Do I need a greenhouse?

I want to start growing from seed (I don't feel the same accomplishment buying plants). But I don't have the time with baby and work to grow much. 

Do I need a greenhouse? A potting shed? Can I get away with something smaller and cheaper?!


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,225

    Hi claire. You could always get one of those freestanding seed tray frames that have a plastic cover over them to begin with but window sills are just as easy. When I first started growing seeds I used to use cardboard boxes with one side removed and the three 'walls' lined with aluminium foil to bounce the light in and stood seed trays or pots inside. Those were placed on my window sills. Very Heath Robinson but they worked a treat

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Claire, As mentioned above make use of your window sills, you can get small growing kits, water trough, seed pots and a lid very cheaply, they fit on a window sill nicely. It is now summer so they tell me, larger kits with a cover can stand outside in a sheltered spot, take the cover off for a few hours then replace before the sun sets, the temperature at ground level can be as much as five degrees warmer, nice for seedlings. Lots of seed can be sown straight into pots of any kind and left to come on they will need pricking out at some point but do not need a greenhouse. When toddler is up and things more settled then you may want to invest in a greenhouse, had them for years unless used properly they can be an expensive none event, you need money time and energy to make them pay. Good Luck.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,925

    I would start with one of the mini plastic greenhouses to see how you get one. You can rig it against the house wall. Make sure to fasten it well as they have a tendency to blow over. Most of the supermarkets have them in Spring, and garden centres. The covers don't last long, but you will see how you go on. My first greenhouse was corrugated plastic on a wooden frame. ( 6 ft x 8ft). I was only ten, they thought I would grow out of it.  It got replaced when I was 14 with a 16ft x 8ft glass and aluminium structure.  Once you get the bug for seed sowing and striking cuttings, you just need more space.image

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • I was hoping you'd all say that! Unfortunately I think the window sills are out of the question. We have those horrid pvc ones that scratch and discolour as soon as you look at them! that and o think my obsessive clea husband will just go crazy if I use them for growing. 

    The small frame sounds like a good idea. This is going to sound silly - so please excuse me as I haven't grown from seed since I was a child - but what happens in winter? Can summer bedding plants still be sown and kept out there? 

    I could also use it to store my auriculas, no? 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,225

    You can store your auriculas there over winter but no summer bedding plants etc. The sort of seeds you can sow and overwinter are those of some perennials which need a period of cold to start germination. The Summer bedding plants get sown in the Spring. Basically its a great Winter store for empty but clean seed trays and pots ready for the new season.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Oh gosh, I feel so totally useless at all of this knowledge! So if, for example, I wanted to (try to) grow from seed some forget-me-nots, aquilegia, etc - those are jobs for the same early Spring as the year I want them to flower?

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 8,087

    No one is totally useless Claire...........we're all good at something so I wouldn't worry if I were youimage

    I don't know about Forget me knots......they just seem to appear whether you sow them or not.

    Best way is to try and differentiate between the basics........annuals, biennials and perennials.

    You mention Aquilegia as an example.  These are best sown in late Autumn.....overwintered outside they will germinate in the Spring but they won't flower until their 2nd year.

    If you look at the plants you want to try, see when they set seed........that's often the best time to sow them.  A natural rhythm. image 

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  • Bonsai-MarcBonsai-Marc Posts: 444

    i have a mini standiing greenhouse, seems bad to me, just cooks everything so basically have to open it up fully to the elements that defeats the object

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