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Greenhouse in winter

I have an unheated greenhouse which lies fallow for winter, except for over wintering a few pots.
Weeding the few remaining weeds for the last time, noticed how very dry the soil is, almost like a dust bowl, consequently no worms to be seen when weeding.  My question is, should I water the soil from time to time?  I shall soon be adding a 3" layer of compost on top.


  • I don't think you need to water it, the worms will come back when they have something to do. Watering won't do ny harm though and might kickstart things when the weather begins to get warmer in the spring.
  • I rather though the worms wouldn't come back as the soil is so dry, that's why they aren't there at the moment?  If I then add compost on top of dry soil the worms won't travel through the dry soil to bring the compost down?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,317
    I grow tomatoes in my greenhouse border and like you I find by spring the top 6" is almost just dust with no worms, so I think your idea of watering now and then over winter is a good one.
    Alternatively, what I do is take off the top few inches around March then top up with compost and manure and give it a good watering then. By the time the tomatoes are ready to go in around the end of May there are plenty of worms and the manure is breaking down ready to feed the roots

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Surely it depends on what you want your greenhouse to do.
    Our polytunnel has no heating but we continue to grow veg through the winter months.
    OK they aren't as robust as they will be in the summer months but we still are able to harvest.
    So yes we do water in the polytunnel. Not a lot but we check the soil and use the harvested rain water to give them a lift when needed.
    Ours is for veg/fruit not flowering plants.
  • My greenhouse is just for tomatoes, so nothing between, say, September
  • Between September and April.
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