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Video: Greenhouse On The Loggia - Do It Yourself
Recently I walked into my favorite flower shop and gasped. Usually there was such a rich assortment of different potted crops! And, mind you, not grown in some Holland, but here, in our native Leningrad region. Now there were only cut flowers, which can be called alive with a big stretch, for me, they, like Hollywood stars, "give away with chemistry." weather, due to which all the goods were killed.
A woman followed me and was also dumbfounded. She cried that she was coming from the church, where she put a candle "for the repose" of her collection of geraniums and prayed that at least one of her indoor flowers would live until spring. Yes, I have never encountered such a form of taking care of pets! We must take it into service. When I boasted that my plants, although they have a watery pale green appearance, are not going to die, moreover, grapes and oleander blossomed right after the New Year, everyone present in the store looked at me with disbelief, thank you, they did not say, they say it's good to lie. I had to tell what is so special I do with my flowers, that I manage to keep them in normal form even in this unusually warm and gloomy winter.
I think it is worth revealing your secret to readers, especially since somewhere in the fall in the regional newspaper "Vesti" there was just an article on this topic, with which I do not completely disagree, it is just that there were such banal truths that everyone the student knows, but if you follow them, you cannot create a "garden city" in our climate.
Greenhouse on the loggia
And I have always dreamed of a greenhouse. Who will build it for me ?! Therefore, armed with tools, I decided to make a greenhouse on a loggia in a city apartment myself. First, I installed ordinary wooden frames with one glass (in the summer I take them off altogether), then I installed a single-chamber whole huge double-glazed window in the room and a narrow door to it, which is always open, except for frosty days with temperatures below 20 degrees, then the flowers fall on some time to enter the apartment. Under the glass unit I have two windowsills on both sides.
The walls and ceiling of the loggia were insulated with sheets of polystyrene, on top of fiberboard, which was covered with a primer and painted. On the floor are two sheets of styrofoam 5 cm thick each, then a sheet of plywood (12 mm), and on top - linoleum. I glued all this on "liquid nails". I made the wiring and hung up two "daylight" lamps. In winter, my greenhouse is cool and humid (temperature is about + 5 ° C), in spring, when I have to grow seedlings for a summer residence, it is warm (I turn on the stove) and light. At this time, the flowers are already doing well on the windowsill, the day has increased and the batteries are not so hot, some of the plants go to the rooms, and some go to the village.
How to provide the necessary light, warmth and humidity for indoor plants in a city apartment
Well, but what about those who do not have a loggia or the desire to insulate it? In addition, I am well aware that indoor flowers are used to decorate the interior, they are hung on walls, placed on decorative stands, etc. Some of the flowers winters in my kitchen too, and nothing - they are safe and sound. The problem is that in the winter in our homes, firstly, it is dark, secondly, hot (for flowers), and thirdly, dry. How to deal with this?
1. The lack of light is caused not only by short winter days, but also by our rotten St. Petersburg climate, because of which low clouds hang literally on the antennas, and we do not see the sun from October to March. The warm weather of this winter has just made the days so dark and hopeless. And also sealing buildings, huge poplars under the windows … What kind of photosynthesis is there! A kind person, of course, will make his plants a highlight. What about electricity bills? Mercy, now there is such a selection of energy-saving lamps and lamps that you can do everything cheaply and beautifully.
Do not turn on the "overhead" light, turn on the side one, just above the flowers - and they feel good, and it doesn't hit you in the eyes. In general, I threw away all the "Ilyich's bulbs" and switched to energy-saving ones: although they are expensive, they last much longer, only European ones should be taken, not Chinese ones. So, in the kitchen I have 4 spiral bulbs of 20 W in my chandelier, most of my life passes there, the light is on constantly, as a result, this winter the flowers turned away from the window, and all the leaves are looking at the chandelier.
