Are you a green fingers? Ever tried growing your own food? How about impressing the family with a hearty and healthy meal full of greens? Or do you just fancy a new hobby?
Greenhouses are a great way to grow a variety of things, from tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and oriental delicacies. Sowing seeds, growing on plug plants, propagation, growing cut flowers and fresh food, and protecting plants on chilly spring nights are just some of the other advantages. Deciding on what greenhouse to buy is tricky, but we’re here to help…
Depending on the size of your house or garden, there are various options available.
It’s pointless having a greenhouse if you don’t achieve the best results when growing the plants/foods of your choice. So, now you’ve chosen it, how can you maintain it in the best possible way?
Finding the optimum spot for a greenhouse is vital. Sunlight on all sides is vital. For a long narrow structure, an east-west orientation is ideal, but if you cant, dont fret. Avoid going near structures casting shadows such as walls, fences and buildings, and keep away from trees.
Greenhouses must stand on a solid, well built base. Brick, concrete and timber (or a combination) are all fine. Recycled plastic lumber is worth a look as its maintenance-free, available in various colours and tends not to rot.
3 Growing space
On impenetrable surfaces, use pots and growbags, which can be stood on timber or metal staging, or build raised beds. If your greenhouse is built on soil, you can grow straight into it, watering and tending to plans as and when necessary.
Western red cedar is the way forward! This is the most typical brand and will last longer than most. Eventually it will succumb to rot, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Generally though, it will last a minimum of five years against the elements.
A lot of gardeners use watering cans – this is the best option. Using a water hose can sometimes be detrimental to the growth of your vegetables, so avoid too much water. If you are away from home a lot, using a semi automatic system is a great option – and you won’t need to worry if your plants etc are starved.
Rely on sunshine. This usually gives your greenhouse the ideal amount of heat it needs, especially if it’s in a great spot. However there will be times you’ll feel the need to heat it up in bad weather conditions. (this is Britain after all).
If you are going to use heat – go electric. This will create better growing conditions.
(Also read ventilation tips – this ensures that, even though you are heating your greenhouse, there must be ventilation of some kind)
All greenhouses must use some kind of ventilation system to allow hot rising air to move out and cool air to move in – especially in the summer months. While it is essential to heat a greenhouse, its contents still need space to breath.
Invest in louvres, which draw in cooler air at the base of your greenhouse and keep up a constant flow, which in turn creates better growing conditions.