I’m so glad that Helen@Patient Gardener has started a greenhouse meme blogging about her greenhouse (I misunderstood at first, and thought she was starting a meme – sorry for any confusion!). I love having a greenhouse, but I know I could use mine better, and it would be excellent to see how other people use theirs. However, right at the moment I am badly in need of some more basic advice about siting and wind protection!

I am quite extraordinarily lucky in that I have two greenhouses to play with here. The first is a (nominally) 6′ x 6′ aluminium greenhouse we bought a few years ago. It was the largest that would fit in my previous garden, and I love it. In the past I used it for propagation until around April, when the staging got collapsed, the temporary shelving moved out, and the space filled with growbags stuffed with tomato plants. Nothing quite beats eating tomatoes straight off the vine, all warm from the sun.

When we moved here there was an area of hard standing at the back of the garage that fairly shreaked “greenhouse”. In fact, on the original version of the estate agent details there was an aluminium 6′ x 8′ greenhouse sitting there. So we put mine there and last year it was filled with tomato plants. Currently, it is in a somewhat sorry state.

unglazed aluminium greenhouse

Spot something missing? The recent gales resulted in several broken panes of glass, and to prevent even more damage we removed the rest of the glass and stacked it safely out of the way. Because it was sited in a really sheltered location in my previous garden, and because we were strapped for cash, I opted for the cheaper horicultural glass option. Several gardening friends had this, and had been totally happy, and so was I. Until we moved here and in my infinite wisdom I removed the two large conifers that stood in the border that lies along the boundary with the park. Why does this matter? Because now the wind can howl down the slight hill across the park from the south west, swoop around the fitness center building, dart through the trellis, and hammer at the greenhouse. It isn’t anchored down – I figured that since the previous one clearly hadn’t been, and since it seemed a sheltered garden, this wouldn’t matter. I was wrong. It matters a lot.

Luckily for me, with Spring breathing down my neck and seedlings lining up for greenhouse space already, I inherited a wooden greenhouse when we moved here.

wooden greenhouse

Its big – 6′ 6″ x 8′ – and has power. Its also currently in a state of advanced chaos, not having been tidied yet from last year. I didn’t need to yet, all the seedlings were going in the other greenhouse. It was a good plan *sigh*.

untidy greenhouse

The wooden greenhouse sits on a concrete plinth on the west-facing side of the garden. Its in quite a shady position, hard up against next door’s wall and the tall fence that tops it, and overshadowed by an overgrown lilac and enormous fuchsia. It actually works really well for bringing on seedlings, as there is very little direct sun so no scorching, but despite the missing roof panel, it is still light enough to mean that last year it enabled me to grow lots of healthy little plants.

missing roof section

alton greenhouse label

Its scruffy and in need of some tlc, but it is a good make – Alton – and made of solid cedar. When I have cleared my desk of some work I will crack on and clear it out and clean it up, ready for the steady march of seedlings that will be started in the conservatory. In the mean time the first few are perched on a pile of wood I had wanted to dry out.

chaos reigns

The wooden greenhouse badly needs some repairs – the glass in the roof at the back is slipping down because the wooden crossbeam that should be keeping it in place has rotted away, and I suspect quite a lot of the wooden structure at the back is in need of treatment for rot. Water and leaves collect in the space between the frame and the stone wall, and access is virtually impossible. In an ideal world it would be dismantled, repaired and rebuilt. In an ideal world, I would use the larger greenhouse to grow tomatoes, chillies, peppers in and use the smaller greenhouse for propagation. So in an ideal world I would swap them around, sit the aluminium one on the concrete platform, and move the larger wooden greenhouse to full sun. Which leaves me with something of a dilemma. I don’t live in an ideal world. I have very limited energy thanks to my health issues, so I don’t tackle large jobs lightly. Particularly when they take me away from “proper” gardening!

