Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
Once you've purchased your perfect greenhouse, it's essential to make the most of it.
And that means growing a wide variety of plants over a large part of the year, if not all the year round.
Make sure that the greenhouse is well planned and equipped . If you want to achieve maximum efficiency and enjoyment, such items as staging and a potting bench, heating, insulation and shading aren't optional extras. See our blog 'Greenhouse Accessories' for all your options.
Even a cool greenhouse in which the temperature is kept at say 5C can earn its keep by providing a winter haven for plants such as geraniums and fuchsias but if you provide more heat (see 'How to Heat a Greenhouse'), there are many more possibilities.
And not only will a warm greenhouse support the a wider range of flowering plants and vegetables, you will be able to make an earlier start in the spring with seedlings and cuttings.
Tomatoes are probably the most common greenhouse crop, they can be either grown in bags or a border that has been prepared with plenty of organic matter. Sown in February or March, plant out when the first flower truss appears. The atmosphere should be warm and dry with good ventilation. When the first fruit has set ,start to feed with a high potash fertiliser. Pinch out any side shoots and the tops when the plant reaches the top of its supporting cane.
There are many other crops worth considering: Capsicums and Aubergines can be grown in the same way as tomatoes, spaced about 1½ ft apart in the border. Chillies, whether your taste is for the mild or the red hot Naga Morich should be sown from January to April at a temperature of 25C - 30C so will really benefit from a heated propagator (see How to Propagate Plants) and then planted out.
Lettuce, sown from August to October in a heated greenhouse (approx 15C) will be available to eat all the way through the winter. Cucumbers need 18C – 21C and humidity but can be grown equally successfully, as can Grapes if the temperature is maintained at a steady 15C from March onwards.
You may prefer to concentrate on flowering plants such as Carnations that can be propagated from softwood cuttings and grown in containers or a border, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Begonias or Gloxinias, there is really no limit on the
variety of plants you can grow and, when the danger of frost has passed, no heat is necessary – just care, attention and a good liquid feed.
All these plants require slightly different climatic conditions in which to thrive and there are various day to day routines that should be followed to enable successful cultivation.
With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.