Greenhouse Updates 2023

The first Greenhouse Update following the Autumn Jump Starter Grow-A-Long!

I will post videos from my greenhouse here as we go along so you can compare and check my plants with your own!

Cold weather incoming (24 November 2023)

Lots of the plants from the Autumn Jump Starter (Autumn Sowing) are very hardy so need no extra protection.

For those that are less hardy I have added a layer of horticultural fleece for extra protection. Horticultural fleece (frost cloth) is designed exactly for this purpose so you don’t have to worry about removing it in the morning.

It lets in light and is breathable. But do make sure you remove it before watering or it will soak up the moisture like a towel and become very heavy crushing plants.

There are lots more videos on cold weather protection on my YouTube channel if you need more specific information.

Potting on Clary Sage Coronation Mix (Salvia viridis) (21 November 2023)

Time to pot on our Clary Sage, but don’t worry if you plants are not ready yet.

It is far better to wait until they have filled their 40 cell trays to minimise any root disturbance. These are fast growing so they will catch up in the next couple of weeks.

Ventilation and Drainage – Greenhouse Update (20 November 2023)

Ventilation and Drainage If you can, lift your trays up on shelves.

This helps water move freely from the bottom of the trays preventing waterlogged soil and allows fresh air to get to the roots. Low light levels slows down plant growth.

As we head into winter don’t expect plants to do very much, they will take off again in late winter once light levels return to around 10 hours.

Transpiration is also slower due to the cooler temperatures and low light so watering will be a lot less. Only water plants when they need it or you will risk plants sitting in cold wet compost and this can lead to rotting. I won’t be sowing any more seeds until mid February.

You can easily fake conditions by adding warmth to fool seeds into germination but without enough natural daylight seedlings will struggle to grow and ‘damping off’ disease can occur.

Plants are much more resilient than seedlings. Our Autumn Jump Started seeds have made the transition from seedling to young plants.

Our job now is just to keep them ticking over ready for when the light returns.

Plants, depending on the variety will bloom naturally when the day length and temperatures are just right no matter how big the plants are (providing they have grown out of the juvenile stage).

Autumn starting gives them a chance to put on much more vegetative growth before this happens, giving us bigger, taller and more robust plants flowering in our gardens next year!

Poppies – Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’ (Potting on) 15 November 2023

ime to pot on our poppies, but don’t worry if you plants are not ready yet.

It is far better to wait until they have filled their 40 cell trays to minimise any root disturbance. These are fast growing so they will catch up in the next couple of weeks.

You can find the original Grow-A-Long video for Poppies – Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’ (how to sow and grow) by clicking here

Don’t pinch your Autumn started plants! (12 November 2023)

They need all the foliage they can get, the light levels will continue to drop until the Winter Solstice restricting the plants ability to photosynthesise.

So it makes sense not to unnecessarily remove leaves and pinch plants.

Many plants branch naturally including Autumn Started Sweetpeas so pinching plants will divert and dilute the growth making smaller stems.

Sweetpeas will continue to branch naturally over a long flowering season with each flush of flowers slightly shorter than the last. For this reason we don’t pinch our Sweetpeas.

Cut flower Snapdragons however don’t have this natural branching habit and are much slower to flower then re bloom so I pinch in late winter when the light levers return, just once to create multiple stems.

They will then basically get a second pinch when deadheading in summer for an another flush. Mini Butterfly snapdragons however have been bred to branch naturally so I won’t be pinching those at all.

Cerinthe major potting on (quick video)

I am potting on my Cerinthe major into 15 cell trays to give them a bit of extra room, its been a good start to the growing season and plants have done much better than this time last year.

Don’t worry if yours are not ready yet, I’m just getting ahead while the weather is fine. For a more detailed video in splitting double Cerinthe seedlings, click here.

Q & A Time = Roots escaping from the bottom of your pots and Pinching plants too early

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.

Consistent watering will keep moisture in the compost and stop roots escaping in the search for moisture and knitting together underneath the cells.

These roots will then be damaged come potting on time as you try and separate them.

A free draining shelf will air prune escaping roots and encourage growth inside the cells or pots. Pinching plants too early while the light levels are so low will reduce photosynthesis and damage your plants.

They need all the leave surface they can get throughout winter. Pinching just like pruning will also encourage soft sappy growth which is more easily damage in cold conditions.

Pot plants on if needed. We will pinch suitable plants in late Winter or very early Spring once light levels return. At this point you can also take cuttings for free plants.

Greenhouse Update early November 2023

Updates from my greenhouse on the Cornflowers, Agrostemma, Snapdragons, Ammi majus. Ammi Visnaga, Anemones, Ranunculus, Butterfly Ranunculus, Briza Maxima, Sweetpeas, Larkspur, Orlaya Grandiflora and Wild Carrot.

Plus turning trays for even light distribution, damping off disease and over watering and tips on germination.

Pricking Out Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) seedlings

Part Two – New Mini Butterfly Snapdragons & sowing seeds in Quarter sized trays.

In this video we move on our broadcast sown seedlings into individual cells to grow on over winter. You can find Part One by clicking here.

Overwintering Eucalyptus (28 October 2023)

Eucalyptus can be a little frost tender especially if they are young plants in containers.

Here is how we keep them in good condition over winter.

Edema, or oedema develops when roots take up water faster than it can be used by the plant (transpired out through the pores in the leaves).

It is more common in winter due to the lower light levels, cooler and damper conditions that naturally slow down the rate of transpiration.

The next shop will be in January ahead of the Spring Grow-A-Long For a reminder click here to be added to my mailing list.

Storing Dahlia Tubers Over Winter

It’s going to be cold tonight, so time to be pulling the blankets over the stored Dahlia Tubers.

Before you do this make sure your tubers are completely dry and avoid storing tubers anywhere with wild temperature fluctuations.

Cold nights often come along with sparkling sunshine and buildings with felt roofs are notorious for overheating. I explain more in this video.

The Dahlia Sale will be back for March 2024! Click here to be added to my mailing list if you would like a reminder nearer the time.

Greenhouse update (Nigella, Larkspur Hollyhocks) 26th October 2023

If you are struggling with germination it could be the compost is being baked dry, try moving trays to a more sheltered spot in the greenhouse until seedlings have popped up.
This will keep the compost around the seeds moist.

Greenhouse Update Sweet pea, Cerinthe, Clary Sage & Poppy ‘Bowling Ball’ real time growing update.

Greenhouse Update (22 October 2023)

Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus), Cerinthe, Clary Sage (Salvia viridis) and Poppy Bowling Ball (Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’) real time growing update.

You can order my exact seeds, corms and tubers just ahead of each Grow-A-Long so we can grow the exact same plants together! The next shop will be in January ahead of the Spring Grow-A-Long For a reminder click here to be added to my mailing list.

Question Time – Germination Issues, Sweet pea pots sizes and recycled containers

Hollyhock Update – Overwintering (23 October 2023)

These are our Special first year flowering hollyhocks (Alcea rosea annua) very different for the regular biennial types.

Technically a tender perennial, you can have a go at over wintering your plants. These Hollyhocks were only started in March and bloomed the same summer.

You can get your hands on our special seeds in our January seed shop. If you sign up to my email list I will send you a reminder just before so you can be ready with your order. Click here to be added.

Sweet pea cuttings, turn your leggy sweet peas into new plants

Convert your ‘Leggy Linda’ seedlings into new plants by taking Sweet Pea cuttings.

Grow-A-Long = I sow, you sow, from seeds to flowers together!

22nd October 2023

Leggy Linda’s or leggy seedlings

The most common problem when starting seeds is too little light. At this time of the year the sun has dipped casting large areas of your garden into shade.

It might look bright but there is no actual overhead sunshine reaching your plants.

Tall fence panels don’t help, so you might have to relocate your little zippy greenhouse.

We’re not using our patios at the moment, so move your Linda’s to the best spot in the garden so they can bask!

This small change will also prevent a lot of other problems such as ‘damping off’ a fungal disease that thrives in cold wet conditions killing seedlings.

I always think it’s better to ‘show’ than just explain so grab a cuppa, a comfy chair and press play.

Love Zoe

Greenhouse Update 14 October 2023

It’s the first cold night of the Autumn and you might be worried about your seedlings.

Here is a quick update from my own greenhouse so you can compare your plants and see what I am doing to protect plants.

Lots of love Zoe xx

For seed sowing Grow-A-Long click the link below:

The Ranunculus, Anemones and Butterfly Ranunculus  Grow-A-Long is here: