When it comes to winter gardening, it may seem like there isn’t all that much to do, however there are many jobs to be carried out and plenty of plants and vegetables that will thrive in a greenhouse throughout the colder months. To help you make the most of the season, premium greenhouse manufacturer Cultivar Greenhouses has shared its top five tasks to keep you growing right through to springtime.
At this point in the year, you may have several seedlings lining the shelves and staging of your greenhouse that are in desperate need of splitting up and repotting. At this stage it is important to select a sensible number of strong plants to be re-potted into larger spaces, also known as pricking out.
Equally this time can be used to pot on any established plants that are at risk of becoming pot bound into a larger pot with new compost. A top tip before pricking out and potting on is to bring your compost into the greenhouse to ensure it has warmed up before transplanting, as the shock of cold compost could set back the plants. Protect plants from winter frost
Protecting your plants throughout winter is just as important as growing them, and many plants will need to be brought into the greenhouse for shelter. Cutting back plants such as geraniums and salvias before bringing them inside will take up less space and encourage better growth, resulting in a bushier plant next season. You can add even more space in your Cultivar greenhouse by dropping down any staging not in use, creating more floor space for taller plants and bushes.
Some more sensitive plants, like dahlias are not frost-hardy and require overwintering. Once you have carefully removed your tubers from the ground, knock off as much soil as possible and allow them to dry upside down for a couple of weeks. When they are fully dried out label the tubers and bury them in trays or wooden boxes filled with dry sand, soil or compost leaving the flower stalks exposed and place them in a cool, frost-free place.
Despite the cold weather, there are still plenty of vegetables that can be grown in the greenhouse throughout winter including potatoes. Starting them early during the winter season means they will be ready by March, just in time for enjoying with your Spring roast dinner. Alongside potatoes, vegetables, and salads such as winter lettuce, pak choi, spinach and kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are all suitable to be planted and grown throughout winter. Ventilate and circulate
Although your plants have been brought inside during winter it is still important to ensure that the greenhouse is well ventilated to encourage air flow and reduce the risk of mould, mildew and fungus developing. Cultivar recommends opening the vents or doors of the greenhouse on milder days to freshen the air inside for your plants, just don’t forget to close them before sunset.
You may need some supplementary heat inside the greenhouse to keep it above freezing once winter has truly set in. A thermostat-controlled heating system would be perfect if your greenhouse has electricity, automatically switching on and adjusting based on the internal greenhouse temperature. If electricity is not an option inside your greenhouse a paraffin heater is a great alternative to remove the chill and probably a bit cheaper to run given the recent price hikes on electricity.
Winter is the perfect time to create and add to your compost heap. Add any dead or withering plants to the heap along with leaves and other organic matter from around the garden to create leaf mould to be used on garden beds and in pots. Before the ground become frozen or waterlogged, plant garlic, bare root fruit trees, raspberries, and blackberries for a bountiful crop next year of delicious berries to enjoy in the summer. Despite your garden looking bare, winter is the perfect time to plan a colourful spring and summer garden, planning what plants and vegetables you want, where to position them and where they will need planting.
Although winter may not be the peak time for growing, there is still plenty of jobs to do to take care of your existing plants and plan for the year ahead extending your growing season all year round. Visit the < a target='blank' href='https://www.cultivargreenhouses.co.uk/'>Cultivar website for more information about greenhouses and growing tips.