A greenhouse update: spring 2019

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.




Making the most of your 6 by 8 foot greenhouse

Last week she was bare, this week she is all gussied up in her finery.

So how do you make a small greenhouse work for all seasons?




New greenhouse: we’ve got a rhino in the garden

After 6 years, metres of duct tape, 4 replacement roof panels, countless replacement bolts, and a lot of chasing random sheets of plastic about in the wind…  we have finally replaced our little polycarbonate greenhouse with a nice, shiny, new rhino. This time it’s a traditional glass one, with toughened safety glass and it’s not boring aluminium, it’s GREEN!!!!! I am so excited.

Our old, polycarbonate one did us well. It was our first proper greenhouse, so we didn’t want to fork out a huge amount of money to discover that we really weren’t into the greenhouse gardening thing, the cheaper option was a good starting point. And let’s be honest, it was a step up from my very first (pretend) greenhouse, which was a tiny plastic thing on my balcony. As you can imagine, I didn’t get many tomatoes… well any!  God, it’s a wonder I even gave things another try really.

As you’ve seen over the years, the polycarbonate greenhouse did a damn good job, giving us huge harvests of tomatoes and peppers (she was a bit of a youtube star) as well as herbs but it didn’t stand up well to the crazy winds we get here in East Lothian and we were continuously making repairs and chasing bits of polycarbonate around our neighbourhood in a storm. So after the last storm, we decided it was time for her to retire (we lost most of the roof).

Although she did sport some glamorous hedgehog duct tape for a while (thanks Kirsty).

We’ve decided this time as well, to have a proper installer come and build it. Kate and I did it ourselves last time and although it wasn’t horrendous, we’ve decided we wanted to start off on the right foot, have the greenhouse properly put together so that it will last us many years to come. And lets face it, this thing wasn’t cheap, so having a proper installer put it together doesn’t seem like a crazy expense does it?

So as we mentioned, we’ve gone with Rhino, a British made greenhouse that is advertised specifically as being crazy strong and capable of standing up to incredible winds. It also has a 25 year guarantee. I’d say that is money well spent.

As I write this post, Danny Paton the local Rhino greenhouse installer is out in the garden in the pelting rain and freezing cold (he’s wearing a wetsuit – tricks of the trade) installing it. I feel really guilty so will keep him going with tea and biscuits.

We’ve chosen this specific greenhouse after months of research, we really wanted something strong, durable and something which is going to last. We weren’t focussing on all the different asthetic designs as we are happy with the look of our other greenhouse. But I don’t want to be lying awake at night listening to the wind and worrying anymore.

Another thought had been, do we want to take this opportunity to get a bigger greenhouse, and it was a tempting thought as I do a lot of seasonal shoogling to make things work in my greenhouse. I have different needs for spring as i do the rest of the year, but we decided that as we use the garden for a few different purposes, we didn’t want to sacrifice any more space when I had pretty much got my greenhouse routine down. So we’ve stuck with an 8 by 6ft.

So… I guess you are all saying – “come on Eli, shut up with the rambling and introduce us to Olive” (that’s what I’m naming her).

See the new greenhouse and it being installed…