20 messages
11/05/2012 at 19:56
Hi I've just starting getting the gardening bug having seen a full year in our new home and what surprises were lurking in the beds (beautiful bluebells!). Having recently planted a Vegtrug full of goodies and spent a fortune on plants for my pots I'm really keen to grow these from seed next year so am looking at buying a greenhouse. I'm not really sure where to start so if anyone can share tips on best makes of greenhouse and any good books that will help me begin my greenhouse gardening I would be really grateful. Thanks
11/05/2012 at 20:33

I bought a greenhouse last year from the greenhouse people, they advertise in the Gardeners World mag. They were really helpful. My first growing season and i really wish i had bought one before. At the moment its full of plants waiting to go to the allotment. I plan to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and chillis in it. Its been a bit of a learning curve and i hope to learn from my mistakes.

11/05/2012 at 20:38

Hello and welcome.

Best advice that I can offer is to get the largest greenhouse you can afford and have in your garden. Over a short time you will fill it up, esp over winter.

I would say that a wooden greenhouse with glass is best option. Metal frame with glass or plastic comes second. Those lightweight plastic bag growframes that you see are not really worth it.

Getting electricty and water in the greenhouse is also something you should plan for.

Location - west facing if possible, also sheltered is good as you do not want it to smash in strong winds.

17/05/2012 at 14:26
Thanks for the advice. Have had a measure up and can fit one in twice as big as I originally thought so am off to order it on Sunday.......very excited but also a bit daunting as will be a steep learning curve!!!! Have electricity next to it and hose just about reaches so just need to get myself some seeds and plugs!!!
17/05/2012 at 15:14
You will have many happy hours in your greenhouse! I sometimes think that mine is my favourite place in the whole world. Do let us know how you are getting on with it.
17/05/2012 at 18:33

As figrat said having a greenhouse is the best thing in the world. I have now got two of them and I love them. I use one for my main growing and the smaller one for harding off. I have only had the second one about 6 weeks and while we were away on holiday  the police had chased a car into our road and the person they were chasing then bailed out of the car and ran down the side of our neighbours house lept over the fence and straight through my greenhouse roof, I was so upset when we got home to see it all twisted and broken with glass everywhere but thankfully my plants survived. My husband has now repaired it so I am up and running again. I spend many happy hours in the greenhouse and I hope you do too, good luck and enjoy.

17/05/2012 at 22:20

I ordered a polycarbonate 8x6 greenhouse from the company below, on Tuesday evening on-line. It arrived Thursday. The two of us started to construct it on Saturday morning and had it finished by Sunday evening. By Monday evening, all my seedlings and young plants had been removed from every windowsill in my house into the new greenhouse.

The service from this company has been really good.  I received a courtesy phone call the day after my order to ensure that they had my instructions correct. All parts were delivered intact. Instructions were very good, although we did rush some stages in our eagerness, and had to go back to re-check what we had done!

I am really pleased with the greenhouse and I think I am definitely going to "spend many happy hours" there.

http://www.summergardenbuildings.co.uk/

18/05/2012 at 14:22

I miss my greenhouse, I've decided because we aren't going away on holiday this year I'm going to save up and treat myself for birthday and christmas

Hope MandyB will let us have a sneeky peep when she's up and running!

18/05/2012 at 14:37

This is my first year with a greenhouse, and it has been one of the best things i have ever bought.  Have grown a load of plants from seed, overwintered tender plants, and have now got tomato plants, sweet peppers and chillies growing, like the other people who have replied I spend an awful lot of time down there!  Enjoy MandyB!

18/05/2012 at 14:54

My GH is my sanctuary - I could (do, actually) spend hours there, especially in the spring when I'm sowing seed, pricking out plants and potting them on etc.  I take my radio and it is a little bit of heaven, snug inside no matter what the weather is like.

My suggestions would be, like others, get one as big as you can afford and locate.  Then have an electric fan, that can be set for "frost" setting.  It keeps the temperature just above freezing, but only switches on when the thermostat registers the temp.  I have it a little bit warmer when I have seeds in there, but also use electric propogators, which have helped enormously.

