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Total Newbie

Hi everyone,

this is a first post for me so please be gentle! image

I have just finally chosen and ordered my first greenhouse after wanting one for about 8 years (and what a minefield that was), garden restricting I have gone for a 6ft x 4ft Hercules Trafalgar (does anyone have any experience of these?) but I have just realised how clueless I actually am!

So I guess my first question is what do I actually need to make it a useable greenhouse.....? staging? watering? propagators?
I intend to do the usual toms, chilli's, start of veggies for my raised beds and start off a few flowers for hanging baskets.

secondly, if I am doing raised beds is it best to sow directly into the beds or start off in the greenhouse and plant out after the seedlings have developed?

Sorry for the lack of knowledge but any help would be greatly appreciated image




  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Goose, it all depends on what you are growing.  I just got my greenhouse this spring, and have had some good tips from the folks on here. 

    You won't realistically see the full benefit until the next growing season (2015).  You can't grow toms or chillies from seed now, but you might just pick up some plants at a GC or in a shop that you can put in there, but you may not crop till late August/September.  A lot of things that might start life in a greenhouse would need to be outside now. 

    If you want to get going, I would focus on the beds.  You can plant carrots now - I am trialling Eskimo because they keep well through the winter, so have a long cropping season.  You can plant some types of cabbage in August for winter veg, but probably straight into the soil.  Then in Sept/Oct, you can plant onion and garlic from sets - I did that last year and am just harvesting now.  Salad leaves will grow quickly, and it might be that you can sow some late summer in the GH to extend the growing season - I plan to try, but have not done this yet myself!!    And of course, plenty of time to plant some in the raised beds now for later summer use. 

    In the autumn, you  can plant some things for an early crop next spring, eg. broad beans.  Look at winter salad, if you like that sort of thing.  There is still time for rocket in the raised beds.  And radishes if you like them - they are very speedy growers. 

    But the real joy will come next year, when you can pretty much grow whatever you fancy, now that you have both the greenhouse and the raised beds.  Hope I have given you some ideas - Bee x

  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    Many thanks Busy Bee image


    Any ideas what equipment (staging etc) you found useful or anything that was overkill?

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Hi Goose, welcome and HAPPY NEW GREENHOUSE! Ive never had a new greenhouse image

    Have a think about whaf you want to grow, if you need a heated or frost free area over winter, then you will need to figure out what type of heater you want and therefore if you need power in there.

    A water butt close by is a must to collect water from the roof, its up to you if you want a water supply too.

    I like to do my potting up in the GH, so like to have a stool and somewhere to lean on, a table or little desk will do

    Happy grrowing image
  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    thanks guys!

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    My greenhouse arrived last week.   As BusyBee says it's the wrong time of year for starting off in there, so it currently houses a chair and some GW magazines!

    I'm hoping to do winter salads later this year, overwinter some tender plants perhaps including some cuttings, grow perennials from seed and overwinter, and then get going next year with toms and eventually more once my veg patch is built.

    So far I've got/intend to get staging, tub for storing potting compost, scope, sieve, and one of those plastic potting trays that stops the compost falling off the back. And I need to really splash out and treat myself to a second watering can.  Oh and I want a giant black tub to fill up with water to help stabilise the temperature in the winter.

  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    Thanks Supernoodle, just a couple of things with that .................scope? and giant black tub of water to stabilise temp (is this some sort of gardeners black magic?)

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Ooo Noodle, i noticed sainsburys had reduced all the gardening stuff, im sure i saw a watering can for about a quid!

    I miss having a proper greenhouse, used to spend ages in the one i had on the allotment ! Very pleased for you guys image
  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    to be honest its something I've always wanted a greenhouse, especially now we have a little one too who I can use as a little helper, plus I think my wife has had a enough of me jabbering on about one! image

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Staging comes into its own when you start pricking out seedlings into individual pots, but it is not yet warm enough for them to go outside.  I am not using my staging now though - the plants I have raised from seed are either planted out, or the pots are on tables outside, and I will plant out in autumn.  What is in my greenhouse now are tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers planted into the greenhouse soil, and chillies in pots which are on the ground and a couple of old growbags that had salad and rocket leaves in to get some early salad leaves - still producing but not so much.  The only reason why I, personally, might want staging again before next spring, would be if I were taking a lot of cuttings of things that were a bit tender, that I wanted to store in the greenhouse over winter.  But I am not at that level of gardening yet. 

    The only other reason for staging at this time of year, would be if you wanted to grow things that live their whole lives in a greenhouse - like tropical things, in pots.  I am not (yet) interested in that.  My greenhouse is for A. bringing things on a bit early, for planting out.  B. growing crops that like it hot, like toms, peppers, cucumbers and chillies and C. bringing tender things into in the depths of winter, like pots with geraniums in. 

    If I were you, I would leave off buying staging until next spring - keep a casual eye on ebay or the like and see if you can find some cheap, out of season.  There is no rush for it now.  And feel your way with other stuff, like thermometers and irrigation systems, and window closing systems.  In the short term, opening and closing doors and windows is probably as technical as you need to get.  The greenhouse at this time of year is a pretty unpalatable environment, but come next March, on a bright and breezy day, get an extension cable in there, pop Radio Four on, sow some seeds, read your GW magazine in there, cup of tea - magic!  That's when you will feel the joy. 

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