greentapestry : The Greenhouse Year ~ March 2012

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Greenhouse Year ~ March 2012

"Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too" - William Cowper, 1731 -1800

My greenhouse came home with us after the Malvern Spring Gardening Show in 2009 - well to be more accurate a receipt for a deposit came home with us, whilst the greenhouse followed a few weeks later. It is the best gift ever that himself has given me. We did not go to the show with the intention of buying a greenhouse - in fact the thought of getting another greenhouse had not entered my head. I was quite happy with its predecessor but himself persuaded me that I should go for a bigger model. He pointed out to me that as I was no longer working that I would be spending more time in the greenhouse and would appreciate having more space to fill. How could I resist such logic? There was also the extra incentive of a special show price so it was a done deal by the end of the day.

My new 10 foot by 8 foot de luxe greenhouse remained in its packaging until September of that year but was up and ready for me to use the following spring. The staging (which was made using planed slate batons) and the heated sand bench from my original greenhouse transfered happily into this bigger space. Both these structures were crafted by himself who luckily for me enjoys any activity that involves making and building. The greenhouse is situated just a short hop away from the house so I can get out there easily whatever the weather is doing.

The greenhouse is not heated as such but I manage to overwinter cuttings in it, as well as dahlia tubers and the odd tender perennial. The fleece comes out for extra protection if the temperatures dip well below zero. It is usually though not until March when it sees much in the way of activity. The tomato and pepper seeds which were started off towards the end of February in a heated propagator are now spending their days outside. They are whisked back into the house each night but when I start to prick them out they will have to toughen up and reside in the greenhouse full time. This will probably be next week.

The heated sand bench is now on and we think that it probably raises the overall temperature of the greenhouse by a degree or two as well as providing direct heat for for newly sown seed. Basking in the warmth at the moment are more tomatoes, nicotiana, night scented phlox, celeriac, tomatillo, alpine strawberries and broad beans. The sand bench takes up most of one side of staging but will be switched off in due course so that it can be used purely as a holding area. On the opposite side of the greenhouse are beetroot, peas, sweet peas, onions and a couple of sowings of perennials. The shallots planted in cells back in February have made their way to the allotment ready for planting later this week as they are showing green. I will also plant some directly into the ground.

The cuttings have all come through the winter and are now in need of potting up and hardening off before they get too leggy. A job for that extra hour of daylight next week. The dahlias will also need some attention soon.

So that's the state of my greenhouse  this month - at the moment it all seems under control but there is inevitable trouble bubbling under the surface. Before long it will all explode when the yearly greenhouse shuffle begins, when it seems that there will never be enough space for all that you have grown. 

P.S. The bottom tiers of the staging are being used for storage at the moment eg compost, vermiculite and various other sundries etc but will no doubt be revealed next month.

Thanks to Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog who had the brilliant idea of sharing what's going on in our greenhouses each month. I think it might encourage me to be tidier!


  1. I would love to have so much room available to me. My greenhouse is only 6X4 but I manage to cram plenty in to it, and it's better than nothing. You've got plenty sown already too. I'm hoping to get my tomatoes started off soon.

  2. Your greenhouse is much cleaner than mine. Now the sun has come out I realise how grubby it is. I might have to try and do some cleaning which is very bad timing.

    Your tomatoes are well ahead of mine

    Thanks for joining in this month

  3. Would love to have a green house like that. My husband is really into gardening but is stuck for the winter.

  4. I could do with a green house here only I don't think mine would be as tidy as yours as I've got a bit of a reputation for being a bit messy. I just stick with the huge one at work - I have to keep that one tidy LOL. What anticipation I miss out on at home Anna!

  5. All looks tremendously tidy and organised, very impressive indeed. We are rather ramshackle in our old greenhouse that came with the house.

  6. Your greenhouse looks so clean and organised, and nice to see all those seeds sprouting.

    We wouldn't be without our greenhouse, would have more (and bigger ones) if we had the space. How true is the caption on your first photo!

  7. What a great greenhouse - looking very productive at the moment - no doubt you will be like the rest of our greenhouse lovers and running out of space and wishing you had a bigger one.

  8. Cowper's quote is perfect! Our greenhouse (the receipt) came home with us after a garden show too. I honestly can't imagine being without it now. I only wish it were bigger! Maybe I should do a post about the state of mine, it might inspired me to reorganize a little! Yours looks so neat and tidy!

  9. What a productive-looking greenhouse you have, and so tidy. Puts mine to shame, with its leggy broad bean seedlings and sweet peas only.

  10. Anna, Himself seems to be the perfect gardener's spouse -- handy and trying to talk you into new garden toys instead of trying to talk you out of them! I don't usually dream about greenhouses, but this post has me reconsidering. -Jean

  11. What a gifted gift and giver Himself is! Am impressed with the everythings comings up seedlings look to your tidy greenhouse and the organised pages of sowing and planting

  12. I bet that's a veritable HQ. Heated sandbench et al. You haven't missed a trick.


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- Anna.