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  3. Beginners guide to greenhouse gardening
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  3. Beginners guide to greenhouse gardening

Beginners guide to greenhouse gardening

Every gardener would benefit greatly from having a greenhouse as it lets them make the most of the sun. Gardeners will be able to extend the growing season and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers from even the smallest, unheated structure.

“For newcomers, the beginning can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. To help, we’ve compiled a list of easy-to-grow greenhouse plants. After that, you can start to level up and get excited about growing some difficult plants,” says Chris Bonnett, a gardening expert for The Express.

Checking the temperature, soil, space, and water sources are all important parts of good planning. With the assistance of your greenhouse, you can support an extremely productive harvest throughout the year. There may be some challenges, but we have a few tips to help you overcome and master these problems.

A beginners guide to greenhouse gardening

Why is a greenhouse necessary?

Many of the foods we want to eat are often grown in different parts of the world, where they probably thrive in warmer, humid conditions. Gardeners can create a warmer and more favourable environment for delicate or demanding plants by using a greenhouse. Pests, birds, and rodents can be kept out of crops and plants by greenhouses. Additionally, greenhouses provide an excellent barrier against hail, strong winds, and heavy rain.

Why does a greenhouse help plants grow better?

Because they come in a variety of sizes, you don’t need a lot of space to have your own greenhouse, which can be useful for any garden. Because of their controlled environment, these are also excellent for gardening. You can save time by setting up an automatic timer to water the plants in many greenhouses. In addition, greenhouses provide a consistent supply of concentrated carbon dioxide, which allows plants to grow larger leaves and a more robust stem. Also, there is a good chance that the plants will be more likely to fruit and flower early.

When to grow vegetables in a greenhouse

A heated or unheated greenhouse can be used all year to get the most out of it, but it’s rarely cost-effective.

Sow hardy plants like Brussel sprouts, cabbage, early leeks, lettuce, onions, and peas late in the winter or early in the spring for later planting out. Crop such as tomatoes, peppers and other tender plants can be sown early, so long as they are in a heated greenhouse.

Sowing tender, fast-growing plants like sweetcorn, squash, melons, and courgettes in the middle of spring is ideal so that they can be planted in their final positions under glass in the late spring or outside in the early summer. Using a heated propagator can help the plant grow.

Sow basil seeds to grow indoors or transplant outside during the summer, and purchase ready-grown pepper and tomato plants to introduce to unheated greenhouses.

Summer greenhouse plants should be planted indoors late in the spring or early in the summer. After the frost has passed, harden off and plant the young plants of outdoor crops.

Summer crops should be harvested in the middle of the season, and spent cucumber, French bean, and melon crops should be removed. These crops can be replaced by later-sown plants. Plant parsley, French beans, and calabrese outside so that they can be brought in after the summer crops are finished.

Sow baby carrots and lettuce indoors in late summer if space permits to take advantage of the autumn sun and produce late harvests. In heated greenhouses, plant new potatoes for Christmas crops.

Summer crops should be removed in the autumn. Plant out lettuces into beds or develop sacks to reap over winter. Broad beans and peas can be planted to overwinter, then transplant them when clay soils are easier to work with in the early spring. Plant hardy lettuce cultivars and pea shoots for indoor spring harvesting. Move potted herbs inside to prolong their growth.

You can use a full size or mini greenhouse depending on your garden size

How to use a greenhouse in 6 steps

1. Planning

It is essential to measure the floor space for grow bags and the beds in your greenhouse. Make sure you have enough space for all the summer crops you want to grow in your greenhouse. Seedlings should have plenty of room on benches because many of them will be moved outside when greenhouse crops in the summer need more room. Before summer greenhouse crops require space, a catch crop of salad leaves can be sown in greenhouse borders.

2. Sowing seed indoors

Clean trays and pots, the seed that does not contain peat, and multipurpose compost are all you need. Follow the directions on the seed packet to the letter. Seeds will germinate on a heated propagator unit in the greenhouse or a sunny windowsill indoors (be aware that the propagator may struggle to maintain warm temperatures in cold weather in unheated greenhouses).

