I wish I could take a trip back to being about 12 and pay closer attention to my mom's greenhouse. I'm learning some lessons the hard way as a fledgling gardener.
Lessons I have learned today:
1) Do not plant cucumbers closer than recommended. They send out side shoots. The leaves are huge. In no time at all you will have a jungle mess.
2) Cucumbers do not grab like peas. You have to help them. One day you'll walk into the greenhouse to find 3-4 foot cucumbers falling all over choking your pepper plants.
3) Do not plant your peppers in front of the cucumbers. See #2.
4) Cucumbers are prickly. When you realize you have to tie them up it will hurt. A lot. Have you ever tried to untangled 4 foot vines with plate sized leaves? I'm beginning to hate cucumbers.
5) One plant produces a lot of cucumbers. That's why you don't plant too many too close. There are about 100 1-inch to 4-inch cukes in there. I'd better hurry up and learn how to jar them because they'll all be ready at the same time.
6) Use tomato cages. After one month they are 5 feet tall. The string is holding them up, but the branches are hanging into the aisle. With two months left to grow I won't be able to walk in the greenhouse.
7) Leave 4 feet between your zucchini plants. Trying to be smart and plant the seeds a foot apart will give you a mass of dinner sized leaves that you will never be able to find the zucchini in. And you won't be able to get in the greenhouse. And they'll probably choke out anything within a ten foot radius.
8) Vegetables in a greenhouse grow very, very fast. Pay attention. Don't just water and go about your business. When you actually take a look a week later you will have a jungle mess. By August we should be able to hide among the plants and never be spotted. Or come out alive.
9) Write your mistakes down so you don't make them again next year. Do you want to wager on how many repeat errors I will make even having written them down. Someone with a better memory needs to send me a reminder email next May. Thanks in advance.
10) Be thankful you have a jungle-like mess growing in your first class big-ass greenhouse with a fridge and music. It could be worse.
(Check out the post below to see what we did today and if you have any lessons you'd like to share I'd be forever grateful).