This Morning: James Martin shows inside his greenhouse
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Gardening during the late autumn and winter can be a slow task with little growth in the garden through the cold weather. While gardens are emptier than usual at this time of year, greenhouses are often jam-packed with freshly sown pots and over-wintering plants. With plenty going on in garden and allotment greenhouses, these are the 12 things you should be ticking off your list through November and December.
What to do in your greenhouse this season
As autumn fades to winter there is plenty of preparation to do in the greenhouse before the frosty weather sets in for good.
Insulate your greenhouse
Use bubble polythene to line the walls and roof of your greenhouse if it is not already heated.
Gardeners’ World recommends covering all tender perennials that won’t survive the winter to keep them free from frost.
Use mulch, wood chips or straw to keep tender varieties warm as the first frosts begin to settle.
November is a great time to propagate perennials like phlox, oriental poppies and Verbascum.
This is most effective when done by taking root cuttings which can be established indoors through the winter.
Sow leafy greens
Make the most of the little sun through the shorter days by sowing leafy crops, like rocket, into small seed trays and settling in a warm sunny spot.
These should grow in time for winter pickings if planted out now so get going before December arrives.
You should reduce the amount that you water your plants as the cooler weather settles, but when you do, be careful to avoid splashing foliage to prevent fungal disease from thriving in the chilly climate.
Clear up old crops
Early autumn crops have come and gone which means it’s time to let go of the faded tomato and cucumber plants that are still in your greenhouse to make some space.
Add them to your compost for a nutrient boost to your winter soil.
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Check plants for pests
While there is not a lot to plant or sow this season, you should be checking on existing greenhouse plants for overwintering pests.
Aphids, fungus gnats, thrips, whiteflies, caterpillars, leafminers, mealybugs, mites, slugs and snails are most common through the British winter so keep a close eye on leaves for damage.
Clean up the framework
Now is the best time to scrub down your greenhouse, glazing and the framework of your greenhouse to remove diseases or mould from the nooks and joins of your greenhouse.
Use a disinfectant spray to give your greenhouse a thorough scrub and hose it down with some clean water to finish.
Water spring bulbs
Spring bulbs can still be planted into pots ready to establish a strong root system through the winter months.
Make sure you’re watering potted spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils to stop them from drying out.
Use the finger test to dig your index finger into the soil and feel for moisture in the soil – if it is dry, water it a little.
Wash empty containers
The autumn harvest is over so it’s a good time to make space by washing empty pots and trays and storing neatly under greenhouse staging, says Gardeners’ World.
Move potted herbs
Bring potted herbs like parsley, chives and rosemary into your greenhouse if it is heated.
If your greenhouse is on the chillier side, bring your fragrant garden herbs into your home and leave them to grow on a windowsill – don’t forget to continue cropping them through the winter.
Monitor greenhouse temperatures
Use a maximum to minimum temperature thermometer to keep tabs on your greenhouse.
Turn on the heating or add extra insulation if it’s coming up on the colder side.
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