the new greenhouse

Santa Fe, NM

Finally got around to looking at the new green house. Looks good! D.H. wants a greenhouse and would probably like to see this. I'm not convinced that we could have one without some sort of extra heat. Our backyard is in a lot of shadow from the wall and the house. It actually might need light more than heat. Perhaps he wants to grow mushrooms.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Mushrooms are yummy ^_^ I guess it depends on how much southern exposure you have roybird. I sometimes wish I had put mine in a little more shade as it is really hot in there in the summer. Tomatos luv it though.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Commercial greenhouses often have a cover that can be put over them to keep them from being too hot. You can kill things if you let them get too hot. Also the fungus and bugs love the heat.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

No fungus, no bugs (knock on wood).

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes, that's the spirit!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Another comment on the glass. Many of the kits come with polycarbonate or acrylic panels. Not as brittle as glass. They are also replacable if they do fail.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Mine is made of lucite which is supposedly unbreakable (good thing I think because we get h*a*i*l). I got the curving roof design for snow and it does slide off by itself quite nicely.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Dahlianut, where did you get yours, and do you know the brand name? Thanks everyone for more good info... I'm longing for a greenhouse...

Santa Fe, NM

Hi, Dparsons, glad to see you made it back from your holiday adventures.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I bought mine locally bsavage. It is a Hall's greenhouse. http://www.hallsgreenhouses.co.uk/Halls_Greenhouses/

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Thank you!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Thank you roybird. Son Ian and I were off visiting the grandparents in Lubbock, TX. It was a good time. My inlaws are/have been involved in the master gardener program in Lubbock, teaching and running a community garden that supported their local food bank. They don't do it as much as they are well into their 70's now and have some health issues. They are neat people. They needed to expand a stone walkway in their front yard so I ended up "assisting" them by removing some Liriope (Monkey Grass) from a section of their yard. It was one of the plants I'd been considering for the planter beds on the shaded West side of my house so I brought home a few small boxes of it. I now have another project to give it a home that I'm doing earlier rather than later. First step I guess is to see if the soil is workable. My neighbors really will think I'm crazy - dancing in the back yard and gardening in the middle of Winter.

JamesCo, its not really a grass. Its from the Lily family. :}

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Crappola, not hardy here. It looks like a real toughie for shade as well as sun . Go on, go ahead, you can do it dparsons, dust off the trowel; we will watch enviously as you plant it ;)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Rocks first. Anybody want some 3" red lava rock?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Liriope has been planted. :)

Here's the before picture:

Thumbnail by dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

After ...

Thumbnail by dparsons01
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oh, nice! That is already an improvement. Maybe I will be able to plant things when the snow melts! I am ready.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Nice!!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Thank you. Hard not to improve over rocks! According to my neighbor the entire front yard had the red lava rocks at one time. When the previous owners put the house up for sale they had problems with people pulling up, looking, and pulling away without even getting out of their car. Now its on the way to beautiful. :)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Was the whole yard red lava rocks or just that bed? I didn't realize those were lava rocks. I actually thought the red material was that red dyed shredded wood they use some places. Rocks are even worse.

My yard was completely covered with landscaping fabric and some plastic and then a layer of sort of red-tan gravel. It was actually rather tasteful if one didn't care to grow any flowers or anything else.
Then when I began making places for flowers here and there, I realized that underneath the landscaping fabric/plastic was solid rock! I have been building soil and gardening spaces ever since.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

When I bought the house just the beds on the West side of the house were the red lava rock. They had replaced it the front yard with tan and grey gravel and rock.

Your situation sounds harder than mine pajarito.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes and no. The rock is more attractive than red lava, but creating a flower or veggie bed is really a big problem. I never get as much done each year as I had hoped.

Santa Fe, NM

The red lava rock was really popular. I have a friend who has more than she wants, too! My backyard was used as a truck parking area and wood lot with a solid clay base. The front was also solid clay with a dying willow tree. In tiny strips on the sides, apricot, cherry and plum trees were planted and amazingly did o.k. All solid, red clay.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I like the lava rock better as a mulch or a decorative rock. Its lighter, doesn't compact the soil as much, insulates better because it holds air. I don't know why its out of vogue now.

