Garden Journal, End of Season Greenhouse Work, Part 2

in #garden-journal4 months ago

Hello, and welcome to the Greenhouse!

It's been almost 3 weeks since my last post about the work that I've been doing in the greenhouse as winter is closing in on us. I didn't do much of anything in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks because I was working on a couple of other projects. I did some work last week, and then didn't get back to it again until today.

My plan was to empty the dirt out of all the pots in the greenhouse and refill them with fresh dirt for next year's growing season. I wanted to get a head start on it by doing as much of it as I could before it got too cold to deal with the dirt. There's no point in trying to work with frozen potting soil.

In my last post about the greenhouse, I talked about emptying the greenhouse pots. You can read that from this link, if you would like.

I had bought six 2 cubic foot bags of potting soil a couple months ago when it was on an end of season sale. I had them stacked outside on a few landscape timbers to keep them off the ground. One of the bags was in rough shape, so I dumped it into 5 gallon buckets to keep from losing half of it on the ground. I brought those buckets into the greenhouse so that I could work with them. I had also bought a big bag of vermiculite to mix into the potting soil to loosen it up and help with moisture retention.

I used my small wheelbarrow to mix the potting soil and vermiculite. I like to use a small hoe for mixing dirt.

I mixed the dirt and then put it into the first 4 pots, filling the bottoms to hold down the pieces of landscape cloth that I use to keep the dirt from falling out of the drainage holes in the pots.

Once I used all the dirt in the buckets, I had to bring in a couple more bags of potting soil. Since I was using the wheelbarrow to move the bags of dirt, I had to figure out another container for mixing the dirt. I decided to use one of my big mixing tubs and my garden wagon to put it on.

When I think about it now, I probably should have used the wagon to move the bags, and the wheelbarrow to mix the dirt. However, the way I did it worked well enough.

The bags of potting soil were partly frozen from the cold nights, so I had to let them sit in the greenhouse for a few days to thaw out. I got back to the project today, but it was already dark outside when I started on it. I used a clamp lamp on a roof joist to light the area so I could see to work. I also had a fire going in the wood stove in the greenhouse to warm it up a bit so it was more comfortable for working.


By the time I had mixed both bags of potting soil with vermiculite and shoveled the mix into the pots, I had 3 pots basically full, and the 4th pot almost full.

Since I only had the 2 bags of potting soil in the greenhouse, that was all I could do today. I'll have to load up a couple more bags tomorrow and bring them into the greenhouse to thaw out. The greenhouse is still above freezing during the day because of the mild weather we've been having for the past couple of weeks, so it should only take a couple of days for the dirt to thaw out. The next several days are supposed to be in the high 30s F during the day, so I still have a bit of good weather left. I also have to cut a couple of new pieces of landscape cloth for the bottom of several of the remaining empty pots. That's a pretty simple thing to take care of.

I also have to finish the insulation around the winter pond fish tank in the greenhouse. I've been working on it slowly because all the mild weather has made the job much less of a rush. My pond plant has been doing well so far in the greenhouse tank. Hopefully it will make it through the coldest weather, yet to come. If you look closely at the picture, you can see 2 of the fish. I was using the hose to top off the fish tank from the 55 gallon barrel that I left full of water in the greenhouse this fall. A couple months of evaporation had the tank water level down about 4 inches or so.

I really need to empty out the barrel before the water freezes and splits the plastic barrel. That would be a real mess...
I just have to remember to do it during the day, perhaps tomorrow or the next day.

That's all I have for this post, thanks for stopping by to check it out!



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Good morning ☀️ you have a nice operation there. Just last week we did the same with gathering pots and emptying soil into a very large bin to be amended in early spring with compost. When we start our seedlings indoors in the window box we use new soil with a mix of starter fertilizer.
Gardening is such a wonderful hobby😃
Enjoy your day.

It's also a bit hard on the back...LOL