If you are considering buying a greenhouse you might have some doubts. Perhaps you won't use it much, perhaps you might regret the decision, perhaps it might be one more thing to maintain? If you have a quick chat with any gardener, that owns a greenhouse, whether it be a lean to greenhouse, compact greenhouse or a large double door greenhouse, you will soon be convinced it's a great idea, as most greenhouse owners love them! Here are just a few reasons as to why buying a greenhouse is something that can give you years of pleasure, provide loads of fresh food, and help make your garden even more beautiful.
One of the most benefical aspects of owning a greenhouse is the ability to greatly increase the number of plants available to plant in your garden at a low cost. Growing plants from seeds is the cheapest way to add plants to your garden borders and vegetable patch.
For a few pounds you can grow literally hundreds of flower, fruit and vegetable plants. Growing from seed takes a bit of time and effort, but not that much. Once sown in seed trays, it is simply a case of watering them, to keep the soil moist. Its a fun thing to do and very satisfying, especially once they are all growing in the garden and you know that all the flowers and vegetables on display were just a few packets of seed that could fit in your pocket, a few months earlier.
As well as growing from seed, a greenhouse enables you to buy young plug plants and grow them on, protected from frost, until they are more established. Thompson and Morgan sends out plug plants by mail to gardeners all across the UK.They arrive in specially designed packaging, so they arrive in good condition. They are more expensive than seeds, but cheaper than buying full size garden ready plants.
One of the great advantages of having a greenhouse is the ability to extend the growing season, both in the spring and autumn. In the spring, plants can be grown earlier compared to outdoors, seeds can germinate faster, and in the autumn fruit and veg will produce crops until later in the season. They can also be used to store planters containing plants such as Palms in the winter months, where they will be protected from harsh frosts, and in late spring they can be moved out onto the patio or decking to be enjoyed during the summer months. For exotic plants, greenhouse heaters can be used to keep the temperature warm all through the winter.
The most popular plant for greenhouse growing is the Tomato. They are interesting to grow, and provide delicious, fresh fruits all through summer, that can be picked straight from the vines and added to summer salads, sandwiches etc.
You will soon discover that there is loads of different types and varieties that can be grown for different uses, such as cherry, plum and Beef tomatoes and with skins ranging from deep purple to yellow. You could even grow the TomTato® plant, which is a fantastic new hybrid plant, that grows both tomatoes and potatoes, all from one plant!
As well as tomatoes the greenhouse is also ideal for growing various fruit and vegetables that are a delicious addition to summer al fresco meals and BBQs. Lettuce and salad leaves can grow all summer long, and cucumbers and peppers can be grown alongside tomato plants. Strawberries can be grown in pots and placed on greenhouse shelving.
It's not just tomatoes and salad leaves that can be grown in a greenhouse. A 'hot house' creates a warm micro climate that can grow a wide range of flowers, fruit and veg plants, some of which would not grow outdoors, due to the temperatures not being high enough. How about peaches, succulents, grapes or chillies? Some gardeners try a range of plants from warm climates, whereas others gain a real passion for a specfic type of plant, and grow many different varieties.
Walking into a greenhouse on a mild, but breezy day is a lovely experience. Totally still and considerably warmer, the air full of aromas from the growing plants. A greenhouse, as well as being a place to grow things, also makes a very pleasant place to spend some time. Even in the middle of a British summer there can sometimes be a stiff breeze, or a heavy shower. The greenhouse is a great place to re-pot plants and other gardening tasks. It's also a nice setting for a drink or some lunch, and even smaller greenhouses have room for a bistro set.
There is no need to worry about a greenhouse meaning loads more work. They are relatively low maintenance. An occassional clean of the glass panes, and sweep of the floor is a good idea, and at the end of the season, a good clear out of dead plants, empty packets, grow bags etc is recommended.
Now, you're convinced and can't wait to get greenhouse growing, the next question is what greenhouse to buy?