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Greenhouses – The Beginner’s Guide


The greenhouse is a gardener’s one stop centre for growing seeds, cultivating tomatoes and other plants as well as storing equipment, sacks of compost and a whole host of other gardening essentials. They’re also quite useful for any home brewers to nurture their beer or wine. If you’re considering getting a greenhouse, don’t take the decision lightly – here are some the factors you’ll need to think about:

Types of greenhouses

Place your greenhouse where it will receive maximum light throughout the day. If you’ve invested in young plants from Ashridge Nurseries they may well need to live in the greenhouse until they are strong enough to plant outside.

You can either use glass or polycarbonate plastic to glaze your greenhouse. Glass will hold the light better but plastic has a reputation for durability and retaining heat for longer. Always make sure your greenhouse has some vents to allow fresh air to circulate around the structure.

If you’re having problems deciding on whether to opt for a wood or aluminium structure then remember that a wooden frame will have to be varnished on a regular basis but an aluminium frame won’t need any upkeep at all.

Don’t forget the minis

If you haven’t the space – or the budget – for a standard sized structure then take a look at mini greenhouses. These are still ideal for growing vegetables, including chillies, aubergines and tomatoes, and they are easy to erect and cheaper too.

Simply put up some shelves in your garden and surround them with a simple frame that you can cover with glass or plastic. You don’t even need to source expensive wood for a mini greenhouse, simply find an abandoned pallet and upcycle to create a new home for your plants.

Water is essential

Unless you want to spend the entire summer trudging to and from your greenhouse with the hose or a watering can in hand, invest in some plumbing. Something as simple as a water butt placed underneath the greenhouse roof will pick up all the rainwater and then you can nurture your plants and seedlings with what it collects.

It does help if you fix guttering and then add a pipe, so the surplus moisture will flow into your water butt. Alternatively you can plumb your greenhouse into your existing mains water supply, but this alternative can prove costly.

Greenhouses are for everyone

With the range of greenhouses on the market, and the wonderful selection of seeds and plants from garden centres and nurseries, the greenhouse is a welcome addition to any garden. Even if you are nervous about your ‘green fingers’, seeds are so cheap that you can afford to experiment. If you want to fill your flowerbeds with wonderful plants or simply want to grow all of your salad vegetables yourself, then the warmth and protection offered by a greenhouse is indispensable.

The warmth of the greenhouse is also useful for amateur brewers and you can even grow vines in the structure, which can be supplemented with fruit from your garden. If you don’t already have a greenhouse, make a start with a mini structure and plant away to your heart’s content, as soon as your plants start to flower you’ll begin to feel immense pride at your achievement and perhaps consider upgrading to a larger one.



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