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Greenhouse growing

Discussion in 'Personal' started by unhappylil, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I am considering buying a mini greenhouse as I would like to grow some of my own herbs, fruit & veg etc. Just wondered if anyone else on here grows their own produce and if so has any tips? I am a novice gardener but I love cooking and using fresh ingredients so I am eager to see what I can grow.
  2. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    You don't need a grenhouse for herbs, just a sunny plot or even a window sill! Lettuces are easy to grow as are radishes (they grow in less than a month ) There have been several threads on this and on the Cookery forum there's the allotment thread.
  3. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Greenhouses extend the growing season though at both ends of the summer, thay also allow several crops to be grown more easily.
  4. Our garden is tiny, and I'm pretty rubbish at remembering to water etc, but I have managed lettuces (when slugs don't eat them), tomatoes (you can get 'dwarf' varieties that grow in a pot), rhubarb (bit from OH's mum when he moved here), raspberries (bought the plant), various herbs (not from seed, bought as small plants), carrots, beans (really easy but take over and need a frame to climb up).
    Didn't have much luck with cucumbers or peppers though. Or with strawberries.
    Bought some spring onion plants and lettuce plants yesterday.
    We also have some small fruit trees, although as they were new last year or year before, not established and fruiting yet.

  5. Decide why you're growing your own. I grew strawberries last year and they were OK but no better than what I could have paid slightly over the odds for in the shops. I had to guard them constantly against pests to avoid using sprays etc and couldn't be bothered again. By the time you take the growbags, the liquid feed and the plants into account, you don't really make much profit either.
    Ditto tomatoes: to avoid using pesticides, I had to go into the greenhouse twice a day and remove sodding caterpillars and bugs by hand. On the other hand they were absolutely delicious, so much better than bog-standard supermarket ones, and LOADS of them!
    Runner beans - I grew four plants up the side of a fence and we ate beans all summer until we were all sick to death of them. They are pretty much pest-free. Just don't let the pods get too big or they are tough and stringy.
    Lettuces - slugfood. If you leave them outside in a pot, slugs and snails will climb the sides of the pots to get to them. In a greenhouse on a shelf is best. But in summer a lettuce from the market is 40p. How much are you going to eat?
    Peppers - big plants, take up loads of room and only give you 2 or 3 decent sized peppers back. No discernible improvement in taste in the ones I grew from shop ones.
    Scotch Bonnet chillies: these are expensive to buy and easy to grow - just open one that you bought and plant the seeds. Unfortunately they need an early start (now is too late) or they won't get enough sunshine to ripen in an English summer, even in a greenhouse.
    Carrots - for some reason I have no success, given that i have clay soil.
    Potatoes - in a big pot. Easier to keep pest-free than in the garden. Taste much better than shop ones! Only one meal a pot though so.......
  6. I grow my own mostly as a challenge, and because the weeding etc is something I find therapeutic, and I needed a lot over the last two years.
    Now, we grow tomatoes as they are tons better, herbs because a small pack of fresh is incredibly expensive etc plus you never need the full packet and they just go mooshy in the fridge. I have a basil in a pot on my windowsill, everything else is outside.
    Lettuces, we only have a market once a week, and I eat probably half a lettuce each day in the summer. With the varieties I have, you can just take what you need while the rest continues to grow. And, if I put them in the raised trough, I can just about keep them slug free.
    carrots- our soil is pretty much clay as we're on a flood plain, and I only grew short ones last year (parmex and chantenay) but no problems whatsoever
    Really don't have room for potatoes but the local PYO place where we'll go for strawberries do very good potatoes too
  7. Vivmillion

    Vivmillion New commenter

    I bought a cheap sort of shelf thing, with a plastic cover that sits against the garage wall where the sun hits it. It has proved really good and I simply pack it away when the pots can survive outside.
    Happy growing! [​IMG]

  8. Yes, PYO is the way to go for me. I plan to do a lot more of that this year. After the fire, the freezer packed up so I didn't bother and then forgot about it.
    Slightly off-topic but i do hope it's a good summer this year. Last year was one long cloudfest.
  9. [​IMG]
    I took those on two different days last August. It was always so DULL!
  10. ditwee

    ditwee New commenter

    Depends on what you want to grow. A raised bed will be a better bet for most crops, and can be sealed off from slugs etc quite easily, and makes thirsty plants such as lettuces and tomatoes less likely to keel over and die from lack of water than if the plants were grown in a mini greenhouse. You can get some pop-up covers for raised beds which would allow you to grow tomatoes and hardier cucumbers. I grow herbs in pots near the kitchen, cos that's where you want them. A mini greenhouse won't allow you to grow much, I feel. I used to use a plastic mini greenhouse inside the house in spring just because I didn't want to traipse up the garden every 5 minutes to water the seedlings. I wouldn't use one for anything else. Chillis grow better on a windowsill. As Lilyofthefield said, there is not much point growing some things because they are fiddly and expensive to grow and dirt cheap to buy (potatoes for e.g.). Courgettes are the opposite: dirt cheap to grow and surprisingly expensive to buy when you consider that just 2 plants will feed a family of 4 all summer - you end up picking far more than you will use. What size of mini greenhouse and what crops did you have in mind?
  11. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    As suggested above, you won't grow much to cropping stage in a mini-g but it is brilliant for starting seeds a bit earlier than our temparatures would allow if just outside. I am short on usable windowsills indoors so i start my allotment seeds in a mini - currently I have leeks, peas, herb seeds and sweet peas. When the weather warms a little more I will put the courgettes and tomatoes in there. It is also useful for overwintering a few cuttings etc.

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