Grow Your Own
If you're interested in growing your own fruit and veg, this seasonal guide explaining what to grow and do in the greenhouse at each stage of the year will be of great help.
One of the most valuable assets any gardener may possess is a greenhouse. For those gardeners fortunate enough to have one, the growing season can be extended. This enables gardeners to make the best use of the sun for longer periods of time.
A wide range of fruit and vegetable crops can be produced in a greenhouse. Furthermore, since the greenhouse environment can be controlled, providing heat and extending the growing season it is important to understand which crops to plant during the different seasons of the year.
It’s been a great growing season up to now with plenty of rain and a good dollop of sun. Soil and compost are getting tired and some are struggling to keep up with the demands of voracious root systems. Feeding time!
Plants in containers concern me most as you cannot get the natural interaction between soil organisms and roots required for the best healthy and sustainable growth. A little bit extra is needed. But even plants in natural soil can starve their surroundings, especially fast growing and active plants.
Get Planting with Raised Beds and Planters
As we finally welcome warmer weather, it's the favourite time of year for most gardeners. And it’s raised beds and containers that allow gardeners across the UK to get ahead of the game.
Both can help with earlier sowing and planting and are easy to protect if any cold weather dares to head back. Get the best from your beds and pots by following a few guidelines.
Raised beds are more easily managed than big wide borders. Weeding, watering, feeding and protecting your plants is far simpler when you are focusing on one area.
When constructing your raised beds, it's a top tip to line them with empty compost sacks (folded inside out so the black part is showing into the bed). This will protect the wood from water damamge - especially if your planter is not pressure treated.
Remember to occassionaly check newly constructed raised beds
The Year of the Potting Shed
Sitting somewhere between a conventional shed and a greenhouse, the potting shed was for too long overlooked and undervalued.
Homeowners, searching for a strong and hardwearing garden storage facility, traditionally turned to its alpha-male big brother, the conventional shed, to satisfy their needs.
Gardeners, desperate to secure those few extra degrees of winter heat for their beloved plants, typically found themselves seduced by the glamour of its younger sister, the greenhouse, with her slender frame and see-through panels leaving little to the imagination.
Lost in this garden ‘no man’s land’, a lesser building might have accepted its fate and vanished into obscurity, but not the potting shed.
For those in the know have always seen the true value of this wonderful structure, and now more people are catching on. Many more people. So many, in fact, that 2018 promises to be the start of a new er
As winter’s frosty jaws bite deeper into the soft underbelly of autumn, now is the time to get your greenhouse sorted. No one wants tender plants to be savaged by the cold. Obviously.
Choose a relatively warm, dry day and get everything out of your greenhouse. Give all staging a wash down with soapy water including the glazing. Pay particular attention to the nooks and crannies or anywhere that bugs can overwinter. Let it all dry and then put your plants back in. Diseases will be reduced and light levels maximised.
If you can, put all your plants together on the staging in one half of the greenhouse. Choose the half away from the door. You can then put up a curtain of bubble plastic at this halfway point, in effect halving the length of your greenhouse. This will help in keeping heating costs down and your plants snug.
Earlier this month, we spoke to our friends at The National Allotment Society about National Allotment Week, the benefits of keeping allotments, and how The National Allotment Society works to provide, promote and preserve allotments.
Find out all about their work, as well as how and why you should get involved in National Allotment Week this year in our interview below.
Interview with The National Allotment Society
1. The National Allotment Society – can you tell our readers a bit about yourselves?
The National Allotment Society (NSALG) is the leading national organisati
The Best Wooden Greenhouses
The look, smell and sheer beauty of a wooden greenhouse is one of life's greatest pleasures. Superbly practical with inherent good looks - a wooden greenhouse is a structure to cherish.
Here are a few of our best greenhouses:
Wooden Mini Greenhouse:
This is a lovely way to get started in greenhouse gardening or if your garden is bijou. It’s ideal for an experienced gardener as well. All the timber in this 1.2m x 0.62m mini greenhouse is pressure treated and therefore has a whopping 15 year guarantee against rot. The wide double doors allow easy access to your seedlings and plants while the tongu
Nothing beats the taste and aroma of freshly picked herbs especially when they have travelled food metres and not miles. A herb planter placed in a sunny spot outside your kitchen door will provide handfuls if not armfuls of herbs for many months of the year.
Whichever herb planter you choose, ensure it has plenty of drainage holes and is planted up using well-drained compost. Add extra grit until you hear the crunch when mixing. Drainage and a sunny site is vital to the success of your plants. But first, the planters:
Devon herb planter (SHS248) is a superb planter. Its wooden, made of tongue and groove cladding and is sturdy. The planter has a 15 year guarantee against rot and is easy to put together. A couple of hours tops from receiving the package to getting ready to fill with that quality well drained compost. It is 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep – and that's a great space to grow a lot of herbs.
Your Guide to Buying a Lean to Greenhouse
A greenhouse makes so much more of the gardening year: you can start growing early in spring; you can finish late in autumn; and you can keep things looking great over winter.
But a greenhouse can take up a lot of space. You do after all need a few feet all around a traditional greenhouse for maintenance and to allow light into the structure. So, if you want a greenhouse but are limited on space, look no further than a lean to greenhouse. They are fantastic.
A lean to does what it says in the name – they lean against a wall. I’ve seen them leaning against sturdy fencing to great effect. The pent shape roof then slopes downwards and, voila, you have a superb growing area.
The benefits of a lean to greenhouse
Size: Lean-tos can be small – capable of growing a growbag of tomatoes or a few tender plants – or as big as you want. Or, to be accurate,
A potting shed is a special shed with a purpose of its very own. It is designed for us gardeners who love to grow-your-own, nurture seedlings into plants and spend hours pottering in the shed. Perhaps they should be called pottering sheds instead? Here we look at a few different potting shed designs that allow us pottering gardeners the best environment and storage for growing.
Potting Shed Designs
Potting sheds are the perfect solution to growing seedlings and plants in a garden where there isn’t space for a dedicated greenhouse. Combining the best of both worlds, you will have plenty of space for all your storage needs and masses of growing area to raise your tender seedlings.