What to Do with Your Greenhouse This Winter

I love gardening and everything to do with greenhouses. However, I have to admit the best day of my greenhouse/ gardening life to date is when the team who put the structure up left and I was face to face, for the first time, with a beautiful wooden greenhouse. My beautiful wooden greenhouse. Completely empty. Walking in, closing the door and being enveloped by the evocative aroma of wood and luxuriating in the vast emptiness of the area is a memory that will never fade. Time to breathe, think and plan. The acres of benching, the glorious expanse of unfettered flooring (concrete slabs) and achingly clear headroom. No plants, no pots, no canes, wires or string. Just a dream.

OK, it lasted a few hours before a couple of pelargoniums found their way in for their winter protection, a dozen bowls of bulbs were soon housed on the immaculate benching, and a back-of-an-envelope plan was scribbled out for five containers of tomatoes, three cucumbers, a couple of aubergines, chillies - got to have chillies, and sweet peppers, of course. Then the cacti from the house; auriculas requiring cold but drier conditions, which the outdoors cannot afford them; an orchid, from somewhere or other; a brilliant little wind-up radio; and a small wooden box containing scissors, string, labels and the spare key for the adjoining shed (now I’ve got to hide it somewhere else).

Then all it needed was powering up. Yep, I got a qualified electrician to run electricity from the house to the greenhouse. At considerable cost, thanks to all that extra circuitry, armour cable and deep trenches, but it’s money well spent. Suddenly, a whole new world opened up. Heated propagators were added to Christmas wish-lists, a thermostat and electric heater hastily ordered, delivered and installed. In other words, now is the perfect time to kit your greenhouse up.

  

Thinking about it, a greenhouse in winter is rather like the beginning of a football season, the first day of The Ashes or opening night of a spectacular West-End theatre production. Of course, my lower-league team will get promoted, the little urn will stay in England and no one will actually break a leg.

So, a greenhouse in winter…...hmmmmm…

  • Plan
  • Power up
  • Grow early seedlings
  • Overwinter those tender specimens

And sit. Think. Drink hot beverages. And dream of spring hurtling down the garden path at ever increasing speeds, as the years roll by, and the inevitable glorious seed sowing extravaganza, potting up, pricking out, growing on and cropping of all those superb sun-ripened toms, cues and peppers. I wouldn’t be without a greenhouse at any time of year, never mind the depths of winter.

P.S.

At the time of writing:

  • My lower-league team are currently doing their best to go even lower.
  • The Ashes haven’t quite started the way that I’d hoped. But whatever happens, the actual urn always stays in London.
  • As far as I’m aware, no one has actually broken a leg yet.


Oh, and while you're here, why not take a moment to <strong><a href="/outdoor-living/grow-your-own/greenhouses" target="_blank">browse through our superb range of greenhouses</a></strong>?

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Author: Phil McCann