A Shady Deal

For months I have been complaining about how cold and wet it has been. The greenhouse was comfortable to work in most days, but we had a whole two days of sunshine – and what happened? The plants got scorched! A bargain deal of 72 lavender plugs for the price of postage was too good to miss. I can’t use so many lavenders, but I can share them with those who can use them.

When they arrived they were so fresh looking. I transferred them into modules with a cover just until they settled after their journey by courier. They looked so healthy, and next day I decided to remove the cover – that was when the sun came out! They were well-watered, but were put in a greenhouse without shading. Disaster! Thirty-six little Munstead lavenders didn’t survive the baking. Half of the Hidcote lavenders survived but it was such a sad sight.

Monstead Lavender c

I don’t normally leave the greenhouse without protection either from the cold or heat. It was all encased in bubble wrap for winter and plants which were getting over-wintered in the greenhouse were given extra protection of a fleece cover. Most of them survived, with just one or two casualties. By summer, the bubble insulation gets exchanged for shady mesh.

I also leave the bubble insulation on the walls of the greenhouse to provide a filter for the early morning sun. Considering how often we see the sun, it might seem a tad overzealous, but the sun is still hot, we suffer mainly from icy winds, so in shelter, we can almost feel melted but out in the open, the wind forgets there are four points on the compass and it doesn’t always need to come from the Arctic.

I hadn’t done anything about the little old greenhouse I got from my neighbour, other than put insulation round the walls. The breeze block plinth it sits on was crumbling away, leaving the corners with sizeable holes.

I used the bubble wrap to floor length to cut down the drafts and have since treated the corners to some expanding foam. That has worked reasonably well.

greenhouse c
Greenhouse No.2

A few years ago I decided to use a propagator grow light to encourage young growth in the darker mornings, there is a little bit of heat comes from it. Of course it didn’t make much impression in daylight hours, but at night, I hadn’t realised just how bright it would get.

Greenhouse No.1 with propagator heat lamp

4 thoughts on “A Shady Deal

  1. The second greenhouse belongs to my neighbour who no longer uses it. It has a different aspect to my own and not so shady so I do get more of a choice. It has been so handy having longer sunlight hoursl


  2. Almost no one in this area has a full glass greenhouse. A 50 degree sunrise greenhouse tempeture can quickly rise to 100 or even 125 degrees when exposed to our hot direct sun light making unattended greenhouses suitable only for the hardest desert plants.
    Happy Gardening


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