A greenhouse update: spring 2019

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There was much excitement when we replaced that rickety old polycarbonate greenhouse with our shiny new glass one, but it was excitement about having a new toy rather than of what was to come, because at that point, we really didn’t know what to expect.

So since it’s spring and we are actually using the greenhouse now, I thought it might be time for a wee update on how we are getting on and what we think of our new toy.

First thoughts

Temperature

Well the first thing I notice is that the glass greenhouse seems to take the heat a lot quicker. We are seeing the automatic windows opening way earlier in the season that we did previously and the greenhouse generally does feel warmer. Probably because it doesn’t have a howling gale going through it and rain seeping in. Yep you read that correctly. The old greenhouse was never quite water or wind tight. This one however, feels solid!

It’s not yet at the point in the year where the temperature is unpleasant in there, but there is a marked difference between outdoors and inside the greenhouse. Can’t wait to see how this changes as the weather changes.

Cleaning

Also it seems to stay clean which is a crazy thing to say because obviously I didn’t get a free shift of elves with the greenhouse sale who come in during the night and clean up. Or did I?

Check out youtube to see the naughty elf in the greenhouse.

But it does, it seems to stay clean. The glass is still clean. The old polycarbonate greenhouse got taken apart and cleaned every year because green sludge built up everywhere, also the polycarbonate discoloured badly.

Space

I also feel like I’ve got way more space, even though it’s exactly the same size. I don’t know if this is because I have more headroom in this one, but it definitely feels bigger.

There is also one thing which makes a huge difference but it’s not exactly the greenhouse. The new staging. I used to use cheap and nasty wire shelves which to be honest weren’t really much use for anything other than storing things but the new staging is really solid and practical so I can actually use it for potting on etc. It just makes the whole space feel more useable.

I am really happy pootling away in there and I feel like I can pootle and do so much.

Changes

One of the things that’s new and a bit exciting is that I can now hang baskets inside the greenhouse. Before I had to do a kind of magic balancing thing with an upside down stool but the new greenhouse, apart from being really solid, has rails for hanging stuff. Means I can have the baskets in there while the plants mature a bit and grow.

Only downside though, I keep forgetting! They are hanging just a t my head height.

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2 Comments

  1. Clive James Dorey

    Hi , I’m Clive (82 years of age) and I lost my beloved wife Greta 3 1/2 years ago – she loved gardening and allowed me to cut our small lawn , but banned me from weeding the flower beds . For the 1st time ever , I forced myself to do some serious gardening , unsupervised, and bought to sets of the grow pot systems you use , for the most part I was very successful , but the tomato selection I chose was a bit hit and miss , the beef tomatoes ( 2 plants) , were left to ripen too long as I was uncertain as to how they should look when ready to pick , and to be honest , living alone now with my little dog , the whole lot seemed to gang up on me and too many be ready for picking every day ! I did try some capsicums in one pot , but none of the peppers got to be more than the size of a salad tomato .
    So far this year , the only gardening I’ve done is watching with dread, the lawn starting to grow, and sadly every time that determination to get the mower out has overcome my dread, the rain has come down and saved me, that is only temporary relief of course, because by the time the grass has become lawnmower friendly again, it has grown a couple of inches ! That said, I now have the added worry of losing my little dog , POPPY aged 14 , who is very deaf and has cataracts; bit like me really, except both of my eyes have been operated on and I have 2 hearing aids !
    All the foregoing, although true, is basically a call for advisory help ! I haven’t even emptied the Quadgrows of last year’s dead stuff yet , and don’t know what to do with it when I do .
    My estate is huge – about 75’ L x 25’ W. South facing . It has the cheek to contain a posh shed, referred to by some as a summerhouse, and a reclaimed plastic tool shed at either end of the garden , on the East side . The next problem I have not yet solved is entirely your fault :- You have instilled a manic desire in me to have a small greenhouse , preferably a lean to type which could be attached to the South side of the ‘ SUMMERHOUSE ‘ , but having cause myself far too many raging headaches, I have been unable to find one with a ridge height that would fit the side of the ‘posh shed’. My next big big worry is , where else could I place a standard shape small greenhouse , similar to the one in which you have banged your bonce ?
    Can you find it in your heart to give me some amazing advice , or would it just be better if I moved out of the house and gave up any thoughts of not being as physically wrecked as I really am ?
    Maybe the best result for your sanity and my health (remembering that Poppy is more important than me ), would be for you to block me .
    PS. Seriously I know little or nothing about gardening, but I have enjoyed your videos , albeit that they have given me some ridiculous ideas !

