The Greenhouse Year – February

Things are warming up on my greenhouse, although the temperatures haven’t really yet been high enough for the heater to be put away.

It was a bit too grey, cold and windy to do much in the garden yesterday so I spent a couple of hours tidying up the greenhouse.  I have sown, pricked out and potted up.  You can see my broad beans are beginning to germinate and I have  also pricked out some eranthis seedlings though these will be going out to the cold frame in the next couple of days before the greenhouse gets too hot for these early spring gems.  I have  also potted up  some small passionflower plants I had  in the hope that they will really grow this year and fill the greenhouse with flowers. I still need to pot up my two Callistemon plants which are looking a little pot bound, I am very  proud of them as I managed to get them to grow from seed a couple of years ago and it isn’t that easy to get the seeds to germinate.

I’ve sown some tomatoes.  It may be too early I don’t know but we shall see.  This is just phase 1 of the sowing extravaganza I have planned this year, I am ignoring the fact that I have to prick them all out.   There has been some dithering about  whether to set up the propagator tray or/and the heated tray.  I decided in the end at this stage to go for the long narrow propagator as I learnt last year that many seeds don’t benefit from bottom heat and in fact it can have a detrimental affect on the seeds.  I will get the heated tray out in a few weeks when I am sowing more tender annuals and perennials. In case you are wondering in the various trays above are: sweet peas, cauliflower, artichokes, tomatoes, chilli, petunia, acquilega, dahlia and sainfoin.  The acquilega have been sitting outside for about a month so they have had a good freezing and hopefully this will aid germination.

Lurking below  is a tray of cyclamen persicum which I germinated last year.  No flowers this year but hopefully by next winter they will have bulked  up enough to give me some winter colour in the house.  You can also see some of my succulents over the back.

My Aloe is just ridiculous now and I really don’t know what to do with it.  As you can see it is growing sideways, it has been doing this for sometime well before it push put under the seed trays.  There are lots of baby aloes which I can remove and I already have others in the house.  There is part of me that thinks I should collect some of the babies and throw the plant but I hesitate as it flowers and the flowers are quite attractive so I feel a little cruel throwing such a healthy plant just because it is cumbersome.  Oh and you can see a solitary holly cutting in a large pot – sadly the others didn’t take and I need to pot up the one left. The tall leaved plants at the back are Watsonia which have really benefited from this winter in the greenhouse hiding under the bench.  The leaves have filled out and are a better green.  I am hoping they might flower soon especially as I grew them from seed about 2 years ago.

I have to confess to neglecting my Melianthus major.  I noticed the other day on looking out of the kitchen window that the leaves were drooping and looking very brittle.  Panic watering followed but the real problem was that the plants were well overdue for potting up and so there was no moisture reservoir for them to draw on.  I have now potted them up and tidied the plants but some of the leaves are still very dry and sad-looking.  On a positive note there are lots of new leaf shoots apparent all the way down the stem.  They are so big now that the only place for them is on top of the potting bench so whenever I am working in the greenhouse they have to be evicted.  I will need to start hardening them off soon so this year  they can be planted out  in the garden.

I have also tidied out the cold frame and potted up some Viper Bugloss.  The cold frame is currently full of hardy annuals and young perennials sown last year so I will need to get them hardened off soon as well to start making room for the next crop of seedlings from the greenhouse.  I suspect space is going to be a premium very soon and I  found myself wondering about a poly tunnel the other day, completely out of the blue whilst walking across campus at work.  I think if I can grow on a reasonable number of perennial seedlings then I need to think about over wintering them ready to be sold next Spring (2013).  Then the following day I spotted a plastic greenhouse in a local superstore at a very low-cost and I am seriously wondering about getting one especially as I could grow my tomatoes on in it and that would make life in the proper greenhouse better.

If you have a greenhouse and would like to join in this monthly meme of what is growing in your greenhouse then join in on the 20th of each month and  post a link in the comment box  below.




