How to Grow Food in a Greenhouse – Tomatoes, Basil, Cucumbers and Peppers

First I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in last night about my tomato dilemma. I took your advise, and topped the ridiculously tall tomato plants.  I didn’t want to do it, but everyone promised me my tomato plants would not only survive the cut, but grow bigger and better tomatoes because of the trim.

– So if my plants fall over and die.  It’s your fault.  Ha!

I also took the time to move a few of the potted tomatoes outside so I would have more room to walk around, and boy let me tell you, moving those pots has made a world of difference.

Here is what the tomato plants look like know.  I ended up hacking away quite a bit before using some twine to secure the top of one of the tomato cages to the cross bar near the ceiling of the greenhouse.  I was planning on stringing up the other tomato cage but ran out of twine.  So hopefully I can finish that up later today after a quick trip to Home Depot.

In other tomato news, The Girl Who Thinks She is a Bird has been checking her Sun Gold cherry tomato plant daily.  We first learned about Sun Golds from an older lady who lives down the street from us. Each summer she sets up a little table at the end of her road and sells Sun Gold tomatoes for a buck a pint.  They sell like hotcakes, and she typically sells out in an hour or so of putting the tiny tomatoes out there.  It’s almost like people do drive-bys or something and then swoop in and snatch them all up.  Ahhh suburbia.

If you have never tried a Sun Gold cherry tomato before, you should be on the look out for them this summer, because they rock!

Here’s a photo of our Japanese climbing cucumber.  It was looking a bit pale so I gave it a little drink of Miracle Grow last night.  Hopefully it will perk up in a day or two.  I really want to have cucumbers dangling form the ceiling this summer, so I’m hope these babies make it.

The basil, peppers and sunflowers are rocking in the greenhouse environment too.  I need to start another flat of basil here pretty soon.  I have high hopes of filling the freezer with 1/2 pints of pest this summer so I better hop to it if I want that to happen.

Well, that’s what’s happening around here.

What’s new at your place?  Are any of your plants falling over?  Are you still waiting for the summer weather to arrive {I know I am}.

Peace Out Girl Scouts.

I have visitors coming by today so I need to go and get ready.

Have a great day!


If you are looking to stock up on some good quality seeds, head on over to Botanical Interests Seed Company. They have a 40% off sale going on right now and still have plenty of great seeds in stock!

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  1. Amanda M. says

    Dear Mavis,
    I have had a huge garden for the past 5 years and consider myself pretty good at it. I do have one BIG problem. I can’t grow basil. I have tried raised beds, pots on the deck, up next to the house, a separate section up close to the house, heavily slug baited, etc. They always seem to get spots and look kinda dead-ish. Your plants look so great. What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t basil love me like it loves you? HELP.
    Really Wants Homemade Pesto!

    • Mavis says

      This is my first year with a bumper crop of basil. In years past I planted the seeds outside. But this year, I started the basil seeds under grow lights inside to give them a head start. I think it made all the difference in the world. :)

    • says

      I need help in this department too! I was just out in the garden this morning looking at my basil, which hasn’t seem to grow a bit in over a month!

    • Andrea says

      Some plants just don’t do well in some locations. At my current house, I can grow peppers and peas amazingly well, but can’t get cucumbers to grow. I have friends that try year after year for peppers, but finally gave up, because they just don’t grow.

      My suggestion would be to find someone who does grow basil and has too much and swap them something from your garden.

    • Sarah says

      I used to buy basil plants and still kill them. What I learned is that basil is really picky about how you harvest it. I used to just pull off a leaf or two when i needed it, but they say you’re supposed to pinch off or cut basil in “bunches”. I pinch off the stem at a point where two other leafs or stems meet. And now my basil goes nuts. Good luck!

  2. Amanda M. says

    Are you going to start another set under grow lights now? If you’re going to then I will try it too! Im such a follower! :) I was thinking about taking pictures of my garden and sending them in….. if I can get it all weeded and picture ready!

    • Mavis says

      Yep. I am starting some basil tomorrow. Be sure and send in your pictures Amanda, I have a spot open for next Sunday! :)

  3. Sarah says

    Mavis, Good job on the trimming and such!

    I think summer weather has been here a while for me. We’ve already had 5 days in a row over 100 degrees (but this time last year we’d had 10 – and I was 6-7 months pregnant so this year doesn’t seem too hot yet).

    Love your blog and videos!

  4. Ashley M says

    Everything looks great!
    We are waiting for our summer to END! It’s 112 today and was 110 yesterday. We just got our baby chicks in today and are hoping they don’t have heat strokes. Our plants are on the verge of dying and we have to water 4 times a day now. Ahhh… the joys of summer in the South.

  5. Lauren says

    Hi Mavis

    It’s the middle of winter here (Australia)
    I’ve managed to nurse a basil and eggplant
    Through till now but I don’t think they have
    Much left in them! I made four potato towers today
    For the heirloom and organic potatoes that
    Should be arriving next week! In the meantime our
    Winter garden is full of spinach, chard, parsley
    Citrus and almost ready onions! Happy Gardening!!!

  6. Kim says


    Have you considered something else besides Miracle Grow? It’s not organic or OMRI-certified, and it COST $. And I’ve been told it’s basically the devil. It’s like giving your kids Doritos, I eat it up and love it at first, but the nutritional value is not there. Have you tried worm castings? Or other organic fertilizers like Sustane? You can make your own worm bin, make worm casting tea to pour on your plants. You may not be freaked out about non-organic garden amendments, but if you are Miracle Grow isn’t the way to go.

    LOVE, love, love your blog!!! Full of good idea, I especially love your greenhouse gutters. Keep up the good work.

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