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Greenhouse for an idiot!

Wondering if you good folk can help. I am very much an amateur gardener.I usually buy all my summer bedding etc from the garden centre but would love to be able to grew all I need for my spring and summer containers from seed. I’m wondering if this would be possible with the help of a green house and if there is a book or an idiots guide to help me ? Thank you 


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,366

    I can't answer your query in any meaningful way, but would quote you the saying that 'A fool and his money are soon parted'.  There are multitudes of sellers out there with 'ideal' products to sell you, all or none of which will do the job.

    You can start with a simple tray of compost, protected by a sheet of clear polythene, Perspex or glass and work upwards from there, so I should get yourself a book or two to help you form a few ideas.  Charity shops are excellent for finding them but, if it's any help, I've never had a greenhouse in my life (77).

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,953
    Depends on the time and effort you want to put into it.  I don't have one, because greenhouses sound a terrible lot of work.. pests, disease, screening, venting, etc.  If you are at home or retired and have the time.. they are so lovely in the early spring, late fall, and in the winter (if heated).  

    If you just want spring bedding plants.. perhaps look into a cold frame?  Lots of the advantages of a greenhouse (light levels, protection) without the cost or work.  I expect others have some excellent suggestions as well.  😁
    Utah, USA.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I think greenhouses are great and I am no expert. However, much of the summer bedding we buy here has to be kept in warmer conditions than you would want for your first greenhouse - in my opinion. I use mine to overwinter and grow on half hardy plants, it is packed all winter and they get off to an early start and grow much bigger and better than those bought new each season. I also grow on seedlings started indoors. Veg and fruit growers obviously use their greenhouses productively almost all year.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 883
    I agree with all the comments and with @Posy re bedding plants. I love my greenhouse but it isn’t heated and I don’t have room indoors to start things off early which means it’s difficult to grow spring or much summer bedding. I do grow lots of annuals and use it to get my dahlias going but nothing that flowers much before late June or July. I’ve also overwintered bedding fuchsias but I suspect they would survive just as well in a cold frame or cool porch.

    I am planning to try some biennials to see if I can have an earlier start to the season but some of those such as Wallflowers you don’t need a greenhouse at all as they will be quite happy outside in a sheltered spot.

    The Dr Hessayon book is good for greenhouse basics and you should be able to pick up a copy second hand. A cutting garden book would probably give much more flower specific information and cover plants that do and don’t need a greenhouse - if it’s good for cutting, I would have thought it’s going to cover some plants good for bedding.

    There is a long thread on a red petunia, name has gone completely out of my head, which I believe is quite hardy and will overwinter and or grow from cuttings. On my list to read - tidal red v——- I think.

     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 4,909
    Red velour 
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 883
    Thanks @debs64 🙂
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • Well,thank you very much everyone. I didn’t expect so many great replies. You have definitely answered my questions. Looks like a cold frame is a better and cheaper option. Can I ask if you grew your own bedding plants or buy from garden centres or online ? I did grow some from seed during lockdown but hadn’t much room either. 
    Will look up that thread you mentioned.
    many thanks 😊 
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