  2. Hi Clive, it was so lovely to hear from you and don’t worry we have no intention of blocking you

    I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about Greta, I know there really isn’t anything I can say, but maybe just a little honesty might help you feel better. We all hear so much about how gardening is such a great aid for mental health and well being and I do genuinely believe it is. However, I think all of us on the internet and the tv celebrity gardeners could also do with being honest and saying, yup, sometimes we just can’t be bothered or feel overwhelmed. Folk out in internet land just generally don’t see that bit. So please, on those days, like this entire weekend, when you think I really can’t face it, don’t beat yourself up. Currently I am still in my PJs at 4pm ignoring the work that needs done cause it’s sucky weather so I’d rather not. It happens.

    Now for when you do feel a little blast of energy and inspiration, how awesome that you get to carry on Greta’s garden and create a nice and safe place for Poppy to play, and if I can offer any advise on this I am more than happy to. Although to be honest, you may want to ignore any advise I give as I’m currently crying over a ruined lawn for the second year. Too much fertilizer again and I have burned it, sigh!

    So greenhouses… admit it, you just want to make cocktails in there don’t you?

    well, I’m not sure what you mean when you are looking for sizes, and not knowing where you are location wise I can only give rough advice. Mine is quite a small footprint at 6ft by 8ft but is quite tall, the roof beginning at just above my headheight (5ft) and going to 7ft high at the ridge. I got it from Rhino Greenhouses and I would recommend it, but they are really expensive so it might be worth shopping around.

    As for tomatoes, oh I have been exactly where you are. The first couple of years I grew way too many plants and lots of varieties. It took me a couple of years to calm down and act on what I’d learned, which is this. The bigger the actual tomato the longer they take to ripen, so in the rubbish summers of Scotland, beefsteak are out, I tend to focus on cherry tomatoes. Also, keep on top of pruning the plants, this helps to stop them going mad and taking over. We make it a daily thing to go for a ten minute walk around the garden each evening as soon as we get in from work and I pull suckers off the tomato plants and Kate pulls weeds. just ten mins, but that stops it turning into a massive job.

    Also space wise, if you stick to cordons, they take up less space than bush varieties.

    Lastly, little Poppy. We are animal lovers too and you may have seen in the blog that we lost our beloved Elmo (our old man of a cat) not long after we moved into the house. He loved the garden and even after he had gone blind, still insisted on doing his evening stroll around the garden and chomping ( cause he had no teeth left) on the grass. When he died, I buried his ashes in a big pot and planted some fancy grass in there with him, he wouldn’t have been happy with run of the mill stuff, and when I am in the garden I still chat to him. All in all, Poppy should absolutely be your priority, after all she would give everything for you, so don’t leave her out, the garden can be your place to be together too, give her a big plummy pillow in your new greenhouse when it comes and let her sit with you with the radio on and a cup of tea ( and a wee dog biscuit) and enjoy. If she doesn’t feel like it, that’s ok. Same as when you don’t.

    So when you are ready, just bin the old nonsense from the quad grows. Get some new matting and choose what you are going to grow. Take your time and have fun. It’s ok to just have one quadgrow running with maybe a couple of tomatoes and a couple of something else. Whatever takes your fancy. But always feel free to shout on us for advice and an attaboy when you need it.

    Maybe the rain will pass and we’ll get a wee blast of sunshine to boost our energy

    Love

    Eli & Kate

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