Growing Fruit in Greenhouses
Many of us fell in love with greenhouses when we saw our neighbours with a constant supply of fresh flowers even through the winter. Commercial greenhouses tend to gravitate towards fast growing plants like lettuce and French beans. Did you know that the earliest greenhouses in Europe were built mainly for growing fruit?
Other than tomatoes and cucumber, you can grow a wide variety of seasonal fruit in your Gabriel Ash greenhouse with proper planning.
1. Citrus Fruits
Our love and need for citrus fruits in Europe began the greenhouse revolution. Lemons, oranges, and tangerines do very well in a greenhouse. At temperatures of 13 degrees C for pips to germinate and 40 degrees C for normal growth, citrus will do very well even in the winter.
It takes a long time (up to 10 years) to grow citrus from their pips. A faster propagation method is to use cuttings. The space required will be huge for a commercial concern but for the hobby gardener, growing an orange in your Gabriel Ash greenhouse and then eating it with your breakfast would be great.
Grape varieties like “Black Hamburgh” or “Buckland Sweetwater”, have allowed grape growing in your greenhouse. Though grape growing normally requires high temperatures like in California, choosing the right variety of grapes and a heated greenhouse, makes it possible.
There are things to consider though in greenhouse grape growing. Young plants will require support as they become established. The gardener must get the rate of watering right in order to avoid any waterlogged soil which can damage grape roots. Trimming and flowering is also essential.
The amount of work required is already much without adding the fact that grapevines are susceptible to numerous pests like aphids and red spider mites. However, with proper care, you can get home grown grapes in any greenhouse.
3. Peaches and Nectarines
Like grapes, peaches and nectarines require a gardener with great skills. Choosing the right type of peach is as important as caring for them. Peregrine, Hale’s Early, Humboldt, and Pine Apple are some of the peaches and nectarines that would do well in your Gabriel Ash greenhouse.
Plants grown in the greenhouse tend to have compact roots and thus need frequent watering during their growing season. Pollination is difficult, so you could use a brush to transfer pollen from plant to plant.
Though you can use either an unheated or a cool greenhouse, it is important to ensure proper moisture levels in your greenhouse for the best chance of success.
Growing fruits in your Gabriel Ash greenhouse requires that you buy the right plants, keep them in the proper conditions, and maintain excellent pest and disease control. It requires a lot of effort but fresh fruit in your garden is a great reward and tastes great.