It's so easy to be engulfed by the beauty of social media posts which show immaculate harvests, pristine gardens, and perfect flowers. However, the reality of this specialization is that it's not all sunshine and perfection.
If there's anything that I pride myself on, it's doing my best to maintain a tidy aesthetic in the garden. I like to have straight edges, a semi-cottage feel, and I like my veggies to be grown in nice rows. In fact, this was the first year that I really invested a lot of time in making my greenhouse orderly. Since I have a north-facing garden, my greenhouse typically consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. With this being said, I haven't been the best at keeping up with all of my greenhouses...
I've now owned my Harvst greenhouse for about 9 months and I've been learning what works and doesn't work in the space. It's in a north-facing position which gets minimal (if any sunlight). As a gardener, you'd probably wonder why I'd chose to do this and it mainly boils down to free space in the garden. I couldn't put it anywhere else, but I couldn't pass up the offer to own one of these automated greenhouses. Over the past few months, I've tried several vegetables and herbs and had my fair share of successes and failures including:
Pea shoots: success
Lambs lettuce: failure
When I reflect on the reason why some of these items have failed, I think it's a combination of a few factors. This could be the location of the greenhouse, it could be my lack of setting up the automated watering system, and it could be that I needed to use the lighting system to boost its growing purely because of its location. Maybe I need to rethink the lights being only used for autumn/winter and actually consider this as a year-round thing.
If anything, I know that I'm not the only gardener that faces the challenge of a north-facing garden and shaded areas. Therefore, I've decided to use this as a personal challenge to myself over the next coming months to understand how to maximize this growing space and look into plants that generally tolerate shady areas. Not only will this be a great learning opportunity for me, but I hope this will be a great chance to pass on knowledge to other gardeners.
The types of questions that I'll be asking include:
Which plants are best suited for shaded areas?
Can I extend the growing season of certain plants by utilizing the growing pads?
Does the lighting system create opportunities due to greenhouse's location?
Are edible flowers better suited for the space?
Would adding liquid fertilizer into the watering system benefit the plants more?
Keep an eye out on this space as I do some trials to see how it turns out!