Growing beautiful flowers and garden plants is a year ’round adventure. So as the cold temperatures come rolling in this time of year, the Green Team is busy preparing the greenhouses for winter.
Most of the Creek Side greenhouses are empty this time of the year. The heaters are turned off and the irrigation lines have been drained to prevent freezing. It is amazing how much they will warm up during the winter months when the sun is shining during the day making the environment very pleasant. But as soon as the sun goes down it gets very cold in the greenhouse.
However, some of the Creek Side greenhouses will have plants in them all year around. One of them is of course the Glasshouse conservatory where you will find a nice selection of Houseplants any time of the year. In another few weeks the Glasshouse will be filled with Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus and all the other Holiday Flowering Plants you love to see at that time of the year. The Glasshouse will stay in operation all year around.
Greenhouse #1, just behind the Glasshouse is heated at this time of the year and contains crops for next spring that take a long time to grow, like dracaena and cordyline spikes. House #1 also has heating mats and overhead lights installed for germinating seeds and propagating cuttings during these cold, short days.
In a couple of the greenhouses out back, we over-winter perennials in greenhouses that are not heated. The greenhouse offers protection to the plants from the wind and very severe cold winter temperatures. Once these plants are used to the cold temperatures, they do not like the warm temperatures that will occur on sunny days. So, we ventilate the houses during the day so that it does not get too warm keeping the plants nice and cold!
Most of the perennials being over-wintered at Creek Side were planted this past summer. We start with small plants and grow them up to size. Then hold them in the unheated greenhouse through the winter. Many perennials require a cold treatment before they will flower. During the natural course of the seasons, this would happen outdoors in the winter. The same thing happens in our un-heated greenhouses and the result is we then have beautiful perennial plants blooming for you in the spring and summer.
By the middle of January, we will turn the heaters on in Greenhouse #2 and begin to get ready for the spring season. Pots filled with soil are set on the benches and freshly rooted geranium cuttings are planted. Most of these early plants are used in the big Container Gardens you love to see in the early spring season.
By February, one by one each of the greenhouses down below are heated and more plants are planted into the Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets so they will be ready for your porch and patio this spring.