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Using Your Greenhouse For Vegetables In Autumn

Author : Mark Bartley

Even the smallest of greenhouses offers the ideal opportunity to start growing vegetables for early season planting and for cropping during the winter months. However, if the greenhouse you own has no means of heating, remember that delicate plants may still be at risk if you have a particularly cold snap in the winter months. Small greenhouse heaters only cost a few pounds and can make all the difference though, protecting your young plants from frost damage until they mature enough to be planted outside.

Start your winter crops early. Autumn in the greenhouse can be an ideal place to give your winter vegetable crops an early start before winter sets in. Rather than risking young plants getting nipped by the first frost, you can bring on your plants in the greenhouse to a good size before moving them out into the open, either into the plot or in containers. Once your plants are ready for transplanting, you can continue to give them an added layer of protection by using cloches or polytunnels to keep them protected. A few handfuls of straw around young seedlings will also stop the top layer of soil from freezing and potentially damaging your plants at the base.

Most gardeners are very keep to get on with the planting, but with greenhouses a careful cleaning is an important first step. Warm soapy water, with added disinfectant is all it takes but make sure you allow it to dry thoroughly. This will help keep the environment bug-free and give your vegetables a better start. Trial and error is one of the joys of home vegetable growing, so what you decide to grow in your greenhouse will depend on the space you have and what you want to achieve. The floor space can be utilised by using large pots to grow kitchen vegetables and herbs in such as winter salad crops. You can also use pots to experiment with winter root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots, but due to the size of the space needed you're probably better heading straight outside with these.

Bringing on young seedlings in the greenhouse gives you an advantage. The most practical use for a greenhouse in autumn is to bring on seedlings for transplanting outside. However, don't forget most of the common winter vegetables will fare perfectly well outdoors, so plan your autumn/winter growing schedule carefully to make the best use of the facilities you have.

Cold damp conditions can be the undoing of some greenhouse growing attempts, so ensure that your greenhouse is well ventilated and dry to prevent young vegetable plants from coming under attack from mildew and black mould.

Learning how to grow vegetables is a fun and rewarding hobby all year round. If you have the advantage of a greenhouse, it can extend your growing season to incorporate even the coldest, wettest months of the year and give you access to fresh produce throughout the year. Make the most of your greenhouse and give your vegetables a head start and you can bring your outdoor growing season forward by as much as two months. Also if the weather is a little cold and wet it makes a great spot to stay in some shelter and still stay on top of all your gardening jobs!

Author's Resource Box

Mark has helpful advice for those interested in growing vegetables in your own garden. His experience has motivated hundreds of people to try growing their own fruit and vegetables.

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Tags:   gardening, vegetables, greenhouse

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Submitted : 2010-10-11    Word Count : 634    Times Viewed: 520