14 Comments on “The Greenhouse Year – February

  1. Hello,
    Here on the windy island it’s still too early to do much, not a case of temperature so much as short days. However I’m an optimist so the aubergine seeds and peppers are in the propagator and I’ve sown Florence fennel and thyme in pots.
    Over wintering on the bench I have Hippeastrum “Toughie”, Cyclamen cyprium, Iris reticulata, assorted herbs, South African bulbs, miscellaneous odds and ends, and trays of Olearia cuttings..
    Growing in the beds I have kale, cauliflower, early potatoes, shallots, parsley, spinach, leaf salad mixes, carrots, mizuna, pak choi, radishes and some weeds.
    Perhaps I’d better do another post on my blog and add some photos.

  2. Hey Helen- while I dont have a greenhouse- i have started to grow some seeds too- I cracked last week and again last night- I now have 3 types of chillis and 5 types of of tomatoes sown- and last night im sure a month too early some squash and pumpkin seeds- i just couldnt help myself!

    Your watsonia look very happy!

    Seeing your melianthus reminds me i have apot on my allotment that i should check up on.
    What did you get to take home from Chelsea – i got some Arundo donex which i had to give to my mum as realised they werent really suitably for growing on my windowsill!

  3. I wish I had a greenhouse. Instead I have a shelf with grow lights and heat mats in the basement. I have been growing greens and herbs with it this winter. Just starting some early annuals.

  4. Hi Helen,
    Yesterday was a lovely sunny day so I cleaned out the inside of the greenhouse. I have three tpes of spring cabaage in gro-bags from Marshalls plus 6 clumps of Cannas which I grew from seed last year. These all seem to have survived the winter. I sowed tomato, sweet pepper, chilli peper and augergine in a heated windowsill propogator. Hopwefully the start to a successful gardening year.

  5. It’s amazing that at this time of year we still find stuff to write about. Can’t wait until summer when our greenhouses are (hopefully) FULL of delights!

  6. greenhouse lost a couple of roof panes this winter, so seeds started on the shelf above the boiler in the conservatory include ricinus communii, nasturtiums, italian tomoatoes and california poppies.
    streptocarpus cuttings have taken nicely and I’ve got lots of babies. ditto the plectranthus cuttings, all looking good for a decent summer border this year.
    overwintering pelagoniums on the windowsills and in the canna in the porch is looking healthy x

  7. Our greenhouse still in bits……the ground is sooooo claggy we haven’t managed to erect it yet…..another month hopefully. However I made some cloches from drinks bottles,a jam jar and a plastic beer glass. I sprinkled some Rio Rocket seeds and they are all coming up in spite of the snow and freezing temperatures.

  8. Oooh! i love all your greenhouse instalments – i think i’ve got touch of greenhouse-envy…i want one…

  9. I don’t have a greenhouse, but I really enjoy seeing what’s growing in yours. I think I would do a lot better with seeds and such if I did have one! Or maybe that’s just my excuse!

  10. Your greenhouse looks immaculate and impressively full for so early in the year Helen. There is something so appealing about neatly labelled trays topped with gravel. My greenhouse is still a bit of a wasteland at the moment, though I can feel the urge to get sowing stirring and am accumulating loo roll middles for sweet peas and broad beans etc. If I actually manage to start some things off again I’ll join in your meme next month. A polytunnel or plastic greenhouse sounds like a great thing to invest in given what a propagation habit you have. Good luck with it – and with space juggling. Let the madness begin…

  11. Love peeking into other people’s greenhouses Helen 🙂 You have made optimum use of the space you have. No doubt though you will soon be doing the greenhouse shuffle. Will make a note of the date and try to join in next month ~ I ‘m still brushing the cobwebs away at the moment .

  12. Somehow I misssed seeing this post before; it makes me realise that I am way behind. I haven’t sown anything yet, so no things pricked out. Some of the seeds that germinated in autumn have either damped off or more likely died through lack of water! I must work harder at this. Thank you for reminder. I’ll try to join in next month. Christina

  13. Your greenhouse is so well organised! It’s so lovely to see all those trays lined up knowing that in a few weeks they’ll contain beautiful plants. I love your aloe too… mine are still babies!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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