Growing vegetables in a greenhouse can be a tricky job, especially when preparing for the unpredictable British weather and knowing what vegetables to grow at what particular times of the year – especially when you want to achieve the best results.
Don’t worry though, the preparation element can be enjoyable and therapeutic, and the end results will blow you away … so you’ll soon start enjoying it.
Once you’ve invested in one, you can include electricity, heat, benches, shelves and lighting, which mean you can grow vegetables all year round.
Each amenity gives you more ways to make use of it. For example, having lighting means you can visit your greenhouse after dark and work on cuttings and planting seeds.
Think about all the things you want to do with your greenhouse, and that will help you choose a model that suits your needs.
Once you’ve bought it, you’re ready go get started.
Here’s some additional tips which will help you on your journey to becoming the ultimate ‘green fingered greenhouse gardener’.
Measure out your greenhouse beds and floor space for growbags, make sure there’s plenty of space on benches for seedlings, cut shrubbery or trees which may be obstructing light entering the greenhouse and make sure you have additional outdoor storage for over spill.
This may take a little time to re-jig, but you’ll get there.
Remember: your seedlings can be moved outside when space is needed for summer greenhouse crops.
To start sowing seeds you’ll need clean pots, trays and fresh peat-free seed/multipurpose compost. http://www.diy.com/rooms/verve-peat-free-multi-purpose-compost-125l-w438kg/330343_BQ.prd (following instructions on the packet)
Generally, seeds will germinate on a sunny windowsill indoors or on a heated propagator unit in the greenhouse.
The next step…
Once germinated, seedlings will need somewhere light and frost free to grow on – because an unheated greenhouse will not be sufficiently warm enough until April/May time.
Many people fleece and heat a partitioned section of their greenhouse in order to make a suitable environment for growing tender plants.
Keeping one eye on the weather is also a good idea as you’ll need to be prepared to protect young plants on frosty nights when additional heating may be needed.
Generally people use grow bags greenhouse borders and containers to grow vegetables, but some will need additional protection as they grow – like growing plants (i.e. cucumbers and tomatoes) which need additional support.
Tip: You should tie these on to thin wooden poles with string. This will allow them to take their natural, upward course.
Summer time is one of the most crucial times of the year to check your crops. If you don’t keep watering your plants daily when the sun is beating down.. all of your prior work may have been for nothing.
Many install an irrigation system, but daily watering with a traditional watering can is just as good.
Some of the thirstiest plants include beans, beetroot, carrots, cucumbers and peppers. Check out growveg.co.uk for more information.
You should also ventilate greenhouses on sunny days by opening doors and vents and invest in yellow sticky traps to lower the risk of pests.
Additional insulation may be needed during the cold winter months, with bubble wrap being a popular choice for many.
If it’s constantly heated, ensure that the thermostat is working, especially when it comes to night time when you need to maintain a minimum temperature.
Invest in a minimum/maximum thermometer and check daily.