Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption

       Downsizer Forum Index -> Grow Your Own

Greenhouse: beds, bags or buckets?

Those with greenhouses (glasshouses) do you have boarders, hard standing with growbags or pots or some other arrangement? If you have boarders do you change the soil at all or perform any crop rotation?

Our old greenhouse had boarders and although the soil was topped up each year we never changed it and didn't seem to have problems. I now have a used greenhouse with a layer of manky gravel to sort out and wandering what to do.

pots ,beds or nf/hplv as blocks in channels

stuff at waist height is convenient and the old floor is an unknown

how big is this thing ?

When we had a (smallish - 12/15 foot long) greenhouse back when I were a lad we had:
A gravel bed along one side with ring culture tomatoes growing in it and then benches along the end and back part way along the other side for starting things/growing smaller stuff and then another bed that things like cucumbers and aubergines went in. I think that bit was part dug out and refreshed with new compost every year as far as I remember.

The smaller the container the more frequently it will need watering. I grow in the borders for that reason, the only way I would grow in bags or pots is with automatic watering.
Nicky Colour it green

we have beds in the greenhouses. Every spring we take out the top layer of soil and replace with compost from the compost heap. I mostly grow tomatoes, therefore no rotation. I never feed the tomatoes and get great crops (we do put wood ash from our range and woodburner on the compost heaps, this might help).
wellington womble

I have slabs, but would much prefer beds, for ease of watering and feeding and less potting up. I do have a drip feeder from a small waterbutt, which means it is managable, but I would swap for beds and weed supressing membrane tomorrow.

ETA that without beds, I prefer old fashioned long tom pots. You can get a cane in easily, they hold plenty of soil and take up less floor space. I've used grow bags, but they're too shallow and hard to water. Other pots are squatter and therefore increase in girth along with height and you can't get so many in once you have enough height for the cane and they become to heavy to be practical. I have used string and special greenhouse clippy thingies, but they are more fiddly than canes and soft tie. Just my preference, mind.
john of wessex

If you have boarders, do they change their bedding and clear their rooms or do you?
Mistress Rose

I have a border and haven't changed the soil in it. Generally I grow a few tomatoes, but am having a change this year and am growing peppers and a squash. I leave the beds dry except for the small area round each plant, and this discourages slugs and snails and weeds.

I've had the same small greenhouse (8ftx10ft) since the early 70"s and have a central slabbed pathway with soil borders on each side. I've never changed the soil - but occasionally (say every other year) take off a couple of inches of soil and chuck a few bags of well rotted horse manure in - in the autumn. I grow tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, broad beans and anything else that I can't fit into the outside raised bed. It all grows really well. All are planted directly into the soil.
Last year the cucamelons grow so well that they made their way out of the skylight in the roof.
Obviously with the higher heat the broad beans grow really quickly, well before the outside ones, so I get a longer cropping season.
This year it also has self seeded nasturtiums, calendula and some dwarf sunflowers - plus a loofah plant and some chard, oh..and some orach and red basil. It gets a handful of FBB in the spring and summer and Tomorite for the toms.

I've borders which prefer but have used pots and bags. I mix compost in each year. When using bags I tip them on end to create more of a sand bag and then plant through the short side. No more than two plants. Much better root growth and water retention.

I've a border one side where I change the top few inches every year and on the other I use grow bags which I cut in half and stand on their ends, Sometimes I use an old compost bags filled with well rotted dung or compost if I've got enough to spare.
Mistress Rose

Sounds as if your greenhouse is really full Chickenlady. I have a problem with the vine, which sometimes disputes my right to enter. So far I have kept in under control by rubbing out buds and removing unwanted side shoots, but sometimes it throws out a new shoot when I am not looking. Very Happy

I have had both beds and pots. I have now fully converted to pots. I have staging going down the one side and then trays on the floor going down the other side. Both are in a ladder formation to maximise space. I find pots easier to deal with and as I use large ones, combined with growbag trays, watering is not much of an issue.

Our greenhouse is small and is mainly used for germination and small seedling stage. Concrete floor, a bench on either side with large propagators than run pretty much the whole length of the greenhouse (about 8ft I think).

Polytunnel 1 has a weedproof membrane covering all of the floor and is used for early plant growth (moving them on from the greenhouse) and for tomatoes, chillis etc through the summer and autumn. Used to use growbags with large pots with the bottoms cut off sunk into them and filled with compost to give more rooting space. Now use large pots (florists buckets) filled with compost from the heap. Have done this to avoid the build up of blight spores in the soil. In the winter I can clear everything out and swab it out with appropriate disinfectant.

Polytunnel 2 has raised beds. Still not sure about this one and I never use it to it's full potential. If I was to start again with it I think I might forget the raised beds and just rotovate the lot of it.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Grow Your Own
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home