Real Men Sow

7 Tips For Tidying Up the Greenhouse

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I’ve got to say, the greenhouse is one of absolute best places to be at the moment. I know it’s winter, but the weather is amazingly mild and the inside of a greenhouse is just-jumper territory!

There isn’t much you can be sowing, save for some overwintering broad beans, but being out there, taking in that damp greenhouse smell, is a joy to behold.

Just because there isn’t much you can sow, doesn’t mean you can’t be busy in the greenhouse. Now is the perfect time to give your greenhouse some TLC, and make sure everything is ready for some February seeds.

Here are 7 tips for looking after your greenhouse.

Clear out everything
Removing everything from the greenhouse means you can search all over for any slimies that have taken shelter inside, or anything that could cause disease. Greenhouses are notorious for harbouring pests, especially given all the pots and associated paraphernalia that normally live there. Snails and slugs love hiding under these sorts of things, so don’t leave any nook and cranny unturned!

Remove dead leaves and foliage
Disease in a plant can easily spread around the greenhouse, so makes sure all dead leaves are removed and ideally burnt.

Protect plants whilst you’re working
Although the weather is showing signs of getting milder, make sure that you protect any plants that you put outside whilst you’re clearing up. Even a few hours in the cold can affect a plant that has spent the whole winter inside.

You really don’t want to lose those tender overwinterers that you’ve worked so hard to grow. Put them in a coldframe or cover them in horticultural fleece (bubble wrap is a cheap alternative), and get the plants back inside as soon as you can.

Control the Weeds
With temperatures higher in a greenhouse, weeds will start growing earlier than outside so don’t let them take a grip. Keep weeds down with regular hoeing, and use weed suppressant fabric or cardboard on bare soil. This will rob the weeds of sunlight and stop them growing.

Don’t forget the weeds outside of the greenhouse. Keep the perimeter clear to prevent weeds coming in under your base.

Wash the glass down
Give the greenhouse panes a good wash down with hot, soapy water. Poor light can prevent plant growth, and makes your greenhouse look a bit naff. Lovely, clear panes brighten the place up no end.

Check for broken panes.
Panes of greenhouse glass are often thin, and can easily become brittle from the cold or smash in windy weather. Not only is this dangerous, it can leave holes for pest and vermin to get inside, as well as cold drafts.

If you do find a broken pane, local glass companies can cut replacements cheaply for you if you provide measurements.

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meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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