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Greenhouse help!

(4 Posts)
Stiddleficks Wed 06-Apr-16 13:41:52

I'm a complete beginner and have got some veg seeds which my Dd planted at a gardening workshop. They have said to keep them inside for a bit, we have limited space so when could I put them safely into a little shelved greenhouse (the type you get for around £20). We're hoping to grow more and use pots as well as a flower bed.
Also is it ok to just use multi-purpose compost in the pots and do I need fertilisers etc.
Thanks, as you can tell I'm pretty clueless!

shovetheholly Wed 06-Apr-16 14:56:11

What a lovely thing to do together!

Basically, seeds of different plants germinate at different temperatures. Some need to be kept between 18-21 degrees to get going. Others like it cooler. Some need frost. Others will die if frosted. The whole thing is complicated still further by the fact that different things get sown at different times: some seeds need to go on in January, others not until April/May. So you may need several different environments to grow a full range of things.

The good news is that these are easy to provide: seeds that need warmth can be germinated in plastic pots in the house or in a heated propagator. Seeds that like it a bit cooler can be grown in a mini-greenhouse outdoors. Seeds that need to feel frost but are planted in April can be put in the fridge!! Others - the real toughies - can be sown direct where they are to grow in a flowerbed.

In terms of compost, it is well worth investing in a seed compost and a seedling compost. Seed compost is low in nutrients and quite sandy and fine, and most of time you mix it with little bits of polystyrene-like stuff called perlite to improve aeration and drainage. Once the seed has germinated and is large enough to handle, you 'pot it on' into seedling compost, which has a bit more oomph to it in the way of nutrients.

You can sometimes get easy things like sunflowers or broad beans to grow in multi-purpose compost, but the trouble is that it can be quite coarse and it can also be terrible quality (depending on batch/manufacturer) which means it can kill your precious plants with fungi and other nasties. Something that needs a bit more TLC will appreciate the specialist growing media.

Stiddleficks Wed 06-Apr-16 18:10:26

Ok thanks for all that, I'm going to write a calendar for what we have so I know when I need to do things! I think a trip to the garden centre tomorrow to have a good look at everything is needed!
Dd is only 5 so wants to grow everything and see it all straightaway so hoping this will teach her some patience, she's very excited about it all!

shovetheholly Thu 07-Apr-16 09:36:26

Have a look at some of the cheap stores as well - Poundland, B&M, Aldi, Lidl, Wilkos all do very decent gardening kit for a snip of the price that garden centres charge. You will need to get the compost from a more specialist place, though!

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