Get Your Greenhouse Ready Set To Grow

august greenhouse missionI love this bit – the getting-set-up-to-grow bit, as much as I do the growing. Prepping the soil, working out whats growing where, building frames… it’s good work. Besides which, being all ready to go at planting time is the cats pajamas.

My August greenhouse mission goes like this

  • Clean the roof and walls. I hear ya – everywhere you go, more cleaning! Greenhouse cleaning’s easy though – take a broom, a hose and a bucket of soapy water. I’ve got an extendable broom with a soap dispenser that you plug the hose into – does the business. Don the raincoat and get rid of the green and black nasties. Rinse. Done. Let their be light!
  • Give the soil needs new legs! (Pull up all your irrigation first.) Broadfork the soil to open it up, work in a heap of compost and turn the sprinkler on for nicely moist soil. (My fantasy greenhouse has a roof that opens up!) A dose of EM or liquid seaweed will get the soil life humming.

label beds

  • Label the beds. Yes seriously! You gotta know what’s growing where before you can set up irrigation and prepare the soil. Work it out, then take a stick + a pen +the name of the crop… now you’re in business! Add whatever amendments are needed for that particular crop. A good dollop of well rotten manure for the zucchini, lime for the beans…

layout leaky hose

  • The annual irrigation sort out. For me it’s leaky hose – I love that stuff! Lay it on top of the soil in the configuration that suits the coming crops. Then turn it on and test it out  – fingers crossed no repairs required! All good? Bury it in the soil.

layout paths

  • Now for the paths. Standing on a plank will save your soil from becoming airless and soul-less. I’ve got a stash of macrocarpa off cuts that I reuse every year. Think about where you’ll be standing to harvest your bounty, to prune and feed. Dwarf bean set up is different to cucumber, different to tomato… too obvious?! Lay down the paths. Don’t fret here – this style of path is easily movable should you at a later date need another 300mm as your tomatoes take over the world.

tomato strings

  • Frames Up. Tomato strings at the ready. Cucumber frames up. Stakes either end of the dwarf bean rows for their hold-me-up baling twine.
  • Get some air in there. Open up your greenhouse daily – fresh air really is the magic cure all.

Get Some Quick Turn Around Crops Happening

While I wait for my tomato/ pepper and cucumber seedlings to be plant out ready I’m going to use this well prepared luscious space to grow some quick turn around crops. The extra warmth and protection from driving rain speeds them along nicely. I’ve planted saladings and bok choy, and direct sown coriander and beetroot in between the rows. That way, if needs must (ie planting happens before eating is over), I can fit both crops side by side. A cosy two for one deal – one crop that I’m eating at the feet of the soon to be eaten. Happiness!


  1. Kevin Darragh says

    Cucumber Frames, what are they?

    • Hey Kevin,

      I grow my cukes up, they take up less space and also for health – less likely to get mildews that way. That reinforcing mesh in the background of the photo – thats what I use. Love that mesh!