It’s beautiful to see there are still people who wish to grow their own vegetables. The urban era is gaining fast, and most people think that the easiest way to live healthy is to order your vegetables online or shop at your closest grocery store.
Gardening is a wonderful pastime. Those of us who relish the scent of the soil, the hum of the bees, and the slow satisfaction of watching our works grow to (literal) fruition, know this well. However, gardening is traditionally considered an older person’s hobby. Visit any garden centre, and the target audience becomes evident.
Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetables in the UK and are packed full of micronutrients and goodness. A staple in everything from sandwiches to salads, cucumbers are one of the most versatile summer vegetables you can grow.
One of the things gardeners find most appealing about annual plants is their diversity and variety. Annuals allow creative growers to put together eye-popping combinations of colours that will last a whole season. From bright eye-catching flowers such as Mexican sunflowers and zinnias to the pastel hues of lavatera, annual plants give you a great palette to choose from!
Greenhouses come in many different shapes, sizes and styles, making it easy to find one that suits your tastes and wallet best. There are all sorts of designs from classic to contemporary styles. The best rule of thumb for buying a greenhouse is definitely with what you can afford; buy the best and biggest that you can. As always, quality shouldn’t be overlooked.
Don’t be discouraged by the cost of building your own greenhouse, as greenhouse gardening is really the newest innovative way to garden. You need to weigh up the gains from greenhouse gardening against the cost you will incur from building it.
After reading this article, it will become obvious that the benefits of greenhouse gardening far outweigh the costs.
Many herbs take well to growing in a sunny kitchen window, although some will bolt, as in send up a flower stalk and try to set seeds, much earlier at room temperature. Constantly harvesting indoor-grown herbs can keep them in a constant state of renewal.
A greenhouse is a perfect place to get herbs started for the season, and also to grow more tender or tropical selections like basil, bay leaf, marjoram, and lemongrass.
Knowing how to regulate the temperature and keep it from rising to levels that could potentially kill your plants is essential if you’re to have a consistent, healthy crop and while in Britain moderating winter temperatures is more difficult, maintaining productive temperatures during the summer can be just as important.
Growing your own produce in a greenhouse is an incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable pass time, but as with any hobby that requires a degree of skill and knowledge, the learning curve can be quite steep. Even when growing the hardiest of plant species, there is a large number of variables that can affect growth rates and the success of a yield.
There’s no better way to re-use your garden and kitchen waste than to transform it into nutrient packed growing material that you can use for plants. Making your own compost is easy, cost-effective and fun and this guide will give you everything you need to start composting.
As well as the natural immunity boost you get from being outdoors in the sun, getting your hands dirty in the soil also gives your immune system a significant boost. Mycobacterium Vaccae is a strain of bacteria that is found in almost all garden dirt. Mycobacterium Vaccae is known as a “friendly bacteria” as it has been shown to reduce allergic reactions, asthma and a number of skin problems and diseases.
If you like growing flowering plants for decorative use as well as edible crops in your greenhouse, the petunia is an excellent choice to plant at this time of year. Unlike some other plants you can grow from March, petunia plants do not need an additional heat source in early spring, and will grow comfortably in the shelter of your greenhouse.
One of the things that can cause the most weakness in a greenhouse is when it is not properly level. This can leave the panels and glass slightly loose and less protected than they should be – something that becomes far more of a problem when it is windy or wet. Choose a good greenhouse with the best build quality you can afford, and make sure you erect it so it is straight, level and stable.
Those who are new to greenhouse gardening often think that glasshouses are best suited to growing flowers, herbs, and perhaps cool season crops like leafy green vegetables. The common belief among novices is that “picky” summer vegetables like tomatoes and peppers can be started in a greenhouse in late winter or early spring, but must be moved outdoors once the weather warms up.
Most garden pests die off over winter because it is cold and they can’t survive in freezing temperatures, but in the relatively comfortable environment of a greenhouse, any remaining pests will thrive. Slugs, aphids, red spider mite and mealy bugs all like to hibernate in hidden places inside a greenhouse. If you don’t eradicate them before spring, your newly sown seedlings will provide a tasty banquet for them to feast on. A deep clean will help you locate any sneaky slugs and other pests before they cause havoc when you start sowing seeds.
We're all tempted to grow the extremes, the biggest or most flavourful and with chilli peppers, the hottest. But do think it through, there's little point in putting a lot of effort into growing a pepper that is so hot you can't actually use it. A milder variety means you can add flavour as well as heat to a dish where even one of the super-hot chillies can be too hot to taste and just makes the dish hot.
