Spring is sprung

Spring is sprung,

The grass is riz,

I wonder where the greenhouse is!

If you haven’t been in your greenhouse for so long that you are asking the above question, that’s okay.  You own it, and if you want to take a break from all gardening over the winter, that’s your decision.  Maybe next winter you will have green herbs and vegetables and some nice flowers, but what will you do now?

It’s time to spring-clean if you didn’t do it in the autumn.  On a dry and not too windy day, wash the outside of your glasshouse with a sponge mop and warm water with some washing-up liquid.  Hot water might crack the glass, and cold water is too darned uncomfortable when it runs up your sleeve!  Work from the ridge down.  Plastic tunnels are best left alone, or if badly affected with green algae washed very gently indeed.   Tidy up around the greenhouse and renew any gravel or bark mulch.

The inside can be done in windy weather without suds blowing in your face, but use a horticultural disinfectant instead of washing-up liquid if pests or diseases have been a problem.  Take out all crop remains.   Take out all pots and either empty them or tidy the plants up for bringing back in later.   Repair the path if needed and dig over the borders, adding in organic matter if you have it (it decomposes faster in the heat of a greenhouse).  Wash out empty pots and seed trays with garden disinfectant.

Now you’re ready to sow early vegetables such as carrots, ‘Hispi’ cabbage, and salad crops in the greenhouse, and many more for planting outside later.  Annual flowers too.  Enjoy!


Peter Whyte

B Agr Sc (Hort), Nat Dip Sc (Apic), Dip Tr & Ed, MI Hort