I also insulate in the winter - bubble wrap does keep it extra cosy, so the running costs are kept as low as possible.

Hope that helps.

18/05/2012 at 15:07
Bloke electrified my gh last year, and it has made such a difference! I have a basic fan heater like Shrinking Violet, also good in the summer (haha!) for cooling it down just on the fan setting. Heated propagators also very worthwhile. Oh, and automatic vent openers are invaluable as well. I used to have a wind up radio, but that conked out recently. Used to love pottering about on a Sunday afternoon listening to Gardener's Question Time.
18/05/2012 at 15:38

Oh, yes figrat - I'd forgotten all about the fan being set to cool the GH down in the summer.  (Not surprising, really, since I can't remember when we had a real, hot summer )  I would like automatic vent openers, but the ones I have got, I am unable to fit.  OH said he would do it ummmmmmm a few, ummmmmm a lot of years ago.  Still waiting. 

18/05/2012 at 16:50

Unlike Lilyanne, I've not had a good experience with my polycarbonate greenhouse which I've had since November last year and my advice would be to avoid them. I only recently got into gardening, wasn't sure I'd stick at it, so bought a cheap polcarbonate Gardman greenhouse.

The quality is awful, there are loads of gaps meaning it doesn't stay very warm once the sun goes down. The 'metal' bits, nuts, bolts and frame seem to be an alloy with strength aligned to a ripe cheddar, I sheared several bolts whilst hand tightening them. When it is windy (I live in Newcastle, to be fair we've had worse than usual recently), I regularly loose panels, some I've still not found, that's despite trying to use many clips, No More Nails and outdoor sealant, the problem is really the frame again which flexes so much because it is so weak. The flxing has warped the weak metal base, so it is no longer flush with the ground, so drafts and many creepy crawlies get in.

Gardman customer service has been nice, swift and sent me a number of replacement parts, panels, clips and the plastic door haning one that broke. But it doesn't make up for the product being so pathetic.

I'll be buying a glass, decent branded one soon and breaking this one up for cold frame parts, if i have any panels left by then.

18/05/2012 at 19:59

My advice to start with is to stop 'spending a fortune'. Our greenhouse was already here when we moved in eighteen years ago. No glass and in the wrong place in the shade of a pair of large Yew trees. I moved ours after laying a slab of concrete and building a brick plinth to allow more headroom. Our garden has evolved since then with the minimum of expense as i love growth plants from cuttings. My 72+ roses were in the main Christmas/birthday gifts or grown from cuttings or seed, or 'orphans' who we gave a home to. We swop plants with gardening friends and slowly bit by bit the garden has nicely matured. Compost bins were made from scrap timber, lawnmowers were always secondhand. In July we once again open the garden to the public. Enjoy your garden and your gardening but don't throw money at it. That to my mind is not the way to go about it.

18/05/2012 at 20:01

If you want a greenhouse, talk to friends or neighbours, look in the free ads. Someone is always giving one away for free. And get a big one.

18/05/2012 at 20:13

Im currently scouting around on ebay for one. I just have to try and talk the other half round because they usually have to be dismantled by the buyer. I have not got a clue on greenhouse gardening and some of the things i read makes me think "it all sounds a tad confusing". But hey im going to go for it and learn from my mistakes

18/05/2012 at 20:25

averil - we were all GH virgins once upon a time

It isn't as daunting as it might at first seem - and a good bit of common sense, a reading of all sorts of gardening books - and asking on a good forum such as this, will help you to overcome the initial apprehension you may have.  When I first had a GH I had precious few frames of reference - you have the advantage that you can ask questions as you go along.

So - enjoy!  And no matter how humdrum your question may seem, please ask.  There are many who will be only too happy to help.

18/05/2012 at 20:28

Its not difficult and there are simple books on the subject especially in the Hessayon 'Expert' series. I use my greenhouse mainly for caring for cuttings, growing from seeds and sheltering tender fuchsias over the winter,

18/05/2012 at 20:28

Thankyou Violet. 

18/05/2012 at 20:41

You're welcome averil.  I look forward to hearing how your GH experiences develop.

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