying to grow vegetables in the winter, supplemental light on a 12-14 hour cycle should be used to augment the low light, short days of winter.

For the pollination issue, just lightly tapping the plants or perhaps tickling the flower clusters has always worked for me. I don't think that it is necessary to touch inside every flower.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

Timlin
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

I also have a thermometer that reads the temp in the greenhouse from in the house. It's a godsend on the cold nights when I get to worrying about my seedlings....a quick peak lets me know what's happening out there.

(I don't open my greenhouse until the end of March so the early months of growing my seedlings is inside the house under shop lights. I have an auto on/off for those lights so I never have to worry about how long they are on either.)

I suppose it's true that shaking the tomato plants might pollinate the blossoms but I only have a half dozen or so plants and it gives me something to do with my morning coffee to use the brushes and sweep inside each blossom....... :wink:

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