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Greenhouse Update April & May 2017

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Hi, back again with a double dose of greenhouse blog because it’s been all hands to the pump for the past couple of months.  The months of April and May see the start, and hopefully the finish, of the bulk of the potting up in to final pots and a break out into the main greenhouse. Yes! It’s the fun bit when you can get your hands in there and dirt under your fingernails.

To reduce heating costs we start with sectioned off portion of the greenhouse using clear polythene and wood batons.  This section contains the potting up area and the heated benches and measures 10m x 8m.  Once this area has been filled we expand the space utilising the whole of 1 span measuring 22m x 8m.  Even at this stage we use wooden pallets on the floor and stand the plants on top in trays.  This prevents the cooler floor from keeping the root zone cold and allows the plants to maintain their growing metabolism.  During this time we keep the minimum night temperatures at or above 10 degrees Celsius.  Day time temperatures are normally above 15 degrees C inside the greenhouse at this time of the year even on dull cool days, a blast of sun and it shoots up to 28-35 degrees C quite quickly.  I’m thankful that I have automatic temperature controlled vents on the Keda Greenhouse that run the full length and back of the greenhouse and a roof vent too.  These do a great job to maintain an even temperature for the time being at least.  Close attention to controlling your environment and adjusting ventilation according to the weather will help your plants grow healthy and strong.  Environmental extremes and the dramatic change from one extreme to another can have a big impact on the health and metabolism of your plants. For example:  too hot in the day and too cold at night.  As a hobby grower this may not bother you so much and you may not notice or even blame something else like the plant food you use or compost you chose when in fact it will most likely be the environment that is the cause regardless of what fertiliser or potting mix you try.  But as a commercial grower or prize winning exhibition grower this is key to unlocking your plants potential  – environment is everything, and more often than not the cause of poor plant health, slow metabolism, low yields, pests, fungal growth and disease.  So the message is, for happy healthy plants and high yields keep the environment favourable and stable. 

Green fingers to you all…Ben.

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