Greenhouses, Heated Propagators and Protection From the Weather!
Greenhouse Recommendation For Beginners
If you want to extend the growing season of your herbs then you will benefit from having a warmer area to grow them in. You will also be much happier in a warm and cosy greenhouse when all kinds of British Summer time weather plays around.
The Weather has been really horrific with regards to wind and storms, so we had in mind that we were either going to invest mega bucks in a reinforced toughened glass one or go for one which would hopefully withstand the storms.
We chose the poly tunnel from Amazon which you can buy via the link, because it was a good shape and design for letting the wind glance off it. It took around half an hour to fit together and a few minutes to put the cover on. It’s not a tight cover so we managed it between us, but realistically I am 5 foot 3 so could have just managed it alone.
This model is nearly three metres deep by 2 metres wide. The height is nearly 2 metres as well. This makes it ideal for getting a few kids in as well as me and the plants! It has tent pegs to hold the sides and back down with, but we have had to chicken proof it, obviously! As for some reason our ex-battery hens are totally fearless and will try to squeeze in to any little space. Especially if there are herbs growing inside.
We put our citrus trees in here as well to get them outside earlier in the year. Meaning a longer growing period each year!
It is noisy in the wind, but it cost less than £100 so very much well within our price range. We have had a few major storms since putting it up and are very happy that it has survived.
This winter we may well take it down and put it into storage as well, this is a ten minute job so won’t be too big an issue.
We also bought 2 sets of 4 Tier Staging Shelving Unit for Garden/Greenhouse – 2 Pack – Shed & Garage Storage Racking again just from amazon. Local garden centres may have something similar, but we found that these were really easy to put together and good value.
As they are modular you can build them higher, but I don’t think you would want to have them higher than 4 shelves. These are basic and not the cheapest model, but also not expensive. You can go for more ornate ones, but these do the job just fine and the shelves allow water to seep down and keep all the shelves moist.
There really isn’t much nicer than the smell of a warm greenhouse when you first open the door.
I had a works leaving party and had a lovely gift hamper with an electric heated propagator in. It contains trays for your seedlings and a mat for underneath that catches too much water. Super helpful for those seeds like Parsley that need a constant temperature to germinate.
I don’t think I would have bought myself one of these for myself, and trust me there are some really expensive ones on Amazon that allow you to control the temperature as well! Obviously now that we have one it is ace and so easy to set up anywhere in the house.
As the lid has a little shutter you can allow air to circulate but then close it off at night to keep it warmer. One heads up is that it will need to be moved to a sunny spot once seedlings have appeared.
Often though you can take the seedlings out and put them to a warm windowsill in the day. The one we have got is almost the perfect size to then use our own seed trays made out of old mushroom cartons! So this means you can alternate your seedlings.
So once you have acclimatised seedlings to the great outdoors you may want to protect them from any surprise frosts!
You can use plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off, these will need to be firmly pushed into the ground. That is to stop them flying away and causing possibly more damage.
Something like the Baby Victorian Bell, Transparent, 15x20x25 cm can be bought at amazon and will provide a good level of protection from the cold and from cats looking to find the perfect pooping place.
If you have a bed that you want to cover a little portable pop up cloche that can cover a row is really helpful. Just to get the seeds started in the ground. Herbs like dill do not enjoy having their roots moved about so this is ideal.
LED Sunlight Lamps
These can really help to start off your early season germination as well as all winter long plant growing indoors. So it is a bit of a game changer.
An LED grow light that can be fitted under a kitchen counter or inside a propagator is a real game changer for year round crops! So if your windowsill is not well lit this could be your best option.
So when I write about the herbs you can grow with good sunlight, just be aware that this can make the difference in a poorly lit flat or apartment. We use one for extending our growing season as frosts can be a bit sneaky in the UK, so we don’t want to risk the health of our younger plants.