Greenhouse Updates

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You can follow along in real time by following me on Instagram @zoewoodwardgardening.

For busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Grow-A-Long Handbooks.

It contains technical growing information including plant heights and spacing, what to pinch and when, key dates to help you plan for the growing season ahead, and a sowing schedule.

Monday 27th March 2023

What a glorious day and with no frosts forecast in the near future it was the perfect time to plant out our Autumn Jump Starter Sweetpeas!

25th March 2023

Sweet Pea planting ‘Out Out’ next week

We’ve nearly made it! Next week the Sweetpeas are going in the ground.

We have a frost forecast for tomorrow night so for the sake of a couple more days we will hold off

on planting ‘Out Out’!

If you would like more details ahead of time

23RD MARCH 2023

18TH MARCH 2023

Watering Ranunculus to prevent the risk of bud failure

The autumn started Ranunculus are on the brink of flowering. It’s vital that they don’t suffer from drought or you may lose the buds before they have the chance to flower.

17TH MARCH 2023

12TH MARCH 2023

Hardening off – we are taking advantage of the rise in temperatures

After hardening off planting out ‘out’ will be dictated very much by the weather.

For information on cold our frames

9TH MARCH 2023

March Cold Snap Update

The cold on Tuesday was a bit milder than expected, however the duration is extending.

Here is what I am doing with my plants and seedlings to keep them happy and healthy while we wait it out.

6TH MARCH 2023

Protect Colour Change Pot Stocks from extreme cold.

I thought I’d add this as a quick ‘short’ so you don’t miss it!

General Greenhouse Update (cold alert)

Keep plants on the dryer side during extreme cold, wet plants are more prone to damage.

Give newly emerged seedlings a day out in the greenhouse so they don’t get leggy but bring them back inside at night.

5th March 2023

Switch on heat mats for cold protection if you have them.

Raise fleece away from the leaves – this will give them more protection. If in doubt bring plants indoors, it’s only for a day or two.

4th March 2023

Greenhouse Update Stock Seedlings (Bring in during the big freeze)

The Stocks are growing so well and you can start to see the leaves changing colour ready for selection.

This happens only on our pot stocks and they will need some time in the cold greenhouse to achieve this.

During the big freeze Bring in trays of seedlings at night the leaves will turn a nice lemon colour if they are allowed to get very cold and this won’t go back when they warm up.

3rd March 2023

Greenhouse update – Top growth on plants

Because of the very cold weather this winter, the top growth on the plants is behind, however take a closer look and you may find that plants do in fact need potting on.

The roots growing faster in the warm compost.

This also gives you a chance to change the soil giving them back the soil / air balance, more nutrients and space to get away quickly when the weather finally warms up!

3th March 2023

Checking up on our Late Winter started Anemone and Ranunculus corms.

Its much too cold to start corms off in an unheated greenhouse so we have started them in a cool place indoors.

Due to the lack of space we made a change for late Winter and started off our corms all together in the same tray (but separated by colour/variety).

I tested the soil temperature and found it was around 14.8C. All the corms have sprouted and are ready now to be transplanted into their own trays.

Its important that you don’t leave this step too long, they will need moving on in 10-14 days after soaking and planting in the tray.

If you have any problems with your corms not waking up, check to see if the compost has dried out, it needs to be moist but not wet!

27th February 2023

Rudbeckia germination after 12 days indoors but not on a heat mat.

As many of you are growing along without the aid of heat mats and limited windowsill space I thought I would experiment with germination under similar conditions.

So far I have germinated everything from our Grow-A-Long Seed Shop successfully with only a few more days to wait. For the full Rudbeckia Grow-A-Long click here or visit our Spring Grow-A-Long Video Hub.

24th February 2023

Pinching Snaps the Science behind it (quick version)

If you are interested in growing Snaps the longer version of this video is available by clicking the link below:

21St February 2023

Potting on Greater Quaking Grass (Briza maxima) and late Winter sowing.

Separate any plants that have germinated in the same cell before potting on into 15 cell trays or pots.

Not separating plants will mean that they will have to compete for space, water and nutrients.

The resulting plants will be smaller and less healthy.

For late Winter sowing see the Spring Grow Along Video hub.

20th February 2023

Germination Update

An update on our recently sown seedlings Malope, Scabious, Sweet Peas, and Stocks.

18th February 2023

Hardening off

The first plants to be evicted from the greenhouse!

We are taking advantage of this mild spell to start making room in the greenhouse.

Only move out the very hardy plants that have survived well even during the very coldest spells of the winter.

More information is included in your handbook as well as a list of plants with their hardiness ratings.

If you miss this window of opportunity, wait until the next mild spell and never move plants outside for the first time during a cold snap, you can shock your plants and damage them.

Plants will start to toughen up ready to be planted out in the garden later this Spring.

If plants are still a bit small it’s okay to keep them undercover for a bit longer to grow.


Potting on Orlaya Grandiflora

Orlaya is very hardy so won’t mind this cold snap one bit. Potting on now for planting once the ground warms up in early Spring.


Let in the light.

Light levels are returning but it’s still very cold so lift your fleece even if it’s just for a few hours so plants can bask in the glorious late Winter sunshine, before tucking them back in for the night.

I close up about 3pm!



What to sow late winter

Here is the link to my January Seed Shop which lists all the seeds we are sowing in the GROW-A-LONG



Lots of questions on ‘pinching plants’.


