Winter greenhouse

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Winter greenhouse
« on: October 22, 2006, 23:40 »
Although I have had my greenhouse a few years now I have never grown much other than tomatoes.  I now have more time to spend and would like to grow veg through the winter.  I have put seeds on damp tissue in polythene bags to chit and I hope to have some ready to plant in about 7 days. I had a lot of plastic sacks and have filled these from the compost bin to use as grow bags. My greenhouse soil does not seem to hold the water, it just drains away leaving it dry and lifeless so I thought I would give it a rest and use my grow bags. I have had manure in the greenhouse but it just seems to turn into this lifeless stuff. Is there any tips that you could give me for growing in a cold greenhouse and improving my greenhouse border soil.



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Winter greenhouse
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 00:38 »
can you get a hold of any big polystyrene boxes from your fish mongers .then plant you seedlings in them .raise them off the floor but close the gap with newspapers .then make a poly tent over the top of the box like a cloche. next get a couple parrafin lamps that will hold enough fuel to burn for 12 rs or at least over night .cover the inside walls of your green house with bubbe wrap insulation i use silicome sealant from the diy stores to make them stick into the corners come summer it just pulls off put the lit lamp on the floor, this will keep the temperatures above freezing and the plants will come on ,you really need to maintain a temperature in the greenhouse of about 45f .this is really the minimum so use more heating if needed a proper greenhouse heater will give you this .parafin is shop bought £2.60 a gallon here , unless you buy it from the fuel merchants but you will need to have a storage tank .i use a liquid fertiliser tank from farms .this may be usefull to some .i didnt pay for mine but expect to pay £25 _ £50 hope that helps
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Winter greenhouse
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 09:14 »
Hi Margaret

Greenhouse borders will get pretty exhausted - we grow demanding plants at  high density and suck the goodness out. If we keep adding fertiliser, salts will build up as well. Unlike soil outside that gets flushed through with rain and maintains a year round ecology.

A pretty artificial environment and we're not as good as nature!

To improve the soil, dig out the top six inches to a foot and pop the soil onto the garden in a spot where you won't be growing potatoes because toms and spuds can share disease.

Good layer of well-rotted manure or compost, forked into the soil below. If it's sandy soil this will help keep moisture in as well as add nutrients. Follow this with a layer of multi-purpose compost.  We buy this at £10 for 300 litres.

If you're growing tomatoes, this tip from a top grower might be useful. He sinks a big lemonade bottle upright with the spout down and the base removed by each plant and waters via that.

This keeps the soil surface dry and helps prevent fungal disease as the atmosphere is dryer.
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