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Cold Greenhouse

In a recent February edition of Garden News, Carol Klein wrote in her regular column, that she sows her seeds, in a cold greenhouse.  I just wondered if forum members had any thoughts on this, or perhaps had experience of this?  

I myself usually start mine off in the house.  Pot them on and then, fiddle around, finding enough space,  to give them, optimum light.

I am considering, after reading this article, if it would be feasible, to move the newly potted on seedlings, into a south facing unheated greenhouse in Cumbria .  Covering with a thick layer of fleece if the night-time temperatures should drop.

Are my pampered and carefully tended seedlings doomed?  Is Carol Klein leading me up the garden path?



  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,291
    Depends on what seeds you are sowing , anything like bedding wont germinate in a cold gh at this time of the year
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874
    I do all mine in a cold GH but I don't grow any tender plants
  • ViolettiaViolettia Posts: 20
    They are bedding.  They have already germinated.  I have potted them up and am thinking of putting them in the greenhouse now.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,634
    I dont put anything in the greenhouse till April. Most seedlings would wilt in the sudden cold after a house, fleeced or not.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874
    tender plants won't survive in a cold GH at this time of year. It's just as cold in there as it is outside except when the sun is shining.
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,291
    Seedling at this time of the year in cumbria aren't going to live long depending on size, 8-10C minimum at night inside the GH for mature / established bedding plants . I have left mine in the GH at lower temperatures before but its not ideal and you don't want any prolonged periods. You'll be doing at shuttle service otherwise plants in the GH day time back in the house at night. Another problem in the GH is fluctuating temperatures at  the moment, one minute its snowing next minute the sun trying to cook my seedling .

    What plants are you growing ? some bedding plants like Antirrhium / pelargoniums are Perennials / short livid and will stand colder temperatures compared to busy lizzie which will soon die.
  • ViolettiaViolettia Posts: 20
    I am growing Antirrhium, osteospernums, cosmos, asters, lupins and dahlias.  Tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. 
  • ViolettiaViolettia Posts: 20
    Forgot to add, geraniums.
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I germinate most seeds in a heated propagator and then move them into a cheap zipped up plastic greenhouse in my unheated porch. It is really a small south facing building with lots of glass and I have two little greenhouses there. Maybe you could set one up in your greenhouse if you have the room as it gives some extra protection. My seeds are all doing fine despite the recent drop in temperature.
    SW Scotland
  • ViolettiaViolettia Posts: 20
    Well! Lads and Lasses it is beginning to look like, our lovely Carol  Klein has well and truly led me up the garden path🤔

    Dining room table it is then........dinner on a tray, until April?

    Seriously you have all been very generous, sharing your wealth of experience and advice.  Thank you all.

    Off to plant some more seeds.  Back soon!
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