Growing in a greenhouse

Hello from Australia.

This pandemic is seeing a lot of new gardeners in Australia, the problem is we are heading into Winter here. I have my Winter crops in but wanted to dabble in growing Summer veggies in a greenhouse. I am sure this is a common occurrence in the UK. I was hoping to gain some tips on things I need to do to to keep my greenhouse warm during the nights and any other tips on how to use a greenhouse through Winter.

Thank you and stay safe!

Hi there - down under
Can’t advise you about then greenhouse issue but would suggest that you get your Spring seeds planned, organised and bought before the crisis really hits you. This is a miserable curse that is not going away tomorrow, and so get your Spring seeds in NOW!
Depending on the way that your climate works, you will know better than us in the UK what seeds to get in readiness.
As winter approaches, we think of stuff like - Spring onions, onions, leeks and the brassicas that over-winter OK. It may be different for you.
Every good wish from the ‘northern hemisphere’
Paul in the UK wishing you all the best.
Take care of yourself and yours as this dreadfully insidious virus threatens us all
Paul in the Midlands, UK

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Hey SamS. As day length begins to shorten considerably there is one family of crops that does really well out of this: the brassicas, and specifically salads such mustards, mizuna, rocket/arugula, pak choi etc. These can be sown from late summer/early autumn to crop through most of the winter with a little protection.

To keep the greenhouse warmer for longer, make sure to give it a clean to maximise incoming solar radiation. Some people add insulation to the inside of the greenhouse, but personally I don’t do this as this also cuts out some of the light entering the greenhouse. You could offer temporary insulation in the form of row covers/horticultural fleece on the very coldest nights, but this shouldn’t be necessary if you are growing hardy cool-season crops like the above. Spring/salad onions/scallions do well too, as do winter-hardy varieties of lettuce.

Leave plenty of space between plants - generally at least 23cm/9in in both directions. This will allow more light to reach each individual plant, while offering fewer hiding places for adventurous slugs.

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Thanks Paul, I am blessed to work for a seed company so have my seeds sorted. I put in a nice veggie patch this Summer so we are lucky to have some home grown produce growing already. I will give a greenhouse a go and see what I can grow in there.

Thank you Ben. Our winters are quite mild compared to yours, we get a few minus days and a few heavy frosts but other than that it is around 16 degrees celsius during the day and 5ish at night. My winter crops are in, but i’d love some cucumbers or tomatoes too so will see if they will grow in the greenhouse.
Thanks for your tips.

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Sorry, SamS, I feel now that I was ‘teaching grandmother to suck eggs’ and that was not the intention.

No don’t be silly. I work there but am quite new to gardening and have never grown anything successfully over Winter so I need all the help I can get.

Thanks for the response, SamS. Take a look at Charles Dowding videos on YouTube. They might well help and lead you to others.

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You could give cold climate varieties of tomatoes a try. These are usually Russian and Polish varieties, such as Black Krim or Stupice, something that matures in 75 days but you will need to protect the plants at night or on cold days with horticultural fleece.
Gherkin varieties of cucumbers may cope with the cooler weather and you might try dwarf french beans. Of course you’ll probably have no problem with snow peas and broad beans either.
Baby beetroot, baby turnips, radishes and baby carrots are all good in an unheated tunnel or greenhouse over the winter if you don’t get a lot of frost.
You might also try zucchini or patty pan squash with fleece during cold weather. You may need to hand pollinate if you have no bees around.
Good luck with it. :tomato:

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Thank you Alli G, I will give those a try. I would love to have zucchini growing too. FYI, I love AliG LOL.

Good gracious, is he still around? I remember him from about 20 years ago. I have to say we are completely different in just about every single respect. I would certainly never wear a white tracksuit…

I come from British blood, I know you’re not all like that ha ha ha, same here, we don’t all dress like croc dundee innit!