3. Growing on

Seedlings will require a light, ice free area to develop whenever they have sprouted; A greenhouse that is not heated probably won’t get warm enough until April. You might want to think about heating and fleecing a section of your greenhouse that is partitioned in order to create a favorable environment for the growth of tender plants. Be prepared to cover young plants with fleece or provide additional heating in the event of a frost by keeping an eye on the weather forecast.

4. Planting

When crops are sturdy and well-rooted, plant them in their final positions. It is possible to plant in growing bags, containers, or the borders of a greenhouse. Fall salads can be made with grow bags by removing a long panel at the top to make a shallow bed. Tie cordon tomatoes into strings or canes and make sure climbing plants like cucumbers and melons have enough support.

5. Summer maintenance

Install irrigation or check the watering every day; tomatoes can suffer from issues like blossom end rot if they are not given enough water. On hot days, ventilate greenhouses by opening doors and vents. Cucumbers that like warmth can have their vents kept closed but raise humidity by dampening down. Alternately, use clear plastic or fleece to separate a portion of the greenhouse. There will need to be some shading; As it will initially slow growth, it is best to gradually add this. Hang yellow tacky snares to give early advance notice of bugs. Then, it is possible to quickly order biological controls. Frequently attach new growth to supports; squeeze out the tomatoes’ side shoots.

6. Winter maintenance

Maintain structures in a clean state, particularly the glass, as we want as much light as possible to enter. For many structures, bubble wrap-style insulation suffices in keeping in warmth during winter. In heated greenhouses, guarantee an indoor regulator is used to keep a base temperature in the evenings. Buy a minimum/maximum thermometer to keep an eye on temperatures in all greenhouses. Take the time to clean, oil and maintain your garden tools which can carry disease.

Protect your plants by cleaning your greenhouse regularly

Our favourite easy-to-grow greenhouse vegetables, fruit, herbs & flowers

Growing fruit and vegetables is often a favourite for greenhouse gardeners. The best thing is to have your own organic crop supply all year long, and greenhouses can help you live a healthy life. As a result, we’ve selected these thirteen simple fruit and vegetables for beginners to grow in their greenhouses:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peppers
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Chillies
  • Lemons

You can now easily access culinary and medicinal herbs daily. Your interest in gardening will undoubtedly get a jump start with these suggested easy-to-grow herbs:

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Bay Laurel
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Mint

If you grow your flowers in a greenhouse, you can still feel like spring even in the winter. These easy-to-grow flowers will undoubtedly provide the ideal setting:

  • Violets
  • Peace Lily
  • Marigolds
  • Daisies
Grow strawberries in the greenhouse


Dig out the soil in greenhouse borders every three to five years and replace it with bought-in topsoil or good garden loam to prevent the growth of soil-borne diseases. When soil problems are suspected, grafted plants may be of assistance.

When the soil is questionable, an alternative is to use grow bags and large pots. Pots or bags can be placed on top of white plastic sheeting that has been placed over the soil. If no diseases are present, potting media, including grow bags, can be reused at least once for different crops.

The diseases damping off, grey mould, and powdery mildew are to be avoided. Glasshouse red spider mites, glasshouse whitefly, and glasshouse leafhoppers are common under-glass pests.

How to heat your greenhouse on a budget

Whether your greenhouse is glass or plastic, you might have to ponder warming it during the cooler months. The glass structure can be warmed up using electric fan heaters, but you can also do a few other things to keep the temperature stable.

Make use of soil-warming cables

Soil-warming cables are made to heat greenhouse borders, benches, and propagating trays. Because the silicone leads deliver heat to the roots, where it is most needed, the top growth will not harm the roots.

Utilise blinds to capture natural sunlight.

Blinds are an investment worth making for your greenhouse. Keep the internal blinds open to heat your greenhouse when the sun is shining, and when it gets dark, lower them to keep the heat in.

Insulate with bubble wrap.

You can also cover windows with bubble wrap to stop heat loss. During the winter, the bubble wrap should be cut to size and affixed to the inside of the closed glass to keep in as much heat as possible. If you have a small greenhouse you can also cover the outside of your greenhouse in a plastic wrapping.

Protect your greenhouse in winter by using bubble wrap or plastic as insulation
Updated on April 10, 2024

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