London (change)
15 messages
04/08/2014 at 16:35

Not sure if this is the correct part of the forum but I purchased a small greenhouse in May this year.  I can't really afford to heat it and wondered what I might be able to overwinter.  I have grown lupins and hollyocks from seed and have also taken cuttings from penstemmons that I plan to keep in the greenhouse over the winter.  I live in the midlands in a suburban environment.  I was planning to start annuals off early in the year but I really have no greenhouse experience.  I have bought a book but in my view theres no better advice than that of gardeners so hope you can help re how early I can start annuals of what I can overwinter.

04/08/2014 at 17:10

Everything you have mentioned would be fine in the greenhouse. I dont heat mine and use it to over winter cuttings, early seed sowing, protecting slightly tender plants.

It is not just the higher temps. that help, but the protection from wind and rain, which is what kills many plants outside.

I start my hardy annuals in late Feb. / early March, but I also sow some in Autumn and then over winter, and some perennials get sown in winter in the greenhouse. In particular this seems to work very well for Himalayan poppies.

04/08/2014 at 17:26

Hi Yviestevie.  It'll be my first winter with a greenhouse too. I'm busy collecting polystyrene to help with the more tender items. I'm hoping raising them up and putting pots onto / into polystyrene and bubble wrap will help. Got very excited when got new dishwasher few weeks ago as came on large polystyrene tray....

04/08/2014 at 17:30

Hi thanks for replying. Pukdoc, dont the annuals started in the autumn get leggy before you can put them out?

04/08/2014 at 17:32

It's worth experimenting with one or two dubious plants, to see how they do. You can line your greenhouse with bubble-wrap, sold in garden centres, to keep out the cold: you will find that your success varies during particularly cold or mild winters. If you are really desperate during a cold spell, a large container of water, such as an open plastic bin, can be enough to keep the temperature above freezing. Good luck!

04/08/2014 at 17:32

Hi Supernoodle, Im excited about getting a head start on the annuals and planting up hanging baskets early so they are nice and bushy when they go out.

04/08/2014 at 17:34

Oh Supernoodle what size did you get.  I have a small garden and could only fit in a 4' x 6' in the sunny space I had.

04/08/2014 at 17:38

Oh Punkdoc, Ive just seen the new name Ive given you.  Sorry

04/08/2014 at 17:40

Posy, as its so small I did think of getting a kerosene lamp, I remember mum hanging one in the outside loo when I was small to stop it freezing it did the trick in quite cold winters and wasnt expensive to run.  (Now Im showing my age) we did have an inside bathroom as well.

04/08/2014 at 17:47

Quite like the new name. I dont have a problem with the annuals getting too leggy. Corflowers I sow in Autumn, tend to be flowering by June, thenones I sow in March, start flowering in July.

04/08/2014 at 19:23

My greenhouse is 6x 12 Yviestevie.  Plan is to do some winter salad, and from feb time start sowing perennials to fill borders I'm making.  I'll also be trying to overwinter some fuchsia and argyranthemums and cuttings. Then in spring some toms and eventually start off veg once I've more time and the veg plot is built. I was very excited today when wondering what to do with my old large hamster cage it dawned on me the base is perfect for growing the little round carrots I've just bought the seeds for - I'm going to give a go in the greenhouse this winter.  Just need to drill a few holes In the tray.

04/08/2014 at 22:25

I have a 10 X 6 leanto fixed to my shed. I have a tubular electric heater with a thermostat. I keep the thermostat at it's lowest position ( 4 degrees C). This just provides a frost free greenhouse. I overwinter Geraniums, Fuchsias and Cacti. Keep everything on the dry side.

I used to use bubble wrap and no heating, but in a severe winter some of the Cacti died.

04/08/2014 at 22:40

I over winter any biennials which aren't quite ready to plant out in there. If you grow sweetpea's, depending where you live in the country, these can be started off end of September/October time and will survive even the most harsh winters without heat.    

05/08/2014 at 17:18

Thanks for all you ideas hopefully having the GH will ensure I have lots of nice early plants next year.

05/08/2014 at 17:23

How about some winter lettuce ? sow now and it will survive in a cold / frost free GH

I also bubble wrap / fleece depending on what I have in the GH.

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