Greenhouses are great season-stretchers – earlier Springs and later Autumns. They allow you to grow plants and crops that need more shelter and higher temperatures than are found in the open garden.
With so many different greenhouses choosing which one would be best for your garden can be difficult. You first of all need to think about the size of your garden and how big of a greenhouse you can fit in.
Cold Frames are mini greenhouses. They are designed to be set directly on a garden bed for direct seed germination and for hardening off transplants. They are primarily used to get seedlings to sprout and take root where they would otherwise perish due to frost and cold spring rains.
Growhouses are starter greenhouses. They are perfect for the beginner or someone with not much space in their garden for a big greenhouse. They are very popular for propagating seeds and starter plants which will be transplanted outdoors to garden beds.
Greenhouses are larger grower greenhouses. These often come with adjustable shelving, for growing crops full-term indoors under shelter. These are good for propagating seeds, indoor growing of crops and curing harvested crops and preparing them for storage. They are also spacious enough to keep your garden supplies under cover.
Looking after your greenhouse is important, keeping it clean and tidy will prevent the spreading of any pests or diseases. These are our tips on maintaining your greenhouse before you start sowing your new seeds in Spring:
• Try to choose a mild day when cleaning out your greenhouse as you will have to open the doors and vents to clean them thoroughly.
• Ensure your greenhouse is cleaned thoroughly with Jeyes Fluid to rid any existing fungal diseases. As the weather warms up pests and diseases will be on the increase and will need to be dealt with as early as possible.
• Clean the windows with warm water. Dirty windows affect sunlight levels – less light can lead to seedlings becoming straggly.
• Throw out old used growing bags, remove all the leaves that will have fallen from the plants, and sweep the floor to remove any dirt and spilled soil.
We’ve put together a list of what to start growing in your greenhouse in April:
• Start to sow courgette, marrow, squash, sweetcorn and pumpkin seeds in modules under cover.
• Sow seeds of perennial herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and lemon balm.
• Start sowing strawberry, tomato and kale seeds.
• Try sowing lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting in the garden later.
• Sow cucumbers and gherkins towards the end of the month, sowing the seeds in individual pots or modules.
• Sow runner beans and french beans under cover at the end of the month, sowing individually into module trays.