Back in January 2013 not long after I installed my greenhouse I had a go growing a banana tree. It was a Dwarf Cavendish from Diggers Club and although it is considered a cold zone 10 plant (we’re cold zone 9b here in Ballan) it was thought that inside a greenhouse it might do well. The morning our thermometre registered -6°C outside the greenhouse it also registered -4°C inside and my poor little banana froze itself solid, never to recover. :(
13 months on and I’ve been gifted a banana pup so we’re giving it a second go. :D Thanks Pam. :)
Work has been done to help the greenhouse retain a little more warmth over the coming winter. With 2 large black water butts in there to absorb and distribute the heat they collect we are already seeing more stable summertime temperatures in there. The black barrels absorb the heat and help keep the greenhouse a little cooler on hot days and on cool days or cool evenings they release any stored heat back into the atmosphere. I’ve also got a bale of straw in there I’ve been pouring a little water over in an effort to begin it composting down. Compost generates heat which will also hep to maintain a warmer atmosphere when the temperatures get cooler. With 2 large buckets of water in there too, the temperatures have been quite balmy even on hot days. :) If it looks like we’re due for a cool morning in town (-2°C in Ballan has resulted in -6°C or even colder as we’re in a little valley and hence have our own micro climate) I can cover my little banana tree with hessian or even light a large candle safely in the greenhouse to hep keep even just a little more warmth in the air. Time will tell I guess. :)
With the seasons now having flipped over into Autumn and with the first frost date now behind us it is simply a waiting game to see what tomatoes will ripen and whether my pumpkins will fatten up before the frost kills them off. It’s been a challenging summer with a cool start then a viciously hot few days in there. Extremes are not a gardeners friend. :( Still, I had a look today and I
had have 13 12 pumpkins of varying sizes on vines that are beginning to fatten up. I’ve read a few times that you can pinch out the tips of the runners to encourage the plant to pour its resources into the existing fruit and so I decided to pull out any plants that won’t fruit in time and to prune my pumpkin vines back so that they are focusing everything they have into the existing fruit on each vine. I’ve nothing much to lose really as the largest of my pumpkins is still smaller than a tennis ball but if I can get them large enough I will have a store of pumpkins to enjoy over the winter. I’ll have to hit them up with blood and bone and seaweed solutions after the forecast rains on the weekend.
Yes, you read that right, rain! We had a little rain on Tuesday, enough to wet through the top 5-8mm of soil (I checked ;) ) but not enough to really do too much good. Although I’m not complaining. Any rain is good rain when one has had none to speak of for months. Here’s hoping we get a good 10mm on the weekend. My garden and water tanks are in NEED!
Well, that’s another long weekend done and dusted. Not the productive 3 day weekend we’d planned for (flat tyres needing repairs on long weekends will do that to you) but none the less a good one.
For those of you who celebrated Labor Day last weekend (and how many of us truly adhere to the 8 hour day our ancestors fought so hard to obtain?) what did you do with your 3 days off. And if you still have your Labor Day to look forward to, what did you do over the weekend just gone?