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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.