James’ Greenhouse Diary – Week One

Monday 14th March

  • Prepared greenhouse for use, this involved cleaning the floor with Armillatox, using Sulphur candles to fumigate the inside to destroy any insects and fungus spores. The candles needed to be left overnight to be totally effective. Set up an electric heater to keep the greenhouse at the correct temperature which is 18-20 degrees. This will also keep the frost off of the plants. Keeping the environment at the correct temperature is important for seed germination.

Tuesday 15th March

  • Now the greenhouse has been fumigated and the floor cleaned, it is time to give the glass a good clean.
  • Planted sunflower seeds.
  • Planted some chillis – Bhut Jolokia and Naga Morich, two of the world’s hottest chillies! These were planted in Westland surestart seed compost with added perlite.

Wednesday 16th March

  • Planted Cape Gooseberry plants in two different composts to compare the results – John Innes No.1 and Westland surestart seed compost.
  • Planted Asparagus peas, also in the same two different composts to see the difference in the results.
  • Gave all the plants a good water.
  • Started setting up the greenhouse to grow tomatoes.

Thursday 17th March

  • Temperature in the greenhouse reached 28 degrees today so opened the vents as it was too hot. Saturday 19th March.
  • Planted Habenero seeds.
  • Planted Brussels Sprouts.
  • Temperature inside the greenhouse reached 32 degrees today, so the vent and doors were left wide open. Sunday 20th March
  • First signs of the sunflowers starting to come through.
  • Temperature inside the greenhouse reached 30 degrees today, so the vent and doors were left wide open.

End of Week Summary

This week has been all about getting the greenhouse prepared for first use, which included a thorough clean. It’s important to also get rid of any insects or fungi before use to reduce the risk of damaging the plants I grow. I used Armillatox and Growing Success Sulphur Candles to achieve this. I had never used a sulphur candle before so it was a learning curve as I did not realise how much preparation it took and how long it took too. I had to seal the greenhouse for the candles to work and leave it for at least 12 hours to be fully effective. Remember – the greenhouse must be completely empty before using the candles.

As it is still early in the season and there is a chance of frost, I installed an electric heater which I set at 18-20 degrees – this is important for healthy seed germination. This helps new seeds to grow and also bring on summer bedding plants. It is equally important not to let the inside of the greenhouse get too hot, so I have kept an eye on this and opened the doors and vents at numerous times throughout the week.

I decided to start by planting some simple and easy seeds and something different – I have planted two of the world’s hottest chillies, Bhut Jolokia and Naga Morich, as well as some vegetables.

As I am new to this, I am experimenting with the different growing media available and have planted the cape gooseberry and asparagus peas in two different composts – the traditional John Innes No.1 and Westland’s new surestart Seed Compost. Surestart compost has added seaweed which is ideal for seed germination.

It was nice at the end of the first week to see some results! The sunflower seeds have started to germinate already!

Lechlade Planteria


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