Greenhouses provide a warm, safe environment for gardeners to grow their precious plants and tender seedlings, but they are not always very environmentally friendly. But don’t worry because there are lots of ways you can make your greenhouse greener.
At one time ring culture was a popular greenhouse growing method for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and melons. The idea was that water was supplied to the plants through a trench filled with aggregate and the plants were fed via the compost held in bottomless pots placed onto the aggregate.
At the end of the season the plants and the small amount of compost would be recycled into the garden and the aggregate removed and cleaned. This was less work than digging out and replacing border soil each year but still fairly time consuming.
It's pretty obvious that the larger the greenhouse, the higher the cost of heating it but it is possible to curtain off a section of the house in the winter with bubble-wrap and reduce the volume that has to be heated.
Unless your garden is exceptionally small, or it’s a no-man’s land you rarely visit, there’s probably a good reason to have a garden shed somewhere on your property. You might use the shed to store a lawnmower or gardening tools, to grow or pot plants away from the elements, to house recreational items like footballs, bikes, or sleds, as a playhouse for the children, or even as a calm spot where you can escape from the family for a few minutes. You may only want a small structure with one room and a single door for access, or you may find that something fancier with windows, a shingled roof and even electrical power better meets your needs.
There are many complexities of greenhouse gardening that confuse people today. However, many of the rules and regulations that cause the most confusion are ones you can simply forget about. To have a really well cultivated greenhouse you simply need to use some real soil, add plenty of light and air, water when necessary and nourish the plants.
Greenhouse gardening is the best way to undertake winter gardening because it allows you to enjoy your hobby when it's freezing cold outside. Of course, if you want to see success here, there are some things you will need to do. Keep reading to find out more.
The first thing to decide is how much of your greenhouse you want to keep warm and so need to insulate. Usually a greenhouse starts to fill when the weather is warming in spring and in the cold of winter it's probably just overwintering some tender perennials and getting an early start on some seedlings so not needing all the available space.
Things will grow very slowly if at all in December and January. Not so much because of the temperature but because the length of the day is at its shortest around the winter solstice (21st December). They will be gathering their energies ready to leap ahead come February when the days noticeably lengthen so long as the greenhouse is at least frost free.
Grey mould, properly called botrytis, is caused by the common fungus Botrytis cinerea, and presents as a furry grey mould. As the season comes to an end and the nights grow cooler, the atmosphere in the greenhouse becomes more humid which encourages fungal growths like botrytis but it can be a problem at any time of the year.
“How can I get an allotment?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. The first thing to do is to find out where your local allotments are. Often sites aren't obvious from the road, being set behind houses and accessible from a nondescript lane. Many sites prefer to remain, if not hidden, then not obvious as this helps avoid problems from vandals and thieves.
Autumn is the time to restore and repair your lawn after a summer as a games field for the children. Start by scarifying – raking out any moss and dead grass which builds up into a thatch restricting the grass growth.
Spiking the lawn will improve drainage ready for the winter rain. Just insert a fork about 15 cm into the ground, rock it back and forth to open the hole and then repeat about 30 cm ahead. For bowling green standards, use a special hollow tined fork that removes a plug of soil.
To maximise the growing season, start tomato seedlings off indoors on a south facing window sill in February. Because the day length is still short and the light weak, the seedlings can be drawn and leggy. To help avoid this put a piece of cardboard covered with aluminium foil behind the seed tray to reflect light back onto the seedlings.
Usually though, those buying their first greenhouse won't realise how immensely useful they are until they have gone through a season. My first greenhouse was a 6x8, six feet wide and eight long.
That first summer I found myself trying to cram in 5 varieties of tomato, 3 types chilli peppers, 3 types of sweet pepper, cucumbers, aubergines and hanging baskets being brought on for the summer.
Greenhouses serve to both extend the growing season and to provide better growing conditions during the season, enabling us grow tender crops such as tomatoes and aubergines even in a bad summer.
In a good summer though the greenhouse can become a very hostile climate to grow in. It's surprising how quickly the temperature can soar to levels that kill our plants as surely as if they were put in the oven. That same sunlight that powers photosynthesis and growth can turn to scorching, killing the leaves.
To be honest, cleaning the greenhouse on a cold winter's day is not the most pleasant of tasks but it has to be done. Over the year the glass gets dirty and possibly has algae growing on it which will reduce the light that gets through by as much as 10%.
The other reason to thoroughly clean the house is to kill off the pests and problems that are overwintering inside, sheltered from the elements.