Sunday, March 1, 2015

Greenhouse Blues

There’s no denying that we’ve been lucky with this place. A lovely house, lots of sheds and a decent plot of ground. The kind of place many people dream of. And we do appreciate that. This was, and still most definitely is, our dream place. However, the indoor gardening facilities are one area of the garden where we’ve always struggled a wee bit.

Greenhouse brassicas in January
(Gone, but not forgotten)
A greenhouse was probably the only thing that wasn’t really here when we arrived, and something we’ve not really done anything about. Yes, we have plans for putting in a greenhouse. We have an idea where we’ll put it, and what it will look like. The same goes for a poly tunnel. But neither has appeared. We’ve made do with windowsills and the small shelved, and even walk-in, cheapie versions. Truth is that, in general, they’ve done quite well, and allowed us to keep going without anything proper.
January's other (now sacrificial) offerings
(Somehow, Lambs Lettuce "Elan" survived, as did the
tray of Onion "Globo" and Shallot "Zebrunne" at the bottom)
However, matters are now coming to a head. Firstly, the house extension is done, so we have few excuses not to go ahead with the greenhouse – it is now the biggest project left to sort out. More-or-less anyway. Actually, sorting out the sheds is easily a much bigger project, but not one we’re likely to be tackling anytime soon – the greenhouse is more manageable. Secondly, recent events have conspired to make a proper, permanent greenhouse more urgent. Those recent events are the four-shelved cheapie greenhouse, which had all our onion, leek, brassica and salad seedlings pricked out and hardening off in, blew over at the weekend. This happened in the wilds of a storm last night, so thankfully no pictures which would need some type of ratings certificate for sensitive gardeners because, for some reason, pretty much decapitated all our spinach, cabbage, calabrese and cauliflower seedlings, and mash up most of the onions and leeks. We do have fond memories of these seedlings from some January photos as many that did survive were unidentifiable, leaving just a handful of Lambs Lettuce and Onion seedlings worth saving. Heartbreaking. Not just for the loss of seedlings – we can replace most of what was lost – but for the loss of time. We’ll have to put back our expected harvest of calabrese and the like by at least a month. There will be no spring cabbage and we’re also now going to struggle to get any decent kind of an onion crop – into March with almost no seedlings. At least for those we can fall back to sets, but even so, not very consoling at the moment. No, resolve is strengthening. We need a greenhouse that won’t blow over; that will look good, provide great crops of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines and, who knows – maybe even space for a rocking chair…? Perhaps such a minor disaster could lead to something better?


  1. Know the feeling, having a damping off problem at the moment myself, it always appears that the time lost is a big problem but equiptment damage is the worst set back of all.

  2. Equipment was pretty much okay - those greenhouses are cheap enough and the covers more so.

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