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17979 State Route 536
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
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January in your greenhouse

January in
Your Greenhouse
 By Carol Yaw
 Growing Ideas
  1. Bring into your greenhouse any bulb containers from your Cold Frame or other cold storage places for forcing.

    Check carefully for bugs. Water bulbs sparingly, feeding them each time with a diluted strength, water-soluble fertilizer. As bulbs start to show color, move them to a warmer, sunnier location above 65ºF in your home.
  1. Start any annuals for spring - like primroses, pansies, sweet alyssum, snapdragons, and others that need a cool temperature or are slow to germinate.
  1. Take cuttings of geraniums, fuchsias, coleus, chrysanthemums and pelargoniums brought in last fall. Use a good rooting stimulant like Hormex or Dip-N-Grow for faster rooting. Pot up your starts when roots have fully developed.
  1. Pot up dahlia tubers after checking for rot.
  Charley's foolproof seed starting system ensures easy,optimum success!  
  1. Continue to sow cool temperature vegetables like lettuce, leafy greens, peas, onion, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, French beans, and carrots to harvest mid to late spring.Heat mats under your domed flats will speed germination and growth considerably - you can start so much more in a shorter time.
  1. The Seed Starters Handbook is a great reference for unlimited new propagation ideas and fun!
  1. Start dwarf plants of peach, nectarine and apricots.

  2. Bring in strawberry plants from outside - checking for any bugs and disease. Keep them in a bright, sunny microclimate about 45ºF - 55ºF.
  1. If you are keeping a minimum night temperature of 45º F, you can start grape vines at this time.

  2. Prune bougainvillea, passion flowers, and other climbing vines for more robust spring growth.

 Pest Control

  1. Water sparingly, avoiding splashes on floor, benches and leaves. The drier you keep the greenhouse, the less disease you'll have this time of year.

  2. Check your plants regularly for disease and unwanted bugs. Be sure and look under the leaves. A magnifier is a great help for this.
  1. Most common challenges are powdery mildew or gray mold (use Physan 20 or GreenCure, or Serenade), and Whitefly (use Neem Oil).

  1. If you see any tiny, shiny trails of slime, apply Sluggo Plus.

  2. Deadhead flowering plants and remove any dead leaves on a regular basis.
 Climate Control
  1. Set your heater to maintain a minimum temperature of 45º F if you have frost-sensitive plants.
  1. Keep extra Greenhouse Bubble Insulation on hand to cover your plants with for emergencies. Unexpected, sudden extreme cold weather does happen - especially this time of year!

  2. In case of extreme weather, a quick thaw does more harm to plants than the actual freeze. After the freeze, continue to keep the extra layer of insulation on your plants so they warm up gradually again.

  1. Keep heat-loving plants away from the glazing. On winter nights, it is much cooler next to the glazing than most other places in the greenhouse.

  2. On dry, sunny days ventilate your greenhouse mid-day for several hours by opening vents or a door. Be sure and close it up before the temperature starts to drop by mid-afternoon.
Above all, enjoy the sights and smells and fun of growing plants this time of year in a protected, cozy greenhouse whatever the weather outside!

Happy winter growing,

alias Mrs. Charley

Greenhouse 101 - 19 short video clips