SG507 Shane Smith of Greenhouse Garden and the Cheyenne Botanic Garden (Part 2)


Shane SmithIn this episode of Still Growing…(SG), I resume my interview with Shane Smith, a pioneer in the field of greenhouse gardening and the founding director of the Cheyenne Wyoming Botanic Garden.

To recap, Shane has worked tirelessly through his 36 year gardening career to nurture his passion for greenhouses and bringing horticulture to the city of Cheyenne.  He has been recognized for his lifetime contribution to gardening, volunteerism, education and stewardship. Shane casts the kind of leadership shadow that inspired his community to pass a $16 million levy to expand and renovate the Cheyenne Botanical Garden.  Shane has left his mark on gardening and is creating a legacy of love for his community, it’s environment and people.

My in-depth interview with Shane regarding greenhouse gardening is featured in two episodes of Still Growing.  Part 1 was covered in episode 506.  This episode, (Part 2), offers more detailed information for gardeners considering investing in a greenhouse. Shane reviews the types of greenhouses available on the market today. He also shares his insight on microclimates, efficiency, and best practices in greenhouse gardening.

If you’ve ever remotely considered getting into greenhouse gardening, you’ll want to listen to this interview.

SG507 Shane Smith of Greenhouse Garden and the Cheyenne Botanic Garden (Part 2)

In this episode, I resume my interview with Shane. In this final part of the interview, you’ll find out about:

  • Why siting your greenhouse is so important (6:39)
  • Important considerations before building a greenhouse (7:55)
  • Shane, “The closer to your door your greenhouse is located, the better you are going to take care of it.” (8:10)
  • How most gardeners become greenhouse owners (10:52)
  • The new low-cost option greenhouse (10:49)
  • Three types of greenhouses: freestanding, attached, temporary or popup (14:07)
  • Cliffnotes version of Shanes’ tips for choosing a greenhouse kit (16:03)
  • Shane, “One thing I always tell people is to go for the biggest greenhouse you can buy, because you’re gonna wish you had more space.” (16:45)
  • Shane, “As my old friend once said, ‘Cheap is expensive’.” (19:01)
  • The greenhouse kit companies that Shane has experience with (21:17)
  • Greenhouse kits reviewed on Shane’s website (23:32)
  • The microclimates within a greenhouse (24:08)
  • Tips for making a greenhouse energy efficient (25:45)
  • Shane, “Everything inside a solar greenhouse that isn’t a drum or a plant or a walkway should be painted white to reflect the maximum amount of light onto your plants.” (26:47)
  • The reason expert gardeners can have the most trouble switching to greenhouse gardening (28:15)
  • What makes Shane chuckle… (29:37)
  • “Though an old man I am but a young gardener.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (30:20)
  • Recommendations for handling greenhouse pests like whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites (30:37)
  • Shane, “I should point out, every new greenhouse has a honeymoon period where you don’t hardly have any pests. So don’t think you’re home free with that new greenhouse – they’re gonna come.” (31:10)
  • Shane, “You can slow it down (pests) by not taking on anybody’s gift plants; that’s the quickest way to get your first infestation.” (31:20)
  • Shane, “White fly are probably the biggest challenge to most greenhouse gardeners.” (32:10)
  • Shane, “One of my favorite controls for bugs is hard sprays of water; especially on these soft-bodied guys.” (34:40)
  • Shane, “(When you are applying anything) apply it to the underside of the leaf. That’s the main thing.” (36:28)
  • The prevalence of molds and diseases in greenhouse gardening (37:10)
  • Shane, “The fish fertilizer seems to suppress diseases.” ( 38:20)
  • Shane’s plant material recommendations for new greenhouse gardeners (39:30)
  • How often greenhouses are abandoned (41:18)
  • Shane’s admiration for “Ruthless Gardening” (42:29)
  • The tools gardeners should have at-the-ready in their greenhouse (44:30)
  • Shane’s thoughts on the future of gardening (47:00)

 Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Right Click to Download the MP3

Greenhouse Gardener's Companion

Shane’s Popular Book “Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion”

The Bountiful Solar Greenhouse

Shane’s first book, “The Bountiful Solar Greenhouse”

Question or Feedback?
Please leave a comment below and just let me know how you feel. What do you like about the show? What do you dislike? What kinds of things can I improve on? What do you wish there was more of? I also appreciate future guest or topic ideas. Let me know your suggestion in the comment section below. I may feature your comment on the show!

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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