Hartley Magazine

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

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 […]


Out-of-Season Potatoes! In Your Greenhouse

Growing potatoes in your greenhouse may not seem very exciting or even particularly worthwhile. After all, you can buy a bag of spuds for a few dollars. But imagine growing high-value fingerlings such as Russian Banana, Rose Finn, or Blossom. These can be hard to find in a grocery store, especially during winter. And they […]


Late Blight in Tomatoes and Potatoes

For greenhouse owners and gardeners in the Carolinas and Georgia, here is some disturbing news: Some tomato plants in Beaufort County, South Carolina, have recently been infected with late blight disease, the same highly infectious scourge that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s. Tomatoes and potatoes are related species, both belonging to the […]


Tomatoes 101 – Year Round Love in the Greenhouse

In northern parts of America greenhouse owners are just now starting tomato plants from seed ready for the new season. Under lights on the heat mat I have some fifteen varieties growing. These will be transplanted into larger pots until they are ready for my garden and the gardens of friends. But often tomato varieties […]

The Philadelphia Flower Show 2016 – America celebrated.

If you are a greenhouse owner in the northeast you should treat yourself – take a trip to the Philadelphia Flower show. What makes it spectacular?  The show is held in early to mid-March when there is very little in bloom outside of the greenhouse. Many of the prizewinning plants are grown by enthusiastic greenhouse […]