Buying a greenhouse is one thing, but knowing what to put in it is something entirely different.
In order to grow plants, fruit and vegetables effectively, you’re going to need to buy some pretty essential odds and ends – especially if you want to ensure great results.
Every greenhouse should have a bench from which to work, so staging is perfect.
There are generally 3 different types available. They are;
- Solid staging
As solid staging comes with a robust surface it can be useful for retaining a level of moisture which helps cool the greenhouse. It also provides the right environment favoured by most plant types.
- Slatted staging
Widely considered as the more popular choices, slatted staging is lightweight and uses less material than others. It allows free drainage and, most importantly, permits air to pass between slats. Ventilation is crucial when considering pest reduction, diseases and keeping the greenhouse cool.
- Plunge staging
Plunge staging is most commonly used for growing alpines. In this instance the staging usually has a 9 inch deep tray which is filled with sand.
Since Alpine plants grow best in conditions where their roots are kept cool the plunge staging help simulate this environment in that the pots can be partially or fully buried in the sand so as to keep them cool.
Like staging, shelving can be particularly useful.
They are ideal for germinating seeds in seed trays and are therefore placed directly above staging – in order to allow maximum sunlight exposure.
Alternatively, if you plan to use your greenhouse shelving for pots then you should allow ample space between the top surface of the shelf and the eaves. Shelving is often slatted and most widths can accommodate a seed tray which is 34cm wide.
There are a number of ways to shade your greenhouse, all of which range in price.
Ideal for protecting plants on really hot days, roller blinds simply pull over each glazed area. They’re not the cheapest option, but they sure do work!
Whitewashing your greenhouse is a fantastic way to protect your plants throughout the summer months.
It’s easy to paint on when you need it, and just as easy to wash off when you don’t.
- Shade kit
Instead of fleecing individual plants, you’d be better off investing in a shade kit. This will completely black out the sun so you can ensure your plants won’t be damaged.
- Polyethylene mesh or netting (shade netting)
Is usually placed inside the glasshouse and fixed with clips. External fitting is better but harder to arrange. This is a cheaper option than blinds. The plastic is likely to biodegrade over a number of years but is not expensive to replace.
Keeping your greenhouse ventilated is vitally important. A well ventilated greenhouse will help keep your plants cool on warm days but it will also assist in reducing plant disease.
If you are not around on a daily basis then autovents are fantastic. Relatively cheap and extremely effective, an autovent can be fitted to almost any greenhouse.
Most models are also filled with wax, and when the wax reaches a certain temperature it opens your greenhouse roof vent. Once the wax cools and solidifies the vent closes to keep the heat inside your greenhouse!
There are two kinds of greenhouse heater. Parafin and electric fan heaters.
- Parafin heaters are cheap and effective but do require careful maintenance and attention.
- Electric fan heaters come with a thermostat which means it can start up when a certain ‘minimum temperature’ is breached. They can also circulate cool air in the summer – which can be a much needed on a sweltering day.
…The only problem is, they are much more expensive and will require a power source.