Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Make Your Own Hanging Baskets

As a greenhouse owner, you can easily make your own hanging baskets rather than buying them at a nursery. If you start your basket plantings in late winter, they’ll be large, lush, and ready to put outdoors after Jack Frost has quit for the season. I prefer very large, 20”-diameter, peat-lined containers for my hanging […]

Add Hydroponics to Your Greenhouse

For a number of years, I’ve grown lettuce in plastic gutters in my greenhouse. The installation is simple: Each ten-foot-long gutter hangs from brackets on a greenhouse wall, with one end four inches lower than the other. I fill the gutters with clay pellets to give the plant roots something to grip. A fish-tank pump […]

Michele Keith’s Greenhouse – in Chilly Wyoming

I talked with Michele Keith about her greenhouse in Wyoming. Michele’s property, which is close to the eastern edge of Yellowstone, is 6,000 feet above sea level and in hardiness zone 4, so it gets very cold in winter. She had 36” of snowfall a week or so before our talk. But cold is not […]

Growing Bananas in a Greenhouse

Bananas are native to Southeast Asia, so growing them in northern climates is a challenge. When I first tried growing bananas in my Rhode Island greenhouse, I kept the greenhouse warm all winter, knowing that bananas prefer temperatures over 77o F (26oC) year round. After three or four seasons and a lot of money spent […]

Christmas in a tropical like Greenhouse

There is something magical about Christmas in a greenhouse. Paperwhites are in full bloom, mixed with rich red poinsettias against a backdrop of greenery. To me, white, red, and green are the colors of Christmas, so a greenhouse is ideal for celebrating this season. For those who aren’t big fans of paperwhites’ classic fragrance, there […]

Growing Agapanthus (African Lily) Where Winters Are Cold

Species of the genus Agapanthus (sometimes commonly called African lilies) are favorite perennials in many parts of the world where winters remain mild. In these regions (hardiness zones 9 to 11), all these plants need to give a long-lasting display of beautiful blue, purple, or white flowers is moist, well-drained soil and plenty of sun. […]

Cooling an Overheated Greenhouse – not just a summertime problem.

In colder climates, the fall is a good time to kill a few plants. It happens when you close your greenhouse at night because a frost is forecast and then forget to open it in the morning before the sun heats it up very hot. I did that a few weeks ago when I had […]

Preparing your greenhouse for Autumn

It’s that time of year again, time to venture into the hot September greenhouse and start preparing for the colder weather to come. Soon you’ll be bringing in all the plants that have spent the last few months outdoors. But before you do that, you should make sure that everything in the greenhouse is clean […]

Shade Cloth – the greenhouse savior, no matter what latitude

One recent sunny day I forgot to open my greenhouse doors and windows in the morning, and by noontime the temperature inside had reached 108˚. The plants were sadly wilted, so I quickly misted the entire greenhouse to lower the temperature and raise the humidity. Fortunately, by late afternoon, the sagging plants had recovered, but […]

Propagating Streptocarpus (Cape Primrose)

At any given time, my greenhouse holds about 30 Streptocarpus plants, commonly called Cape primrose. I give many to friends who, like me, love to see them bloom, so I have to keep constantly propagating these plants. This is done in an unusual way, using a leaf from a mother plant. First, select a leaf […]