Suggestions for growing in greenhouse


Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
Hi,

I've been growing tomatoes in my greenhouse for year. I've about had enough of it though. Every year without fail, we get infested with black and red ants. I've tried making sure the ground is wet - tilling the soil to put them off - digging it over before putting everything in - but every time they end up nesting in there and killing all the roots (you end up with a root system smaller than your fist, as they've chewed all the rest of them).

Obviously the plants then die and out of 20 plants, I may get 100 mini tomatoes. I've decided enough is enough. Are there better crops I could put in there instead that are more resistant to ants?

TIA

Andy
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
871
Reaction score
247
Country
United States
Sorry I just noticed this thread. Soil Ants rarely bother tomatoes, but if you see damage on your plants, you may suspect them as the culprits. Often, ants only come near tomato plants to milk honeydew from aphids clinging to the leaves. If you don't want ants crawling on your tomatoes, ward them off with sticky tape, scented plants or boiling water.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks for the reply. The thing is, I'm seeing ant nests coming up right below the plants (the powdered soil mounds, where they have excavated), so its 100% them doing it. When the plant has died off, I dig it up - and sure enough there is a huge nest right below :( (normally red ants). AFAIK the red ants don't go for aphids so much? (I've not got a problem with them either, as I spray them with an organic soap mix that kills aphids etc)

This year I've decided I'm going to do climbing cucumber plants (to save space), and some chilli plants. Both directly in the grounds, with a drip system from the waterbutt to make sure it keeps watered (on a timer, going off morning and evening for x minutes - which I'll tweak as I work it out)

Cheers

Andy
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
871
Reaction score
247
Country
United States
Honey bees are the main pollinator of cucumber, but if the bee population is low or inactive because of rainy weather the cucumber flowers do not get pollinated. Chuck recommended to hand pollinate the cucumber plants when there's no bees.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
Honey bees are the main pollinator of cucumber, but if the bee population is low or inactive because of rainy weather the cucumber flowers do not get pollinated. Chuck recommended to hand pollinate the cucumber plants when there's no bees.

Thanks - its this variety I'm using:


The best forms are the all female ones. All female types may produce male flowers if they are grown under stressful conditions. These flowers should be removed. If grown in a greenhouse, keep it damped down to reduce any pests. Water regularly and feed with a high potash liquid feed every two weeks.

So my understanding is that the females wouldn't even need pollination? (if you are getting rid of all the male flowers?)

Cheers

Andy
 
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
Hi, I've been using parthenocarpic ( self pollinating) cucumber plant seeds for the last year, currently English varieties, and they produce fruit remarkably well in greenhouses. Pic of mine as of yesterday. They produce great in stand up poly greenhouses or tunnels or in the open field, producing seedless fruits without the benefit of pollination.
Good luck
Tom
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0898.jpg
    IMG_0898.jpg
    275.3 KB · Views: 131
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
871
Reaction score
247
Country
United States
Wow you are doing DWC and rockwool in your greenhouse. I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions. I have a few like what kind of water do you use? Are you using a 3 part liquid nutrients in different ranges to match veg. flower, fruiting stages? Do you monitor the pH and EC daily? Do you extend your photoperiod are use light deprivation in Winter or Summer? What kind of lights are those HPS or MH?
 

NigelJ

Still Learning
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
187
Reaction score
129
Location
Devon Coast
Country
United Kingdom
I grow Telegraph Improved and you pinch off the male flowers and the female flowers develop cucumbers. Pollination results in bitter cucumbers and large seeds. It was the same with a Japanese variety I grew and is the reason for commercial varieties being all female. This is not necessarily the case with Gherkins grown outdoors.
Melons are different and need to be fertilised as do tomatoes and peppers.
The ants disturb the soil around the roots and prevent the roots from developing.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
I grow Telegraph Improved and you pinch off the male flowers and the female flowers develop cucumbers. Pollination results in bitter cucumbers and large seeds. It was the same with a Japanese variety I grew and is the reason for commercial varieties being all female. This is not necessarily the case with Gherkins grown outdoors.
Melons are different and need to be fertilised as do tomatoes and peppers.
The ants disturb the soil around the roots and prevent the roots from developing.

Yes that's what I read as well.

The ants are a PITA. This year I have invested in a drip pipe system. Water butt full up, with a pipe going through the greenhouse that drips (1litre / hour from each hole apparently). So I just have the waterbutt set on an automatic timer to make sure its not running all the time. Hopefully it'll work and keep the soil damp enough to annoy the ants not to build their nest in my greenhouse ;)
 
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
Wow you are doing DWC and rockwool in your greenhouse. I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions. I have a few like what kind of water do you use? Are you using a 3 part liquid nutrients in different ranges to match veg. flower, fruiting stages? Do you monitor the pH and EC daily? Do you extend your photoperiod are use light deprivation in Winter or Summer? What kind of lights are those HPS or MH?

I use Master Blend as my nutrient mix for all growth phases. Works well. I do monitor ph/EC a few times a weeks, more now that the water usage is way up with the warmer days and new fruit growth. I had to unfortunately place my greenhouse north & south, so I supplement the sun with LED grow lights in the non-summer months to keep a 10-12 hour grow cycle.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
871
Reaction score
247
Country
United States
Thank you so much for the info scalgreen. Are you using RO water buffered with cal-mag?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top