Gardening: Tips and Tasks for Growing in a Greenhouse in the Height of Summer

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IF YOU have a greenhouse, chances are it will be quite warm there during the summer, especially with the extreme temperatures we have experienced.

So how do you prevent your plants from wilting, ensure your fruits and vegetables thrive, and stop greenhouse pests during the hot summer months?

Matthew Biggs, TV gardening expert and gardening editor for historic greenhouse maker Hartley Botanic (hartley-botanic.co.uk), offers the following advice:

1. Keep it ventilated: “When temperatures are high, watering and ventilation are at the top of the list. Open the greenhouse vents early in the morning, as temperatures will soon rise (you should also have some form of ventilation). shading in place now), water preferably in the evening or early morning and check the plants several times a day to make sure they are not drying out.”

2. Be careful with water: “Consider using ‘grey’ water from the shower, bath, kitchen, or washing machine rinse cycles on ornamental plants in the greenhouse,” suggests he. Keep detergent levels like shower gel to a minimum and don’t store gray water for more than 24 hours. Softened water from the tap and dishwasher is useful, but only as a very temporary measure and water containing bleach and disinfectants is a “no no”, of course.

“It’s times like these that your past efforts to collect rainwater really pay off, so don’t waste it. Water at the base of the plant around the roots, not on the leaves, learn to estimate how much each pot needs, and store your watering cans under the greenhouse bench to catch drips that run off. When you carry the can from the tap to the greenhouse, you pay more attention to the water you use.

“Keep your greenhouse pots and borders weed-free, so the plants, not the weeds, use the water and when the rains return, rinse the compost with fresh, unweathered rainwater.”

3. Keep your cool on edibles: Keep cucumber stems wrapped around their supports and cut side shoots two leaves past flowers and fruits, to increase airflow and reduce the risk of mildew – keeping foliage dry, plants well watered and mulch as well. reduces the risk of mould.

“It is worth growing resistant varieties like ‘Carmen’, ‘Passandra’ and ‘Bella’. Harvest the cucumbers when the fruits are about 30cm long and water them with a high potash fertilizer to encourage fruiting.

“Feed fruit crops such as bell peppers and chilies according to manufacturer’s instructions, continue to pull side shoots from tomatoes, tap open flowers to encourage pollination, and tie stems to canes or support twine as they grow. they grow. Keep the compost moist, as irregular watering causes splitting and “end rot”.

4. Keep pest control: “Check regularly for signs of pests, like whitefly and red (or “two-spot”) mite. Before introducing biological controls, use environmentally friendly sprays containing fatty acids, plant invigorators, plant extracts, or vegetable oils, as others that leave chemical residues will kill them.

“The whitefly can then be controlled using Encarsia formosa, the red spider mite, increasing the humidity around the plant or introducing predators like the mite Phytoseiulus persimilis.

“To maintain hygiene, keep the greenhouse free of damaged or diseased materials and sweep the aisles as plant debris can harbor pests and diseases, it also looks more professional and when you are done with all of this, sit down you in the garden and enjoy the sunshine.”

For more information visit hartley-botanic.co.uk/magazine/.

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