The aluminium greenhouse needs some work before it will stand up to the wind. I’ve looked in to replacing the fragile horticultural glass with toughened safety glass and bar capping, but it would cost an eye-watering amount. So horticulture glass it is. I can fasten the frame down securely, which will help, and orient it so that the south westerlies hit the roof rather than the door, and the door is out of the wind altogether. If it stands directly on the ground I can bury the anchoring legs in concrete, if we did shift it to the concrete plinth then I can screw it down to the plinth. The question is, would it be sufficiently sheltered there to withstand the gales? It would still be in the direct line of fire, so to speak.

Then there is the wooden greenhouse. If we dismantle it with the aim of repairing it and re-siting it close to where the aluminium greenhouse currently sits we could easily find that the frame is in a worse state than we had realised, and that we had to spend a lot of money on repairs. We’ll probably also have to replace some of the glass. Also, because it stands on a special base made of concrete blocks to keep the wooden frame off the ground, it needs proper concrete footings or slabs. And if we do swap the greenhouses round this year, it means I need to seriously rein in my seed sowing, and not grow any tomatoes that require a greenhouse. There is no way we could get it all done by May. I’d love to hear from anybody with experience of restoring a wooden greenhouse.

If money was no object then clearly I would pack the smaller greenhouse away for the time when the wooden greenhouse reaches the end of its life and buy myself a super strong new large greenhouse with toughened safety glass and rock steady foundations! Tempting as the winter greenhouse sales are, I need to work with what I have and make the most of it. The easier option, and the one that allows me to sow the tomato seeds I have burning a hole in my seed box, is to do some basic running repairs to the wooden greenhouse and aim to take it apart and repair it next year. In the mean time I re-orient the aluminium greenhouse so that the door is away from the wind, and anchor it down firmly, and hope that this is sufficient. Of course, I then don’t get to grow as many tender plants, I proved last year that the wooden greenhouse just doesn’t get enough direct sun to coddle chilli and pepper plants sufficiently. Does anybody know how much help a living hedge – perhaps an edible hedge – growing about 1m away from the west side of the greenhouse would be for filtering the wind?

back of the greenhouse

I am thinking that if I rotated the aluminium greenhouse through 90 degrees so that the door faced the back of the garage, and moved it further out so that there is a larger area between garage and greenhouse, it would give us a nice (less squeezed) entrance to the garden and would also mean I could use that lovely south facing garage wall to grow something exciting up. Then I could screen the shed and greenhouse from the main patio with a living hedge, or trellis with climbers, to act as a bit of a windbreak. What do you think? Because I have a humungous pile of seed packets all shouting “sow me next, sow me next”and I really don’t want to spend my whole year building fence, painting fence and trellis, dismantling and repairing a greenhouse, building concrete footings. I want to be growing and planting!

In the mean time, if you have a greenhouse why don’t you join in with Helen’s new meme check out Helen’s post about hers? And if you don’t, why not pop over to her blog anyway, and check what other people use theirs for. They probably have glass and everything!

40 thoughts on “Greenhouse Chaos February 2014

  1. 2 greenhouses! Well that is just plain greedy!! I think you should think about what to do over the summer and then do it in the autumn before the winds whip up again. That way you get the use of the greenhouses for sowing and tomatoes and you could plan it so one is empty before the other and can be worked on. I hadn’t intended the greenhouse year to be a meme that people join in with mainly as it didn’t occur to me that people would so I’m not going to ask people to link to my blog as with the end of month view, that way if I forget one month it won’t matter! However it is already proving fascinating to see who does in fact have a greenhouse, or in some cases 2!

    1. Ah, my mistake! Still, maybe I will get some good advice out of it this time! its a great thing to do anyway, so many of us have greenhouses, and yet we just potter around in them in the background without posting directly about them at all.

      I like your “wait until the autumn” plan, the only problem is that generally speaking by the time I get to that part of the year I feel so rubbish I’m not up to anything much at all. But funnily enough the act of writing the post gave me what I think is the obvious answer, namely to re-jig my kitchen garden and put the greenhouse down that end, nicely sheltered, close to water butts and compost heaps, loads of sun… I’m sure I can make a land grab elsewhere in the garden to make up for the loss of one of my vege beds! As for the greed, oh yes, it wasn’t what made us buy the house, but it was certainly an added attraction! I just wish they’d left the other one too!!

  2. Lucky you! I have a little unheated pop-up job that we purchased last winter and never got around to using in the spring. It doesn’t make sense to set one up until April (unless it was heated), and by mid-May we’re planting in the ground. (Spring to summer happens so fast here!) Maybe someday I’ll have a heated greenhouse… ;-)

    1. That is a challenging fast-switch of seasons, but I suppose it means you miss having a greenhouse less. I tend to sow in pots and modules when I could sow in the ground because I get better results – and the slugs get at fewer of the young plants! My Grandfather would no doubt laugh, he grew wonderful fruit and veg and never had the luxury of a greenhouse.

  3. Janet up here you can only buy greenhouses with toughened glass as anything else would be considered dangerous, that’s why I can’t afford one, also everything is anchored down, I guess if someone wanted they could bring one from the mainland that was less strong but it would be a costly false move, here they use fencing around poly tunnels, again they are extra strength poly tunnels, it’s a price we pay to live with those beautiful views,
    I too thought Helen was starting a new meme, so you are not alone in your mistake,
    I know that having 2 greenhouses you want to rush in and use both immediately and I can understand that, but, take a step back a moment and take a look at the long view, if I was you I would be happy using just one greenhouse over the next 2 years with the knowledge that by the start of the third growing season I would have 2 strong well placed greenhouses that will give me years of use, as the aluminum greenhouse is already down I would concentrate on that one for this year and the wood greenhouse next year, there by spreading both the work and cost, but that’s just me, I have 2 coldframes in the waiting, the one I made from bricks which needs to have the bricks cemented to keep it firm and a poly carbonate and wood one which needs 6 anchoring post and maybe some boards around the sides, I am not rushing as I want them safe and strong to use, but that’s me,
    good luck with your choices, Frances

    1. Hi Frances, glad I wasn’t the only one who misunderstood what Helen was doing! I think your suggestion to concentrate on the aluminium greenhouse for now and work my way up to (or along?) the wooden one is excellent, and definitely what I will be doing. In fact after writing this post I had what may be an epiphany, it involves re-arranging the kitchen garden but could be the answer to siting the aluminium greenhouse in a more sheltered position and leaving open the possibility of moving the wooden one to a sunnier spot in the future. Thanks for your thoughtful input!

  4. We have 10 ‘x 20’ Alton cedar greenhouse that we have had for many years. We did think of replacing it but the upheaval to everywhere to do this pit is off so we are about to ‘restore’ it. Several of the really large roof panes are broken and as our neighbour added trellis to our fence after the greenhouse was erected we can’t just slide glass back in. Also pears from the pear tree tend to fall onto the roof and have broken glass this was. For these reasons we are replacing broken glass with polycarbonate but the disadvantage of this is that it flexes in the wind and blows out so Martyn is having to a design solution. We also need to retreat the wood.although it will be just about impossible to reach all parts of the roof.

    1. Wow Sue, that’s a whopper! If I thought dismantling mine would be a big job, yours certainly puts it in perspective. I like the idea of re-roofing with polycarbonate but finding a way to secure it well so that it doesn’t blow off. Tricky, isn’t it, accessing a greenhouse sited close to a boundary. Good luck with your renovations, hopefully I will be able to pinch ideas from you in due course!

  5. Oh Janet what decisions to be made! I imagine that greenhouses so near to the sea must take a fair old battering and given what you’ve endured this winter it’s not surprising that there has been some damage. That cedar greenhouse looks a little gem – I would love one. I think that Frances has provided you with some excellent advice suggesting that you consider the long term scenario. Also have you scrutinised those seed packets thoroughly – do they all need sowing/bringing on in a greenhouse? If any of them are hardy annuals I would not waste greenhouse space on them. If they are hardy perennials you could just as easily sow them outside, if you have a reasonably sheltered spot somewhere. Why not limit yourself just to outdoor tomatoes this year? Could you get hold of any of the plants that you want either free or cheaply from any other source other than growing them yourself? Do you really need all those new plants this year? I can hear you screaming “Yes I do!” at the latter suggestion :) Look forward to hearing how you decide to progress.

    1. Hi Anna, I thought I was going to get away with it, because the back garden is relatively well sheltered. Silly me! You are absolutely right about needing to check those seed packets again, I know that I have got used to having the luxury of a greenhouse to raise seedlings in, if for no other reason than the watering is much easier. All your suggestions are really good ones, and yes, I rebel against most of them, being stubborn and fond of wanting it all and then some! I think I may have found a solution that will allow me to grow greenhouse tomatoes this year after all, I’ll keep you posted…
      PS I’ll try to scream more quietly ;-)

  6. Your cedar greenhouse looks cosy and warm – I’d love a wooden greenhouse but it would be tricky siting it in a communal garden! Resiting sounds like a lot of work when there’s so much else to do at this time of year but a bit of tlc will always pay off with wood. I’d definitely think about planting an edible hedge, they make brilliant windbreaks and bareroot hedging is cheap at this time of year – Rosa rugosa would give you wonderful rosehips in the autumn! Or a yew hedge would, in time, soften the effects of the wind. In the meantime, have a think about coldframes – they wouldn’t do for your tomatoes and chillis but would be perfect for seedlings. Let us know how you get on!

    1. Hi Caro, yes, I can see that squeezing a greenhouse in to your communal garden could be a challenge! Maybe one day you will have one of your own. My head is buzzing with ideas for preparing a windbreak against the day that we can tackle the resiting of the wooden greenhouse, but in the mean time I am doing exactly as Frances suggested and concentrating on finding a good solution for my aluminium one. I do have a couple of those lightweight plastic greenhouses, and I think they, and/or the coldframes that will be fine once I have replaced the hinges and treated the frames, will be crucial. Lets face it, I am actually extremely fortunate to have this “dilemma”, as Helen said, two greenhouses is just plain greedy!!

  7. Just a couple more suggestions Janet – anything to delay doing the housework! Do you make effective use of greenhouse space eg sowing in square pots rather than round – square take less room. Do you sow too many seeds? I know I do. After many years of sowing tomatoes and other plants that I sow yearly I should know by now that they will germinate, yet I still sow far more than I will ever need plants of. I then end up pricking them out, growing them on ie using valuable space before having to find other homes for them. I’m not doing it this year! Also do you use large trays or small ones when you sow seedlings? The little quarter size ones are brilliant for seed sowing.

    1. Hello again, always happy to help somebody avoid housework! I love your suggestions, mostly because I already follow most of them!! I am moving to square pots gradually, using coir pellets for seed sowing for anything large enough to station sow to cut down on waste/excess, and using quarter trays for the finer seeds. I only use full size seeds trays for carrying coir pellets around. I realised I was spending a fortune on extra compost to pot on lots of plants that I just didn’t need and didn’t have time or energy to try to sell, but I still have to work on only sowing what I need. Plus a couple of spares “just in case”… And I managed perfectly well seed sowing without a greenhouse, so the interim phase will be fine, but…

  8. Ah, what you describe is the constant dilemma, several things need doing and each needs to be done before the other to make life easy – did I say easy?! As a very stop gap answer why don’t you use the wooden greenhouse for seedlings, as you say the non-direct sunlight is a distinct advantage and cover the other with plastic for this year for the peppers and tomatoes? Maybe the long term answer might be to use a polycarbonate at least for the roof, I’m not sure of the relative costs but I think it might be stronger.

    1. Hi Christina, yes, I do hate it when things all seem to depend on one another, I always look for ways to break the dependencies. I thought polycarbonate would be the answer but it is not recommended for windy situations, being light it tends to blow out really easily, which is a shame. We think we may have come up with a place I can relocate the aluminium greenhouse to that will give it more shelter and at the same time open up another area of the garden, the only cost really is I lose one of the vege beds, at least for now. But we are definitely not going to try and do anything major with the wooden greenhouse this year! Way too much to take on.

  9. Very interesting – I am clearly going to have to add my five pen’orth at some point because I lurve my greenhouse (it’s relatively new to me and I can’t think why I didn’t have one sooner. You are so lucky with the wooden one – power!

    I’m not sure about winds because they can be so chancy – for instance, my greenhouse is intact despite me exposed position, and so is one belonging to someone I know nearby. But his neighbour’s – same position, same glass, same exposure – has blown out completely; glass all over the garden. The gales here were so patchy. But tethering is absolutely vital. Mine is drilled into concrete.

    1. Hi Kate, yes, I think one of the reasons tethering is so important is that it stops the frame flexing, which leads to small gaps in the glazing and pressure on the glass, so the wind gets inside and pouff! Suddenly you are spending precious gardening time and energy on hands and knees picking up the pieces. Literally. I am hoping that secure tethering plus re-orienting it so that the wind blows on to the roof not the front will sort most of the problems. What glass do you have in yours? And yes, aren’t greenhouses wonderful? Would hate to be without one now.

      1. I’m sure you’re right. I’m not sure what sort of glass I’ve got as I inherited it; the panes I had to replace were just ordinary glass, so tethering must be the key.

  10. The head gardener at Luton Hoo has a north facing greenhouse which he freely admits is in the wrong place for one if he could have chosen where to site it, but he doesn’t have to shade it in the summer and spends far less time watering plants/sloshing water around to keep things cool. So… your site might not be ideal, but it looks like it will save some work over the summer.

    Joy Larkcom has a very windswept garden, and I read an article years ago about her installing some windbreak hedges as the first task she did when she moved to Northern Ireland, so it sounds like your idea is a good one.

    I also read Monty Don’s article in GW about his wooden greenhouse, which I thought was interesting. He said the wood’s much better at evening out the temperature than aluminium ones, so they’re cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.

    If my allotment shed is anything to go by, your wooden greenhouse will last quite a bit longer. It’s been looking ready to fall down since the day I got my allotment – that was over 10 years ago ;)

    1. Hi VP, your shed experience gives me great hope! The wooden greenhouse does work really well for propagation, and I too have read that they are better for temperature management. I am currently mulling two potential new sites for the aluminium greenhouse, complete with windbreak of some sort. I think these things are always a matter of choosing the best compromise, but I certainly won’t be making the mistake of leaving a greenhouse untethered in future!

  11. As someone who doesn’t have a greenhouse I have to admit that I read this post with just a touch of envy!
    Mind you with a very exposed plot, and seeing the recent damage to greenhouses on the site, I think that I’m rather thankful that I don’t have one.
    I definitely have mixed feelings at present. xx

    1. Sorry Flighty, I know how lucky I am to have not one, but two, even if they are a bit of a challenge just at the moment. They can certainly be very troublesome on a windy site, but I’d hate to be without one now. Though at least it would have forced me to get to grips with direct sowing, after all, you manage to grow an amazing amount of edibles and glorious flowers without one!

  12. a greenhouse makes me envious – would love a garden but the thought of pottering in sheltered locale and watching seeds sprout is my idea of heaven! Not sure how much room you need for this year’s propagation but more greenhouse space might just mean an overload of work too!! If one will do, shift the easiest one to exactly where you want it and play house in the other a la gazebo. In the future may be you can have a big one and start marketing your green fingered successes.

    1. I know, sorry Laura, and not just one, but two! Gardening causes me to enter an alternative and timeless world anyway, but enter a greenhouse and the entire world seems to stop. I hope you get to play in one some day. As for what room I “need”, well, that’s highly debatable! I suppose it is a question of having set myself up to do as I did last year and grow both annuals and perennials to fill the very many gaps as I develop the garden here. I certainly can’t afford to buy plants in for all the spaces I keep creating. Add in the edibles, and certainly last year both greenhouses were full to bursting until quite late on. And if I hadn’t gone flot-bot they would have been all through the winter too. I think I will concentrate on getting my aluminium one set up some where likely to work long term, and leave renovating the wooden one for at least another year. Some basic running repairs should mean I can use it again this growing season for seedling nurturing.

  13. Hi Janet. Your long thoughtful post and all the comments have made for fascinating reading and both your own thoughts and those of others have already proved helpful – thinking aloud can be such a helpful thing. You already have your conservatory thingy, which could be used more in the short term if you decided to focus just on one greenhouse this year. Having just acquired our extra (greedy, moi?!) greenhouse and replaced the polycarbonate of our original with glass I am so pleased I did as the different in light is very noticeable, so that’s something to take into account too. Also, we had no problem selling our elderly and overlarge wooden greenhouse a few years ago – and this year there were plenty of second hand greenhouses available to buy on eBay. I was interested to see your long tray with the quarter trays on – I have been using a lot of these little trays and a long tray would fit nicely on an as yet unmade narrow shelf…

    1. Hi Cathy, I think that’s why the idea of lots of gardeners blogging about their greenhouses is so appealing to me, the thought that there will be so many ideas and equipment to steal! Those long trays are invaluable for greenhouse shelves, I can cram six of them in the aluminium one, and my module trays fit in them too, which makes them very flexible. I’m sure you would find them really useful. Thanks for the polycarb tip, given that I have already got one greenhouse that provided good non-glare for raising seedlings I certainly don’t want to add another, and besides, apparently it is a disaster in a big wind. I’ve a couple of ideas about where to put the little greenhouse, though both require some re-jigging of the kitchen garden beds, and in the mean time, thank goodness for the wonderful conservatory and the cheap and cheerful and totally invaluable plastic greenhouse things!

    1. Quite right Cathy, it is an enviable set of “problems” to have, we were very lucky to inherit a greenhouse when we moved here. Icing on a very lovely cake.

  14. My greenhouse was here when we moved in – totally in the wrong place (right in the middle of the garden) but we never got round to moving it. The willow overhangs it and it is right against the fence but even though our garden is exposed at the back we have never had any wind damage or broken panes. At the moment it looks like a tip inside but I love it and couldn’t think of a gardening life without one – it has become a kind of refuge especially when it is raining – there is nothing nicer than standing in there sowing seeds etc. Perhaps you could erect one of the willow barriers to break the wind (does that sound rude).

    1. Hi Elaine, I agree, I find it hard to envisage life without a greenhouse now, such a magical place to spend time, and boy does time just drift away when you are in there, wrapped up in your own little world, sowing, potting on etc. I will forgive you for suggesting that I break wind (!), I may well end up planting or building a windbreak, at least i have the chance to rehthink where we put it, and I think it might end up being a big improvement overall.

  15. Hi Janet, I think rotating your aluminium greenhouse 90 degrees is a good idea for the reasons you have said already. The only thing is, kept in their original spots you really won’t know if the slight changes will be good enough until the next lot of gales arrive again next winter. This is catch 22 situation, the sense of need to move them about but also once you start doing so it is committal and you’ll find you’ve sacrificed time for ‘gardening’…

    Perhaps rotate the aluminium, bolt it down and hope for the best this year, leave the cedar where it is for now? As for glass what about plastic substitute?

    For the cedar wood might be worth painting it with five star wood treatment, smelly stuff but it does toughen up old wood :)

    1. Thanks guys, we are definitely going to leave the cedar one where it is for now, just too big a job to take on when there is so much else to do. I am pinning my hoped on changing the orientation of the aluminium one and firmly securing it, though we have a Cunning Plan to relocate it, not sure if there will be more shelter, but there will be the potential to create some if needed later. I’d wondered about switching to polycarbonate, but apparently it is too lightweight to use in a windy location. Although I did find someone who swears by putting a couple of polycarbonate panels in and adding two tumble dryer vents to each, to allow any wind that does get in to escape without blowing the glass out…

  16. An aluminum greenhouse with polycarbonate panels can stand winds if properly secured. We live in an area called ‘Tornado Alley’ and have frequent high winds.

    The first trick is to properly secure the greenhouse itself. An aluminum frame needs more than just a few screws into a wood base. We used 4′ steel posts driven into the ground and attached to the greenhouse base with U-bolts. We used steel strapping to secure the joints of the greenhouse frame.

    The second trick is to use twice or three times as many little clips that are provided in greenhouse kits and available separately. Some polycarb owners use metal screws, tapping into the aluminum frame. Caulk along the seams will help secure as well.

    A wind that takes the roof off your house will also take out your greenhouse of course. Polycarbonate is lightweight and flexible but it is strong straight on.

    Over a number of years hot sun will make the panels brittle. Hail may damage them as it did ours. The fix was a new bundle of panels, still cheaper than glass in the long run.

    1. Hi Nell Jean, my greenhouse actually comes with aluminium legs that fasten to the integral frame and can then be set in concrete, which is probably what I will do, really interesting to hear what you do with yours though, thank you. Will bear polycarbonate in mind if I have more problems with the glass, and will certainly use extra clips this time and silicon them in place. Live and learn!

  17. What a conundrum indeed. I’m amazed that we didn’t sacrifice our greenhouse to the weather gods when we removed the row of dead elder and brambles and exposed it to the elements. Our glass is not reinforced; there are (and already were) a few slipped panes of glass, and one or two have cracks in the corners, but we turn a blind eye to that and use it regardless. It does get very hot in summer though as one long side faces directly south.
    I love the idea of having two, with a cooler one for raising seedlings without baking them. And a living hedge sounds like the best kind of windbreak ( pleached Japanese hornbeam, perhaps? ;) )

    1. Your greenhouse sounds like a determined survivor Sara, and admirable trait! I was admiring (!) the rot in the cedar greenhouse as I was clearing it out today, we’ll definitely have to do something about it soon, or lose the whole thing, which would be a shame. It is bliss having two, I think I prefer it to one large one, though I do love the idea of one wide enough to park citrus in pots in it over winter and still be able to walk in and out.

      Pleaching sounds like hard work, though the results are beautiful. Much thought ahead, particularly as the current plan means it is not clear whether I can plant a shelter hedge without sacrificing light. A nice problem to have though, better that than no greenhouse at all!

  18. I’m a bit late to this one. I’m finding it hard to keep up at the moment. I can only imagine what I’ll be like come the seed frenzy of April/May. Anyway greenhouses. I would do repairs which allowed seed sowing to get going for this year and use the summer to plan for the future and maybe tackle that in the autumn. Then you’ll be set up for next year. I think any sort of hedge would make a difference, it’s just the time it will take to bulk out enough to provide any form of windbreak. I agree though moving the wooden greenhouse could be tricky. It might be hard to get it back together again. Sometimes wood has warped into shapes which are fine when together but take them apart and try to get it back and it’s impossible. As for rot I’ve seen carpenters take out rotten wood and replace it with sections of new wood. Maybe this would be an option, or would it be the case that there was more new than old. It might end up like Triggers broom in Only Fools and Horses. ;) I have some info somewhere about greenhouses from my RHS courses. It was all really detailed stuff. I’ll try and dig it out and see if it might be of any use. If so, I can send it up to you. Definitely bolting it down or securing in some way though should make a big difference. Our garden isn’t particularly exposed but there are a lot of wind tunnel problems between houses. Ours is screwed into the concrete and didn’t budge an inch this winter. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Hi, sorry, I’m even later replying, thansk to work, an early start on seed sowing and visitors. Life does have a habit of getting in the way of blogging – and gardening for that matter! We have a plan afoot for moving the little greenhouse and reglazing it, and will leave the cedar greenhouse as is for now – our joiner friend is going to take a look at it, not that he knows this yet ;-) Its good enough to be looking after the broad beans and peas, which is the main thing! And you book is wonderful, by the way, it arrived the day after my birthday and I devoured it in a single sitting! So many great ideas, and I love the way your write too, friendly and accessible but so much information too. Congratulations!

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