A Trek into the Greenhouse

July 9, 2018

It is, quite literally, a jungle in there.

I’ve been growing tomatoes in this greenhouse for a few years now – five or six at least – and I don’t know why but I’m always surprised by how big the tomatoes grow.  Gargantuan.  Twice as big as they could ever get when grown outside here on the Oregon coast.

I need a ladder to get to the top of these things.  It’s a rather nice problem to have (at least until they start falling over under their own weight, which seems to happen every year despite how well I tie them up).

The varieties I’m growing here are:

  • Amish Paste
  • Polish Linguisa
  • Cuore di Bue
  • Carbon
  • Dester
  • Pink Berkeley Tie Dye
  • Paul Robeson
  • Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Striped Cavern
  • Santiam Sunrise
  • Sungold
  • Pink Bumblebee

Look at that Polish Linguisa!  It’s as big as my hand!

The Sungolds and Pink Bumblebees are ripe already – earlier this year than before.  A few of the Amish Paste are almost ready.  I’m chomping at the bit to pick them, but I’m also trying to practice patience.  I live here now.  I don’t have to pick them before they’re ready in case I can’t make it back before they turn and go bad.  I can just walk out my door every day, many times a day, and check them.  I can pick them at their peak!

It’s still a wonderful feeling, every day, to realize that.

This year the pickling cucumbers are going crazy!

I normally grow cucumbers, and I normally grow them outside.  They’re normally kind of scraggly little things; not much to write home about.

But holy moly!  In here these things are monsters!

There are three types (a Wautoma, an SMR-58, and a Snow’s Fancy Pickling) and they’ve nearly outgrown the space I allocated to them, and they’ve definitely overrun the poor basil I planted in front of them.  I’ve had to cut off more shoots and tendrils than I can count trying to keep them from covering the basil completely.  Next year the basil will get it’s own spot with nothing planted behind it (except for maybe more basil).

Next to the cucumbers are Mini Love watermelons.  Their vines are growing much slower and more compactly, but there are little watermelons swelling up in there.  I would LOVE to get them to maturity!  I never have managed to grow a watermelon to ripeness yet, but I feel like this might be the year!

I grew all these marigolds from seed.

I am very pleased with myself.

The small little fruits growing in this container (and an identical one on the other side of the greenhouse) are called Mexican Sour Gherkins or Cucamelons.

They taste like tiny tangy cucumbers, and they look like teeny tiny watermelons, but they’re not technically either of those things.  Technically they’re a type of squash.  A delicious, adorable little squash that grows like it wants to take over the world.

And that, my friends, is what is happening in the greenhouse right now!


  • Maggie

    July 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Love it! Best of luck with the melons!

    1. lacey

      July 13, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you! They’re getting bigger, so I am extremely hopeful!

  • Judi Castille

    July 10, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Impressed and inspired. We are putting up a greenhouse next year. I think mainly for crops as you have. The heat and humid atmosphere certainly helps these water loving veg. Can I ask why so many varieties of tomato? Timing of ripening or flavour or something else?

    1. lacey

      July 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! About the tomatoes: I’m trying to pick my favorites in terms of flavor and productivity. For instance, I LOVE the Polish Linguisa’s taste and size for a paste tomato, but is it better than the Amish Paste or the Cuore di Bue? And the Sungold is my absolute favorite snacking tomato, but it’s a hybrid, so not very good for a self-sufficient garden since I can’t save the seeds. Maybe the Santiam Sunrise (a self-purported”de-hybridized” version) will taste as good? One day I’ll have just a few of my favorites (paste, slicing and snacking), but then again my eyes may always be bigger than my greenhouse space when going through the seed catalogs in winter 😛

      1. Judi Castille

        July 13, 2018 at 7:08 pm

        Hiya, thanks for that. Interesting as we have just started and planted just what the local shop has. We want to try getting seeds and apparently French plant seeds have a good reputation. But I will look your varieties up. It’s nice to tailor growing exactly to our favourite tastes.

  • theincrementalhomesteader

    July 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Awesome greenhouse!😍

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