Saturday, November 13, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 83: Greenhouses for Home Gardeners

In this episode, we talk with Ashley Edwards, Horticulture Extension Agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extensionabout growing Greenhouses for Home Gardeners. The plant profile is on Pyracantha and I share what's going on locally and in my garden.

EPISODE LENGTH: 50:01 00:44 Meet Ashley Edwards, Horticulture Extension Agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension, and hear about her growing up with “boots on the ground” knowledge of gardening 02:16 “I may not know the answer, but I know who does” — Ashley, on always learning new things in her role at VCE 05:45 What is the best place to site a greenhouse on your property? 07:38 While sunlight is most important, having trees to create shade in warmer months is actually “desirable” 08:31-17:36 Starting small — different types of structures, besides greenhouses, for protection of plants 11:14 High tunnels, temperature regulation, and how the wind factors in 15:39 “With greenhouses… a big consideration is just knowing how much time you have to monitor the environment on the inside” — Ashley 16:17 “Fail safe” and “automated” systems for temperature regulation in greenhouses 17:39 Some “sophisticated” systems now send notifications to your phone when something needs to be checked in your greenhouse 17:56 “So many sleepless nights when we had really, really poor weather” — Ashley, on growing up with propane-heated greenhouses 18:49 Power sources for greenhouses and what to do in case of a power outage 21:13 “You want to consider cleanliness, humidity, comfort” — Ashley, on flooring for a greenhouse 22:42 “I think a lot of people don’t know that you still have to weed inside a greenhouse” — Kathy 24:10 How to handle “one of your biggest enemies” to the greenhouse: Snow 26:35 Pros and Cons of plastic VS glass for greenhouses 29:28 Pro Tip: If your greenhouse is covered with glass, you can paint over with a coating to provide some shading 30:39 How to clean your greenhouse 31:38 “The key with greenhouse pest control is prevention” — Ashley 33:52 Home Grounds and Animals — a pest management guide published by VCE with “pest control recommendations for basically every plant that you can think of” — Ashley 34:36 How to go about purchasing a greenhouse (buying online, DIY-ing, buying secondhand, etc.) 38:29 “It’s easier to elongate … but it’s not easy to change the width” — Ashley, on choosing the size of your greenhouse 39:01 Ashley’s recommendation for greenhouse sizing for home gardeners 39:35 A really useful resource is the LSU extension hobby greenhouses page 40:16 Concerns and cautions to have with greenhouses as a home gardener 40:58 “Utilize your local extension agent throughout this process. That’s what they’re there for” — Ashley 42:09 You can contact Ashley by email ( 43:05 “Don’t think that if it didn’t go well, that it was a failure. It’s just for learning for the next year” — Kathy 43:35 Learn about the berry-filled, easy-to-grow evergreen Firethorn (Pyracantha) in this week’s Plant Profile! 45:37 Garden updates: We won Best DC Podcast! And are picking greens and planting garlic 
46:52 Upcoming events: U.S. Botanic Garden’s holiday display and light displays in Virginia and Maryland

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Episode Credits
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Interview Edits: Charlotte Crook
Notes: Melena DiNenna


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