Country Smallholding

GLORIOUS GREENHOUSE­S DURING THE COLD SNAP

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A greenhouse or polytunnel is a great asset in any vegetable plot or gardening space. Experts from Keder Greenhouse advise how to prepare for the cold snap:

Thoroughly clean, refresh and wash the greenhouse, avoiding chemicals. This will allow more light into the structure and will also prevent pests and diseases over-wintering.

Move tender or fragile plants into the greenhouse. Be sure to provide them with enough space as this will allow them to stay well ventilated and will help to reduce the risk of disease.

Remove any greenhouse shading. This will allow as much light in as possible.

Check for and remove fallen leaves or dead plant material. Try to keep the growing area free of clutter.

And there are plenty of things that can be planted indoors from October onwards…

Sow cyclamen seeds in a heated greenhouse.

Sow sweet peas in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to overwinter. Plant outdoors in March or April to produce early blossoms.

Try sowing crepis undercover in a cold greenhouse for earlier flowers next year.

Start hollyhocks under cover. Pot up and over-winter in a cold greenhouse or cold frame.

Try sowing winter salad leaves for growing in a greenhouse, cold frame or cloche.

Herbs, such as basil, chives and parsley, can be sown now for growing on your windowsill throughout the winter.

Plant garlic bulbs using a suitable variety, such as Solent Wight, Onions Early Crop and Swift.

Broad beans will produce young plants ready for early spring. www.kedergreen house.co.uk

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