OK it’s September. Someone want to explain to me how that happened? I can’t be the only person who hasn’t quite managed to get out of April yet, surely?
As you guys know, September is usually the month where we start winding down in the garden. The tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse will stop ripening towards the end of this month and I have to cut everything back and get the greenhouse cleared out. The garden too will gradually become more bare and beds will empty. I’m not a fan of this time of year mostly because the garden looks bleak when it’s empty and the weather turns… BUT
This year we are going to treat Autumn as an experiment. I am going to try to keep the herbs going over winter in the greenhouse and I am going to try to at least have another batch of carrots going in the beds. Fingers crossed. This is a bit new so we’ve no idea if this will actually work, but hey, the fun is in the trying.
So the first thing I’ve done to prepare is to disable the auto-ventilation on the windows in the greenhouse. Those things are fantastic in summer when it is genuinely hot and you need a way of ensuring a bit of air flow, but the problem with them is in how they determine when to open. I’ve said before that mine open when I don’t think it’s warm enough to justify it, and this is because the cylinder which acts as a temperature gauge is in full sun, so it heats up because of the sunlight on it rather than the ambient temperature in the greenhouse. Now over the coming weeks I can’t have that happening because I need to store as much heat in the greenhouse as I can to help the tomatoes and peppers ripen. So I have disabled the auto vents and will just have to keep an eye on things manually – which I don’t think will be an issue – it’s only 12C as I type this.
Those of you who are new to our adventures may be wondering why I am labouring over autumn, after all I have a greenhouse…….. well there are a few myths around greenhouse and poly tunnel growing. One of which is that you can grow over the colder months because its warmer in the greenhouse. Unfortunately this is a bit misleading. When there is a lot of sun, the greenhouse can get a bit warmer than the temperature outside. However, when it’s proper cold, like in winter, the greenhouse is generally no warmer than the outside temperature. You can try to help with by insulating the greenhouse, and you’ll see people add bubble wrap to the walls and ceiling. This does help a bit. But generally, unless you have power to heat your greenhouse (which we don’t), it’s really not going to get more than 1 or 2 degrees warmer in there than it is in the garden. Hence the planning and scheming.
So this is going to be something to watch out for as we go off on an adventure and learn more about autumn and winter growing. We’ll keep you up to date as always.