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Unheated/uninsulated greenhouse

I have various plants in greenhouse, lavender, penstemons, nicotiana, canterbury bells, that are quite happy, though not very mature (hence being in greenhouse) With the severe frosts forecast how can I protect the plants further. Limited funds.



  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027

    most of them will probably be ok. It is the wet as much as the cold which kills plants. So keep them on the dry side. The nicotiana will Im afraid die as it is not at all hardy and normally treated as a half hardy annual.

    You could improve the greenhouse by insulating it with bubble wrap, although I have had my unheated greenhouse for 10 years and find it more than adequate for most things. I am far to lazy to use bubble wrap

    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Thanks. Think I will move the nictiana into garage but very limited space for anything else.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    One of the problems I have with the unheated greenhouse is how much water do plants need. I don't water when it's sub zero but when it goes on too long things dry out. Then if I water in a milder spell and another cold spell comes can they cope?

    Having said that I haven't lost much over the years, mostly things that were never going to survive the cold even if dry. I just worry about them and feel guilty if they die.

  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,173

    If it's particularly cold, then a roll of fleece is a cheap and good investment.  Just throw it loosely over the plants overnight, and that is usually sufficient to give the extra bit of protection.  (If you don't have fleece, then think laterally - I have used long-past-their-best sheets that are thin - mother would have had a fit to see me use them, much given as she was to the thrift of "sides to middle" repairs, but that's another story!).

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    My mum used to do that as well.

    Thanks for that I have fleece, I just didn't want to go out and buy a large roll of bubble wrap, 

    I just think I need to think out of the boximage

  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,173

    Oh, Tinker Christmas Bell - it wasn't just my mum then!  And did you hate having the seam in the middle, digging in when you were trying to get to sleep?  And silently curse mother's thrift????  Oh, how times change - I guess there are many people of a younger age who wouldn't know what on earth we were discussing!

    Anyway - good luck with the extra insulation.  I think you'll find that the fleece works a treat.  In the long term, bubble wrap is worth it imo, although it's a bit of a drag fitting it each autumn!

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    I used to moan like mad and then she discovered nylon sheets. In the end I refused to sleep in them so I had a pair of my own sheets.  Make s me shudder just thinking about nylon sheets.

    I have moved a couple of plants ( the nicotiana)into the garage but the light is not that good, butthey will be frost free.

    Thanks for help


  • Well,in my unheated green house I have put some plants begonias e.t.c.and I put black plastic trays round by the glass to keep the frost and cold away,.In the garden I covered some sensitive bulbs and plants with a big pot (it worked last year) and I put a black tray on sticks over my lavenders,so far so good.image

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes North East Derbyshire Posts: 2,058

    Bjay- rolls of fleece arent that expensive & somewhere like Wilcos will be cheaper than a GC.You can layer up the fleece too.

    Another investment, or pressie for you perhaps? is an expanding cloche, like a concertina, which can be made of either fleece or clear plastic. They can cost £20-25 & sometimes are on offer 3 for 2 etc. That way you can insulate/cover your plants that you want to overwinter by creating a sort of small poly tunnel inside your greenhouse without the 'faff' of trying to insulate the whole.

    I've used some of mine for several yrs on top of large pots of agapanthus & a choc cosmos pot. In previous yrs I didnt even wrap the pots, but would always do now. Rarely lost anything in my very cold, exposed to East facing spot in NWest. J,

  • Pen01Pen01 Posts: 18

    If you've got the space eg garage, you might find buying large rolls of bubble wrap & brown tape online a lot cheaper, even allowing for eg £2+ pp, & it soon cuts down to wrap around containers & green house.  We rinse it off/leave to dry outside in Spring/after the ice/snow & fold/store it to re-use this time of year.   We also re-use compost bags & large plastic bags if necessary to cover plants.  We're squirrels & throw little away - will never understand a throw-away mentality - that's why I love gardening - endless re-cyclingimage 

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