Those fruit trees seem to be pretty tough and pretty tolerant roybird. Nice to have I'll bet. A clay yard though, ouch. My real estate agent looked at me like I was nuts last year. I gave him a general description of the different soil types in Albuquerque and that it was preferrable to live in some areas and not others because of the soil.

I'm with you on how much you can do in a season pajarito. The prep work can take a long time. Its worth it though. If I get tempted to take a shortcut I just remind myself that I don't want to be back digging around my plants to do it right.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You know, dparsons, lots of people would have been happy with this carefree yard. Not me. I also own the vacant lot behind my house and soon after moving in had 3 very long raised beds built with an automatic drip irrigation system. I raised vegetables in them. But after a while, I began to get the itch for a greener front yard and my back can testify to the rest!
Lava rock is a good mulch, but I am not big on red. I would love to send you a truck load of what I have chipped out of my yard -- well pumice, not lava, only mine hasn't been through a process to make it all the same size. It is a nice neutral gray, but makes poor soil.
How did you learn so much about soils? Is that your line of work?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I don't know that much about soils. I covered to the general descriptions of coarse decomposed granite sand vs. clay & clay silt mixes vs. fine powder/sand vs. loam. I have loam.

I also don't think rock is care-free. It is for a couple years. Dust blows in and fills in between the rocks and then weeds grow. I don't consider going out on the rocks to pick the weeds any easier.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You are right about rocks only being easier at first. Weeds do grow in them after a while and mine have been there at least 11 years. Rather than picking up the needles and leaves from the rocks, which I have seen my neighbor who has similar landscaping do, I decided to slowly but surely replace the rocks, plastic, landscaping fabric, etc. with shrubs and flowers and to fill in between them with pecan shell mulch which I will repeat each year. It will keep the water in and it will keep the weeds down, but weeds, being what they are, will always be with us, I am afraid.
I think in the long run this is the best way, but in my case it makes for very slow progress.

Santa Fe, NM

With my clay soil I am continually adding compost, manure, whatever! It is a long process. In the front yard the first thing I had to do was dig up sod. I am constantly pulling grass out there. If it isn't one thing it's another!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

It may be slow pajarito, but it is in the direction you want to go.

Roybird, I googled plants for clay soil out of curiosity. This site
http://gardening.about.com/od/gardendesign/a/ClayPlants.htm
indicated two groups of plants that do well - native prairie plants (Aster, Coreopsis, Echinacea etc.) and ornamental grasses. May not be news to you but I thought it interesting.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I have had clay soil most of my time in New Mexico. I prefer sand -- which is what mine is where there is soil. I prefer sand. Clay requires endless ammendment. So does sand, but not as badly as clay, in my opinion.

Santa Fe, NM

Thanks for the link, Dparsons. Yes, grasses do really well. Lavender does well. Echinacea hates me and grows grudgingly. Roses do o.k., generally. Iris like it. I am putting in more native plants as time goes by. Chocolate flowers like it here and I am always removing the New Mexico sunflowers and morning glories, who are way too happy. Plus the spurge and the violets. Those violets really want to be my only plants. Do you want some later? They are like iron. The bees love them, though.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I agree with you on the sand pajarito. With sand you are trying to add to. With clay you really want to take away.

I'll think on the violets roybird. I like purple but haven't really investigated them as a possibility. I also would want to have a _contained_ area before I plant an ornamental I know would be invasive. I supppose they are not evergreen either?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

No, violets are not evergreen, but they are edible. Don't know how good the leaves taste, though.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Edible is a definite advantage.

Santa Fe, NM

I have 2 colors of violets lavender and a lavender/pink, kind of an unusual color. The pink ones came from the yard of a friend's neighbor. They are all invasive, but easy to pull up and smell great. I have posted pictures of them before. This was taken in mid-November. They bloom whenever they want to. Usually early spring and then on and off 'til snow covers them.

Thumbnail by roybird
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

They look quite happy.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

They are beautiful!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Nice job dpasons. Luvly violets roybird. I need more violets. I have lots of self-seeding violas, and pansys that come and go but I need to get more perennial violets. I have now underlined violets in the Great Book of Lists.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Violets are one of those plants that almost always looks nice even if it isn't blooming. They are invading my lawn! I am not sure that I object to this. They seem to be a lot tougher than grass in this environment!

Santa Fe, NM

I noticed today that they are still green under the snow.

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