A summer sales report from internet retailer Amazon has revealed some interesting gardening trends and Nathan James Dodd has discovered that we are becoming a nation of indoor gardeners.
To transform your greenhouse from a glazed metal or wooden frame into a thriving environment in which many types of plant will flourish requires a range of fairly reasonably priced equipment .
You will want the greenhouse to be a place that encourages growth, somewhere that is pleasurable to spend your free time and from which your effort will be well rewarded. The following equipment will make life a lot easier and maximise your chances of success.
It is really useful to have greenhouse staging along at least one side of your greenhouse, offering space to perform a number of tasks and also on which you can place plants and seedlings nearer the light. Pots and other equipment may be stored underneath.
There are various ways to heat a greenhouse, electricity, gas, parafin, and the benefits can be well worth while as you can sow seed earlier in the year and protect tender plants over the winter. See our guide 'How to Heat a Greenhouse'.
A massive help to get seeds off to an early start and essential for seed that requires specific heat to germinate.
Greenhouses are generally very poor insulators due to the high amount of glass. Bubble wrap fixed to the inside of the glazing will improve insulation, keeping the heating bills down and the frost out. See our guide ' Save Money with Greenhouse Insulation'.
Plants dislike irregular watering, for example tomatoes will suffer blossom end rot. An automatic watering system will supply a constant or regulated amount of water to your plants, particularly useful if you go on holiday.
A low tech but effective alternative to automatic watering. Available in rolls, if you place one end in a container of water, the rest will moisten and water any pots that are placed on it.
Most greenhouse plants, especially young ones, need protection from the sun. Hot, direct sun light can easily damage foliage. Roller blinds and shading kits can provide the solution to the problem of sun scorch.
An alternative to blinds, this is a liquid shading mixture that is applied to the glass to protect plants from direct sunlight and can be rubbed off in the autumn.
A tank of water should be kept filled, preferably with rainwater, so you always have a good supply at the right temperature. Cold water will probably not harm large plants but seedlings have sensitive roots and appreciate water at the ambient temperature.
It's important to keep the temperature inside a greenhouse steady, certainly not jumping or falling more than 10C. This type of thermometer helps you gauge changes in temperature quite accurately. Some are also available with a combined hygrometer to measure humidity.
In the interests of conservation especially during periods of drought, collecting rainwater that has fallen on the greenhouse is an excellent idea and the plants will love it. Hard tap water has a detrimental effect on lime hating plants such as azaleas, they much prefer the more acid rainwater.
Benches can be stationary or portable and can be moved to wherever you are sowing or re-potting.
Familiar to every garden centre visitor, these compost filled bags provide an ideal way of growing a range of vegetables if there is no border in the greenhouse.
Finally, don't forget the humble watering can but make sure that you use a rose attachment if you are watering delicate seedlings. See our guide 'How to Use a Water Butt to Conserve Water and Save Money'.
Find a wide range of Greenhouse Accessories and Spares at GardenSite.
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