Things to remember for the garden this year

Last year was the first year I had a greenhouse for growing in. I had been growing things for a few years previously but getting a greenhouse opened up a lot of new possibilities for me. I learnt a lot last year about growing and will document some of those things. So here they are, in no particular order.

Don’t:

  • Don’t buy the cheapest compost you can find, it can ruin your entire harvest if your plants get a poor start. I found that cheap compost doesn’t hold water well so you have to water plants 2 or 3 times a day to stop them drying out.
  • Don’t sow your seeds too early. About now is roughly the right time for many plants, especially after the cold winter. I used to sow from late January and by the time it was warm enough to move the small plants outside, they had been inside for 3 or 4 months, and I think this hinders their growth.
  • Don’t water plants too frequently. Once or twice in hot weather per day is enough for most, and many don’t like having too much water.
  • Don’t space your plants too close together. This promotes the spread of disease, last year we lost all but 2 or 3 adult tomato plants to blight in the space of a couple of days because they were too close to each other.
  • Don’t use pond water for plants, I’m not sure but have a feeling that this can spread disease.
  • Don’t expect to get an adult plant from every seed you plant, plant more than you need so you have the headroom for some to die.
  • Don’t compost diseased plants.
  • Don’t spray in the greenhouse generally, give each plant attention and water for itself instead.
  • Don’t assume that in the greenhouse, hotter = better, most hot days the greenhouse door should be open for cool air, this also allows more bees in for pollination.

Do:

  • Sow seeds every 2 or 3 weeks to ensure you have a constant harvest. This is especially true for leaves such as lettuce and with most salad plants.
  • Take the time to sow seeds properly, do what the instructions say and mark each pot with a clear label (there’s nothing worse than not knowing what your plants are).
  • Store your seeds properly over the winter, in plastic airtight bags if possible. Make sure you label them.
  • Compost any healthy plants you have at the end of the year.
  • If you are growing peas or beans, plant as many as you have room for, and pick the pods as soon as they are ripe.
  • Look for seeds and seed potatoes/onions in cheap shops like Aldi, Netto and PoundLand.
  • Give the plants the enviornment they want – i.e. don’t put sprouts under plastic in the greenhouse and chillis outside.
  • Use your garden borders as well as the greenhouse and pots if you can.
  • Get exotic seeds, it’s surprising what can grow in a greenhouse or on a windowsill.
  • Cherish the time in early spring when your greenhouse is empty – it will soon be full!

Luke

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: