Exotic plants have always been my interest. Growing from seed and growing them until flowering in particular is very satisfying. I bought (and collected) my first seeds in Australia. Not everything worked in the beginning and plants also died because I moved them in too late in the autumn. Most plants cannot tolerate frost and some already start to die at + 10 degrees C. Since the beginning of 2017 I have a greenhouse, so this does not have to be a problem anymore. The cultivation of special plants is also made easier.
Since I have a greenhouse, gardening has become much more interesting. In the spring I grow all the seed potatoes for the organic garden and in the borders of the garden around the house. In the greenhouse there is also a cabernet sauvignon grape, which carries richly, tastes delicious and produces a fine wine. There has been a fruit-bearing (navel) orange since last year. It has two large oranges and five small ones.
In the spring, the greenhouse is fully used for growing seed potatoes for the organic garden. Last year I had a wide selection of different tomato varieties, which I bought from specialized growers from myself in Spain. The first step is to grow the seeds. This is done in the attic. Some varieties are already sown in January. Chillies, bell peppers and aubergines in particular take a long time to get from seed to a fruit-bearing plant. If it is not too cold outside and the seedlings have at least two true leaves, they are transplanted in pots. They stay in the greenhouse until they can go outside. A number of plants, such as cucumbers, peppers and peppers, remain in 12 liter containers in the greenhouse, the rest moves to the organic garden. Because I sow a lot of plants every year, the remainder is sold to private individuals for a low price.
Also peas, snow peas and sugar snap are propagated in the greenhouse before transferring them to the soil.
Blooming orange tree.
We brought the orange from Spain. At the garden centers there they are available in large quantities. All citrus trees are grafted on a rootstock, so that they can also be kept in a container. The orange tree blooms twice a year and also bears fruit. It is now November, the plant has now moved to the greenhouse. It has two very large navel oranges and five smaller ones. The first new flowers are already appearing. Now that the plant is in the greenhouse, the flowers will be pollinated with a brush due to a lack of insects. Keeping citrus trees healthy is not always easy. They should definitely not kept too wet, so that water must be dosed. It is also a requirement to use rainwater. This also allows the plant to be sprayed once a week. The plant is very sensitive to the gray mosquito, whose larvae in the soil feed on the roots. Nitrogen is also important. Never too much, but the plant does need it. If you notice that the old leaves are starting to fall off, it usually indicates a nitrogen deficiency. The plant sends all its energy to the young leaves and continues to languish the old way. Preferably use a fertilizer that has been specially developed for citrus.
Bell peppers and chilies have a long period of bearing fruit. However, it is often the case that in autumn there are still fruits hanging on the plants, which do not ripen properly because of the falling temperature and diminishing hours of sunshine. To have the longest possible season and a good yield, these crops can be sown early. Some tools are needed. The seeds only germinate at 20 degrees. a temperature of 25 degrees is ideal. I use a heating mat for this. The mat ensures that the seed trays on the surface reach this temperature. If you sow early, there are still too few hours of light. The plants would then become much too spiky and would not develop into a sturdy compact plant. A number of cheap LED lamps ensure that this does not happen. Around mid-January, the plants are transplanted into 7x7 cm pots. When it gets warmer, the plants are transferred to the greenhouse. Some of the peppers and bell peppers are later planted in 12.5 liter buckets to further develop into a fruit-bearing shrub as a container plant. Bell peppers and chillies can also be planted in the soil,, but this is actually only possible after the ice saints (14 May). Until the plants get their final destination, the flowers that are formed are squeezed out. This promotes fruit set and produces a well-branched shrub. Pruning the bell pepper plant is also important to get good yield and ripening. Many methods have been described for doing this. This year (2021) I will apply a number of methods to see what gives the best result.
Peppers under coulored LED light