Garden // Using our Greenhouse

July 05, 2018

A few of you have got in touch to ask about our greenhouse! I haven't shared much with it since it was finished last September but her first growing season is fully underway. You can see how it was built in this post here but lots of you wanted to know how we use it. So I thought I'd share our first year with it so far... 

The main purpose of a greenhouse is to provide growing light and shelter for tender plants and to start seedlings off in the Spring. Then as the season goes on, grow heat loving plants like Aubergines and tomatoes which will thrive best under cover. 

Our greenhouse isn't heated, we could add a heater for the winter, but we found it was still frost free enough to store some plants over the winter in here like our olive trees and geraniums to keep them going. I don't think I've got any photos of that though when the garden was covered in snow!

And then came Spring time. We started our seedlings off around the end of February/beginning of March {see this post for what I did around that time} in seed trays and seed compost. Having the potting bench out here was amazing, in the past we've always had seedlings in our spare rooms! We started both flowers and veg seedlings off in here, the increasing sunlight encouraging them to grow. It's not too hot in here at that time, it heats up in the day but cools at night {and I'd definitely recommend a good thermometer to have in there to keep a check} but you don't want it too warm like your house would be or it can encourage leggy seedlings. You want strong steady growth. 

We also started our dahlias off in here {see this post on everything to do with dahlias} around March time and kept them in here until the risks of frost had gone and we could plant them in the ground.

Once our tomato seedlings were big enough, after a few weeks, we planted them into the bed on the right of the greenhouse. We love having a bed on one side for greater root growth/water retention/soil and the bench on the other for seedlings/smaller pots. Ben placed a ladder over the tomatoes on the ground and fitted another ladder up at the top by the roof and then put bamboo canes in between to give support and something to tie the tomatoes onto. We filled the bed with grow bag compost and now feed and water them regularly to boost them up for flowering and fruits. Once they've started making the fruit we'll trim some of the leaves off around August time to make sure the fruit is in the sun enough to ripen up. 

They've got so tall already! See photos at the end of this post for what they look like now.

The start of this year's allotment produce. Will share a full allotment post soon {and see these for previous years posts}.

Larkspur, cosmos and sweet pea seedlings back in March. Sweet peas are SO rewarding to grow.

At one stage we were fit to bursting and had things under the bench too!

There's always a mad time around the end of April where it can still be chilly at night so you can't plant things out just yet, so the greenhouse is full and you're just waiting to transplant it all.

Pumpkins & squashes!

Cosmos ready to plant out.


Some photos from the last couple of weeks. All of the veg that we'd grown is now in the ground at the allotment growing away, and a lot of the flower seeds too. So now we pretty much just have aubergines in pots, tomatoes everywhere and a few spare flower seedlings along with some chrysanthemums left in here. And on the top shelf we've got decorative trailing geraniums my Grandma grew from seed years ago.


Of course, the only downside is keeping it watered. Being covered, it heats up quickly in the summer and so needs watering everyday , we might think about getting an irrigation system fitted in there for next summer. We leave the doors and windows open at this time of year for ventilation.

I hope that helps to answer a few questions? Do let me know if you have anything specific I haven't answered!

R <3 xx 

p.s. last year's pumpkin and squash display...

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