Greenhouses are a fantastic addition to any garden – by simply trapping and retaining the sun’s heat, they can prolong the growing season of many flowers, fruits and vegetables that would otherwise struggle to survive the frosts of spring and autumn, and the harsher British winters.
If you’re a first time greenhouse user, you could probably benefit from collating a list of essential greenhouse items and accessories to get you growing successfully in your first season. The great news is that we’ve gone to the trouble of putting that list together for you – just take a look below at our suggestions for the ultimate first time greenhouse user starter kit.
If you can’t manage to get hold of everything on the list at once, don’t worry – you can always build up a ‘greenhouse kit’ over time, and many of the listed items will make great birthday and Christmas present ideas too!
Shelving and Staging
One of the most basic but essential items for any greenhouse is shelving. Known more commonly as ‘greenhouse staging’, this kind of storage should be a part of every greenhouse starter kit.
Whether it’s a single shelf attached to the greenhouse frame, or a wraparound double shelf unit, greenhouse staging is vitally important. It not only allows for extra storage space for seedlings and pots, but also keeps the vulnerable new growth of many seeds and plants from the hungry mouths of low-flying pests, such as carrot fly (who have more than just carrots in their sights!).
Greenhouse staging also provides a platform for working, which brings us nicely to our second item on the ultimate first time greenhouse user’s starter kit…
Seed Trays and a Potting Tray
Seed trays come in many shapes and sizes, from traditional crate-like wooden seed trays, to long root modules, smaller reusable plastic seed modules and peat and coir biodegradable seed pots. Without them, greenhouse growing is limited to growing directly into soil and growing on mature plants, so they make a great addition to any starter kit.
A potting tray is a large tray where all the seed sowing and potting on takes place. It provides an enclosed workspace where soil spillages can be contained easily – a very useful addition to any greenhouse or potting shed.
Depending on the location of your greenhouse, you might find that it’s necessary to hang one or two greenhouse blinds for extra shade. In summer, the temperature inside a greenhouse can soar, quickly drying out soil and causing damage to seedlings and plants. A blind will help to reduce the temperature and provide some much-needed respite from the sun’s glare.
Autovents and Louvre Vents
For some people, just leaving a greenhouse window or door slightly ajar is the only ventilation that their greenhouse needs. But autovents and automatic louvre vents are a handy addition to any greenhouse, as they open and close according to the temperature; this means that the temperature inside the greenhouse is regulated throughout the day, helping to avoid the greenhouse becoming too cool, or overheating in summer.
Greenhouse Water Butt
A water butt for the greenhouse is a relatively cheap and useful addition to any greenhouse starter kit. With a large roof area to capture rainfall, a water butt sited next to the greenhouse will not only save money and precious water sources, but also make watering a much quicker and easier task.
Whether you opt for expensive underfloor heating, or a small portable heater for use in cooler weather, a greenhouse heater will help to extend your growing season considerably. It’s worth taking your time to shop around for the most efficient greenhouse heaters; although you may have to pay more initially, as the heaters can be expensive to run, opting for a more expensive but more efficient model will pay you dividends in the long run.