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Greenhouse virgin

(5 Posts)
HonniBee Thu 13-Aug-15 12:51:12

Hello lovely gardeners!

We have recently bought a house which comes with a rather large greenhouse in the back garden (about 3m x 2m). As neither of us are very green fingered, our first thought was to dismantle and sell, but I've decided I'd like to try to grow something.

Does anyone have any recommendations for things I could grow easily? (Bearing in mind I tend to kill pot plants within a month or two!)
Or is there a recommended book for complete newbies?

Thanks!

shovetheholly Thu 13-Aug-15 13:15:57

YAY for greenhouses! (Those on the allotment thread may remember that I actually had an asthma attack with excitement when my first ever greenhouse arrived earlier this year). I'm so glad you've kept it! This could be the start of a beautiful new friendship with your garden.

3m x 2m is an awesome size - how wonderful to have so much space! There are all kinds of things you can do in there, some that are quite permanent (e.g. growing a grape vine), others that are more annual (e.g. growing tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, all hot weather plants that get sown in late winter/early spring).

And then there are about a billion different things you could grow from seed and then plant out later in your garden - not just veg, but flowers, shrubs etc. etc. etc. I'm finding that it is quite a difficult and skilled thing to grow from seed - I definitely don't have anything like a 100% success rate - but it is tremendously rewarding to see a great big plant that has sprouted from a tiny seed that you sowed.

This time of year is quite late for sowing a lot of seeds - spring tends to be the peak moment. However, there are things that can 'go on' now for next year.

Flowers: violas for next spring from nowish, and from late Sept/Oct you can get on aquilegia, hollyhocks, lupins, salvias, verbascum, helenium, hardy geraniums, euphorbias, dieramas, even sweet peas...

Veg: it's not too late for winter lettuces and other hardy winter leaf crops to go on now, swiss chard, kohl rabi, perpetual spinach, and your winter cabbages and caulis for maturing early next spring. A lot of people sow these directly into the ground, but mine all get eaten by slugs if I do that, so I start everything in the greenhouse.

shovetheholly Thu 13-Aug-15 13:17:13

Oh, and getting watering right - not too much, not too little - is quite a challenge! I bought some capillary matting (you can get it on Amazon or ebay) and it does a great job of lessening the amount I have to water and evening out what the plants take up so that they never get too dry or too waterlogged.

HonniBee Thu 13-Aug-15 17:18:34

Thanks for the advice, shove. I'm looking forward to growing something I can eat! Could we do a herb garden in it? Would they grow all year round?

Can't wait to get into our new place now. We haven't had a garden for a few years so I'm really looking forward to it. The property also has a mature garden on the side which is absolutely gorgeous!

shovetheholly Thu 13-Aug-15 18:07:20

You can do a herb garden outside, Honni! (Unless you're in the Arctic wastes, that is). However, the greenhouse can be really useful for growing things like basil and parsley that need to be germinated regularly for seed. As you probably know, some herbs are perennial in Britain (rosemary, sage, lavender, that kind of thing) while others are annuals that need resowing.

You could also think about some fruit trees, rhubarb, raspberry canes, that kind of thing. Fruit is a bit easier than veg but really rewarding to eat berries straight off the plant!

A mature garden sounds lovely. Your new place is going to be idyllic!

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