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A greenhouse is a great asset to any vegetable plot, enabling gardeners to make the most of the sun. Even the smallest, unheated structure will allow gardeners to extend the seasons and produce good crops of a wide range of vegetables.
Growing vegetables in your greenhouse
A greenhouse is suitable for growing vegetables in a number of ways:
A productive greenhouse can be in use for most of the year. Heated greenhouses allow for maximum, year-round use but are rarely cost effective.
2. Sowing seed indoors
3. Growing on
5. Summer maintenance
6. Winter maintenance
When growing in greenhouse borders, reduce the build-up of soil borne diseases by digging out the soil every three to five years and replacing it with bought-in top soil or good garden loam. Grafted plants may help where soil problems are suspected (aubergines and tomatoes are now available).
Large pots and growbags are an alternative where soil is suspect. Cover soil with plastic sheeting, ideally white, and place pots or bags on this. Potting media including growbags can be re-used at least once for different crops if no diseases are present.
Diseases to watch out for include damping off, grey mould and powdery mildew. Commons pests under glass include glasshouse red spider mite, glasshouse whitefly and glasshouse leafhoppers.
Greenhouse choosingGreenhouse: heating efficiencyGreenhouse: ventilation and shadingRaised bedsRHS video: vegetable seed sowingVegetables for exhibition
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RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.