2. I understand that not everyone is warm in their apartments, for example, it is cold in my block house, but this year they drowned from the heart, as if it was 40-degree frosts outside, but even if the room, as usual, is + 15 ° C, then for plants it is still a lot. (That is why I put single frames on the loggia.) In the warmth, the plants continue to grow, and with a lack of light, they stretch out and die. Of course, no one will cool the house for the comfort of the plants, but you can redirect the heat from the batteries. There are special grilles for batteries, but you still need to look for them.
I make it easier: I take a roll of foil, better than construction foil - it is stronger, along the edge so that it does not tear, I glue the tape, I attach the other edge to the window sill, the ends of the foil to the frame. Better yet, take a substrate for the baths - foil isolon, it does not tear when you water the flowers, it can be used for more than one year, it does not let heat through. Thus, the heat from the radiator goes into the room, and not to the window, it is cold from the glass, but in severe frosts it is necessary to make sure that the flowers do not freeze. Watering is necessary rarely, otherwise they will rot. The foil also prevents light from scattering, and the plants do not stretch as well.
3. Dry air in our apartments in winter is a big trouble not only for plants and wooden furniture, but also for ourselves: hence allergies, acute respiratory infections and other diseases. After all, many people start indoor plants precisely in order to humidify the air. Trivial spraying, of course, the more often it is done, the better. It gives its positive results, but rather in the sense that dust is washed off the leaves, improving photosynthesis. My advice: buy a humidifier; it is possible without any "bells and whistles", in the form of an ionizer or a salt lamp. This is a beautiful and useful device, you will feel it right away. And how sweet to sleep under it, as on the seashore, even the snoring disappears. And the flowers will be grateful to you, the leaves will stop drying. This pleasure costs about 1,500 rubles.
I want to get a few more tricks out of my piggy bank. I have a lot of flowers, but most of them only winter in a city apartment, and in the summer they go to the country house to look beautiful on flower beds and flowerpots. I mean my collection of geraniums and balsams of different types, shapes and colors. Some plants I cut, and some in the fall I dig up entirely. "Adult" plants overwinter better, but take up more space. I plant the rooted cuttings in pots, which I keep outside all summer and take them to the city with the first frosts. Rather, I plant them in long balcony boxes. This saves space, moreover, in the company the plants winter better, although they stretch more in spring. One drawer that takes up half of the windowsill looks better than a bunch of different-sized bowls, and it's more convenient to water.
One problem: inexpensive and beautiful domestic boxes are sold without pallets. Obviously, only in our country it is customary, watering flowers, to pour water on the heads of passers-by. I get out of the situation like this. I pierce holes in the protruding cones at the bottom of the box, cover them with cups that remain from the "greens in cups", and fill everything with expanded clay drainage, then sand and soil. I water it often, but in moderation, water does not flow out, and the roots do not rot.
The second group of plants: fuchsias, figs, laurel, begonias, ferns, I also take out to the country in the summer, but they remain in their pots. The first time I keep it on the veranda or in the greenhouse, then I put it in the garden. It should be borne in mind that indoor plants are sissies, if they are immediately kicked out into the street, they will not survive stress. We must gradually accustom them, not to expose in windy weather, not to leave them outside at night - our nights are cold even in summer; they do not like direct sunlight, it is better to put it under trees. Such "summer residents" will survive any winter later.
There is one "but": most indoor plants, even the most exotic ones, are happily devoured by our pests, moreover, these pests with flowers can be brought to an apartment, where they will eat everything over the winter, and it is somehow not possible to spray chemicals with tightly closed windows very useful! We'll have to chase pests every day even in the garden, especially since I don't want them to make holes in beautiful leaves. For each pest now has its own poison, I most often use "Iskra", but I certainly drop a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid into the spray container, best of all "Fairy" of Finnish production. This is not a joke - for example, for a long time I could not get rid of the scabbard and spider mite, and then one Georgian woman suggested this method to me, I tried it, everything worked out, for several years now I remember her with a kind word.
Spring shower for indoor plants
The third group of my plants has a permanent residence permit in the apartment. These are weaving and ampelous. Every spring, after washing the windows, I take off all the whips, even though it is a very laborious task, and take the plants into the bath, where I wash them well, then, if necessary, rejuvenate them, transfer them to other pots, feed them, change the land. When determining in place, I try to arrange each lash in the same way as it grew before. Lianas, mostly shade-tolerant plants, but do not like reorientation in space, shed their leaves. Contrary to popular belief that indoor flowers should be constantly turned sideways to the light, in winter I never do this and do not advise you.
Imagine how much energy an already weakened plant will spend on such frills. Make you dance lambada every day in December, you will immediately start talking about depression. Does any of you do exercises in the morning? That's the same.
How to water and what to feed indoor plants
Everyone knows that you cannot pour and dry plants, that you need to water them with warm, settled water. Ideally, this is so, but it takes me more than 10 liters for watering at a time. Where to keep such a mass of water? Therefore, I water the plants from the tap, except for the most valuable and capricious ones. Do not throw away used tea leaves, drunk tea is good for watering, saves flowers from diseases, and tea leaves can be dried and then mulched the earth with them.
Do not plant flowers in hanging pots with saucers attached to the bottom, use them only as a planter. After all, it is usually impossible to water such a pot without arranging a flood, the earth dries up quickly, the flower dies. In winter, ampelous plants should not be hung high. The ceiling is even darker and hotter than the radiator's windowsill.
For large plants, for example grapes, I use "long-playing" fertilizers like AVA, all the rest I feed once every two weeks, alternating mineral fertilizers with humic ones. In the first case I prefer fertilizers "Kemir" and "Agricola", in the second - "Ideal". In addition, in December-January I water the geraniums with the "Emerald" preparation so that the leaves do not turn yellow. And in summer, on the street, I spray all flowering plants with flowering stimulants - these drugs, in addition, contribute to root formation, and the stronger the root, the more beautiful the plant in winter.
Anyone who enters my house is amazed at how many flowers there are and how well they all grow. It all started with the fact that one day, taking offense at my husband for something, I reproached him: "If only I gave a flower!" Since then, he gives me flowers for all the holidays, but in pots, friends, believing that this is especially pleasant for me, are also not lagging behind. And then I wonder how I can place all this green economy in an apartment. Do not repeat my mistakes, let there be some flowers, but they will all be well-groomed.
In addition, due to the abundance of flowers and their prosperous existence, some sincerely consider me either a witch or a doo in this matter. Well, not without that, I guess. And that's why I am often asked if there are such plants that in no case should be started in the house. Many are confused by wax ivy, there is a belief that it blooms to the deceased. I have ivy spread all over the window, so what? Although, however, once, when more than thirty flowers bloomed on it at once, I somehow did not fit into the doorway, the aroma turned out to be too heady. And yet it is just a beautiful tropical plant, nothing more. If you are allergic, then you need to be careful with flowering plants and not get different "exotic". However, the head may ache from a bouquet of bird cherry, but bird cherry is a good plant. Grow geraniums, they bloom beautifully,and the evil spirits are driven away.
They also ask me if it is true that evil entities can settle in some plants, for example, in cacti. Evil entities, of course, can settle in your apartment, however, in the form of an evil mother-in-law or mother-in-law, and if you constantly scandalize, then negative energy will accumulate under the ceiling, then it will slowly sink down. If there are flowers on the way, first they will get sick and die, and then - guess who? In houses where advice and love reign, there are always many beautiful flowers. And in the offices of fraudulent companies there are always some clumsy yuccas. Pay attention on occasion.
Once I heard that the Americans say about a man whose everything grows and smells like that he was born with "green hands." Thank God that in our country there are still the majority of "green hands". Look in the evening at the windows of any St. Petersburg house; in a rare window you will not see flowers. And how happy in spring are tomato seedlings, even if planted in milk bags. You start to believe that soon it will be warm, the sun will look out, depression will go away, and everything will be fine with us!