If you are looking for advice on how best to start getting the most from your greenhouse this spring, then our green fingers have been busy in our own Elite Greenhouse and here are some ideas and tips to get you started.
We’ve been making great use of some of the range of accessories we offer, such as seed tray frames, rainwater collection kits, water barrel and heaters. We have been sowing bedding plant seeds; lobelia, marigold, antirrhinium and gazania. It may not look as though our hard work is paying dividends just yet but with over 150 seeds planted in most seed trays (or in the case of Lobelia a massive 2000 have been planted per tray, those seeds are tiny!!) there is a lot going on beneath the surface. In order to keep our seedlings at their happiest we’ve kept them warm and moist. We find the best way is to cover the trays and keep the greenhouse heated, using a greenhouse heater such as a Super Warm 5. This allows condensation to form inside the lid, keeping the seedlings warm and humid. An electric propagator is handy to have but we also find tray covers and a suitable greenhouse heater does the job just as well.
The Elite team are always excited to see the first seedlings push their way through the surface. Once each seedling has grown 2 or 3 leaves we’ll start to prick them out individually and transfer approximately 24 seedlings to another seed tray (this is when we find our 3 tier and 5 tier seed tray frames really useful). Although with the lobelia we’d prick out about half a dozen seedlings at a time and plant these together. We prefer to water the seedlings (this makes the roots easier to separate) about an hour before we gently tease them from the compost using a dibber or if you don’t have one, a kitchen fork works well. When pricking out, we are really careful to only handle the seedlings by the leaves never by the stem as this is fragile and is easily damaged.
Once a small hole has been made in the compost we gently drop the seedlings roots into the hole and firm the compost with our fingers. Watering the seedlings using a fine nozzle, with water warmed to room temperature completes the job. We prefer to fill the watering can with rainwater collected from our rainwater kit which has filtered into our water barrel, the night before and leave it overnight in our heated greenhouse to warm – nobody likes a cold shower!!
Just look at how well our mammoth onion seeds are doing! We started these off in January with about 100 seeds in a seed tray. Once they reached the loop stage, in mid-February, we gently transferred them over to individual pots. We’ll keep them warm and regularly watered until after the last frost when we’ll plant them outside in the vegetable patch. If we look after them really well we’re hoping they’ll grow to around 15cm diameter!! We’re keeping our green fingers crossed!
If you need any using your Elite Greenhouse, why not get in touch? We always like to see pictures of what people have got growing in their greenhouses!