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Plant Seedlings

With spring’s arrival comes plenty of opportunity for gardening and to grow your own fruit & vegatables and plants. This is the time of year when keen gardeners are whipped into a frenzy of seed sowing and growing, as well as general gardening maintenance as it springs back into life following winter. Although for those among us who are well prepared for the growing seasons, most of the preparation will have been done throughout winter, there are still some things which should be done now once the weather is starting to pick up. A lot of general garden maintenance is generally done in April as the weather starts to let up a little and we can get to work.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do as spring begins to prepare your garden for the upcoming months.

  1. Invest in a Greenhouse

    A greenhouse is crucial to growing your own fruit, vegetables and plants. It creates the perfect environment for seedlings to germinate and for young plants to be nurtured early on. Although it is now Spring, it's worth remembering that any seeds you sow, or young plants you have will still be vulnerable to the cooler nights, so having a greenhouse is key for protection. You need to assess the space in your garden as to what would be the right size greenhouse and think about the style of building you want in your garden. These days, a greenhouse can be a stunning feature and focal point, they work well within a themed landscaped garden. To help decide, you can read our handy greenhouse buying guide.
    You may need to a little clearing, depending in where you want to site your greenhouse. We would always recommend any greenhouse is best suited to sit on a slab base (dwarf wall greenhouses excluded). A slab base allows for an easy installation as everything will be level and square, very important when building your greenhouse.
    Why not check out a guide on how to build a base

  2. Tidy Up Flower Beds

    Start by removing debris and any dead plants and leaves from around the flower beds. Cut back any dead growth to tidy up the borders and take the beds back to bare soil to ensure you have a clean canvas for the new season. Make sure to compost your organic matter if you can.

  3. Remove Garden Pests

    It is inevitable that your garden will experience pests come spring and summer so as early as possible start removing them. With any luck only a few will have hatched come April and you can remove the rest whilst they are still hibernating. Check your plants for any hiding slugs and snails as well as larvae. If you find larvae be prepared that you may have to treat for other pests this year.

  4. General Maintenance and Repairs

    Now the adverse weather has hopefully subsided, it is the ideal time to take on any repairs which may need doing to your garden structures such as fencing and sheds. Replace any broken panels and then give everything a fresh coat of paint and sealant to make sure everything is looking good for growing season.

  5. Prepare Gardening Tools

    You can’t be prepared to sow your first seeds if your tools aren’t up to scratch. Make sure to get all your tools out of storage and give them a good clean and sharpen so that they are prepared to take on all the tasks coming with the upcoming season.

Cucumber and Tomato plants in a Robinsons Reigate greenhouse

Once you have prepped your garden for the upcoming growing season, you’re all ready to start sowing your first seeds; make sure to start with those which need a longer season!

For many of us, the first foray into greenhouse gardening can be a daunting one. Not only do you have to decide what style of greenhouse you should buy, where it should be positioned in your garden and what size it should be, but once it has been erected you then need to know how and what you should grow! As a first time gardener this can be a little overwhelming, but worry not, there we'll give you a few hints and tips to help get you started.

Tomatoes on a Vine

What to Grow

One of the main benefits to owning a greenhouse is being able to grow vegetables and plants all year round, regardless of the season or the weather. Greenhouses are incredibly popular for vegetable growing, and whilst you can try your hand at anything, these veg may be an easier starting point than others:

  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Beetroot
  • Spring Onions

If you are keener on growing plants, then lean to greenhouses provide the optimal environment to help seedlings germinate before sowing them in your garden.

If you need a little helping hand with growing any of the above plants, then why take a look at Gardeners World growing guides. There's help to grow all your favourite fruit and vegtables, plus many popular plants.

Lighting

Whilst greenhouses are fantastic sources of natural light, during the autumn and winter, when the days are considerably shorter, you may find that your plants will start to suffer. Installing supplementary lighting systems, such as florescent lamp strips or LED grown lights, will help keep your greenhouse functioning all year round.

Heating

As with lighting, greenhouses can also struggle to maintain a comfortable heat in the winter, with temperatures in the building plummeting dramatically. Therefore, it may be advisable to invest in an electric heater. These are relatively cheap, small and easy to install. For a small greenhouse, a 120-volt heater is perfect, but larger greenhouses will probably need a 240+ volt heater.

The summer can also bring with it some issues, as a greenhouse can become too hot for the plants to be able to thrive properly. Investing in a thermometer will allow you to constantly gauge the temperature in the greenhouse. If it gets too hot, simply opening the door can help cool down the space. However, if the heat becomes too difficult to deal with you may want to purchase some air coolers.

Spacing

It is easy to get over-excited at the prospect of being able to grow your own plants, and start cramming in as many as you possibly can. However, plants really need space. They should not be touching each other as this will limit their ability to grow, as well as possibly causing disease to spread throughout your crops.

Ventilation

Greenhouses need a constant supply of fresh air to help keep the plants healthy, allowing them to photosynthesize using the carbon dioxide in the fresh air. Pollination is also greatly increased with clean, fresh circulated air, and the risk of pest infestations decreased.

Your greenhouse should be installed with wall and roof vents, and during the summer these need to be kept open to allow hot air to escape and cool air to be pulled through. During the winter you won’t be able to have your vents open as much, so having an oscillating fan running can help keep air circulating continuously.

Whilst greenhouse gardening may initially seem like hard work, don’t forget there are many benefits to greenhouse growing, from saving you money on your shopping bills to all-year-round gardening, and not to mention the satisfaction one gets when you and your family tuck into a dinner created from ingredients you have grown yourself! To take a look at our vast range of greenhouses, call one of our fantastic customer services team today on 0800 999 0123

Posted by Matt Jordan

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