Potting on Agrostemma

Autumn Jump Starter Agrostemma, there will be another chance to sow Agrostemma coming up shortly.

31 ST JANUARY 2023

We are experiencing a slight lift in the temperatures so I’m going to treat my Autumn Jump Starter plants to a little seaweed tonic.



Sweet-pea mid winter Q&A cold damage



Videos streaming on social media now and are being saved all together here.

More to follow.

I’ve kept all the plant videos together here


By now the Cornflowers will have filled their 40 cell trays and are good strong plug plants.
Time to give them a bit more room and separate any twin seedling plants.

11°C and everything is looking perky

Ventilate! Be on the lookout for condensation!


Post Freeze Greenhouse Update

We’ve had a 20°C swing! It’s no wonder the British are so obsessed with the weather!

Checking on our Dahlia Tubers after the big freeze!


Anemones are more hardy than Ranunculus

The water content in Ranunculus is much higher and you can see the difference in the plants during this very cold snap.


Don’t worry if your hardy plants are looking a little flat the thaw is on its way!

The water is frozen which means the plant cells are unable to replenish themselves, as the big thaw arrives the water will begin to flow again and the plant cells will refill and perk up.

Here is the Cold Shock Video I was talking about 👇🏻


-8.7°C (16.3°F) it’s officially the coldest it’s ever been in my greenhouse.

The plants are slowly freezing solid so expect them to droop from the lack of water in their cells, this is normal.


Greenhouse update, letting in a bit of air!

Frozen solid! The sun is has got its hat on however so I’m letting in a little air to freshen things up!



Greenhouse update Freezing Conditions

The greenhouse low has been -4.6°C (23.7°F) as the cold weather is set to continue.


I couldn’t resist sharing this video of Neil again because it’s his birthday tomorrow and I’m going to have to be nice to him all day!

Now, if your plants are looking a little frozen this morning don’t panic, here is a short video on the ‘science of freezing and plant hardiness’, basically how our plants are adjusting to cope with the cold.


Leave fleece in place, drain down taps and bring in liquids such as plant feed.

Drain down taps, pipes and hose attachments, freezing water expands and can burst your pipes and hose attachments. Everything seems fine until it thaws out, then you’ll find leaks everywhere.

Leave fleece in place.

Bring in liquid plant feed and sprays, freezing will damage the product.

6TH December 2022

Cold weather preparations.

Very cold weather is due in the UK this week. In some areas overnight temperatures will plunge -6°C (21°F). Frost and ice will be widespread.

4th December 2022

Cold weather and feeding plants.

It’s best not to feed plants during winter. Feed will boost plants into growth. This young tender growth is then much more likely to be burned by the frost. Even very hardy plants could then be damaged.

2nd December 2022

Plants as apposed to tiny seedlings are much better equipped to cope with the low light levels and freezing temperatures.

Plant growth is almost at a standstill as we head towards the shortest day of the year.

30th November 2022

We worry so much about the cold it’s easy to forget that overheating can be much more damaging to plants and is still a real threat during winter.

29th November 2022

Ranunculus Update Watering and what to do if they wilt.

Ranunculus Update (29 November 2022) Watering and what to do if they wilt.

24th November

Move foliage away from the glass or plastic in your greenhouse to prevent leaf damage.

Greenhouse Update 22nd November

Spot watering. The Autumn Started plants have slowed right down now and the damp conditions mean we should only water individual plants as they need it.

Spot Watering

15th November Is you greenhouse in the right location?

The amount of light that plants receive makes a dramatic difference to plant health.

Is you greenhouse in the right location?

During winter when the sun is lower and the days are shorter, it’s a good idea to recheck the location of your greenhouse, especially mini greenhouses that tend to located where it’s most convenient.

During winter area of the garden may not receive the same amount light, or any direct sunshine at all.

To avoid fungal diseases such as damping off disease and botrytis, relocate mini greenhouses and ventilate daily. Light portable greenhouses are also at risk for tipping over so please secure well and weigh them down.



Don’t be fooled by the weather, most seeds will not germinate well outside now, if you have any stragglers then a heat mat outside or a spell indoors will help them along (but not Orlaya, Larkspur or Wild Carrot, they need cold).

I won’t be starting any new seeds off now, the light levels are dropping quickly and it’s only a month until the shortest day!

That was quick wasn’t it!

I will start sowing again next year.

Are the roots escaping from the bottom of you pots, concerned you should be potting on?

Are the roots escaping from the bottom of you pots, concerned you should be potting on?

Often it’s just a case of water pooling in the bottom tray. Roots are pre-programmed to search out water, this doesn’t mean they need potting on and in some cases root disturbance this early can upset your seedlings.

Greenhouse Update 10th November

An update on the Ranunculus and Cornflowers

Greenhouse Update 21st October

Ranunculus are up and running 18th October

Ranunculus 18th October

Greenhouse Update 9th October Ammi majus update

9th October Ammi majus update

7th October Sweet Pea and Sweet Rocket Update

7th October Sweet Pea and Sweet Rocket Update

Greenhouse Update 29th September

We are now closing our greenhouse at night. Be sure to open up again in the morning especially if it’s sunny so your plants don’t overheat

Shut your Greenhouse at night

Greenhouse Update 28th September

28th September Revisiting the seeds we’ve sown so far


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