Spring is finally on its way! And for our latest competition we've teamed up with our friends at Rhino Greenhouses to give away the perfect bundle to have your garden ready for when the new season arrives.
The prize consists of the strong, sturdy and stylish Rhino Premium 6x4 Blue Grass Greenhouse (including one side of integral upper and lower, a shelf, blinds AND installation) and a spring essentials bundle that includes our Aldsworth Potting Table, 10L Watering Can in Carbon, Seedlings Tray, Gauntlet Gloves, Wirework String Holder with String, Set of 6 Plant Tags, 3 x Plant Pots and a £100 Garden Trading voucher.
To be in win a chance of winning, simply complete the form at the bottom of the page before 23.59pm on 31st March 2019:
In the meantime, here are 8 top tips from Rhino Greenhouses on growing veggies in a greenhouse:
If you’re the proud owner of a brand-new greenhouse and you’re anything like us, you’ll want to start planting the second it’s installed, especially if you’re planning to grow your own fruit and veg. After all, what could be more satisfying than tucking into a salad made from homegrown salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers?
But before you crack open the compost, here are our top tips for successfully growing your own.
1. Keep it clean
Before you get started, be sure that the environment, pots and staging are clean. You don’t want to run the risk of introducing pests or disease that will cause your hard-earned efforts to go to waste. While you can’t account for every situation, do your best to minimise risks.
It goes without saying, be sure to monitor your plants throughout the year for signs of pests.
2. Consider the Layout
It’s worth considering what you’d like to plant throughout the year and arranging the greenhouse so you can maximise your space. For instance, you may want to install a bed for salad leaves, which can then be used to overwinter herbs.
Root veg will do well in grow bags and tubs. Again, position these where you can easily get to them without getting in the way of plants that may need regular attention.
If there are going to be climbers, or plants that need to be staked, consider where these can be planted so that you don’t need to lean over them.
Plus, some fruit and veg, like tomatoes, do well in hanging baskets. Pop up some hooks to make the most of your space, so you don’t have to grow them in beds or staging areas.
3. Begin with the Basics
And now for the plants.
If you’re just starting out, opt for low-maintenance plants. You can always be more adventurous and plant exotic varieties when you have more experience.
Consider growing root veg, like potatoes, onions and beetroot. These can be started in the greenhouse in tubs early in the year. The best time to plant is late-winter/early-spring and they can be moved outside when the weather warms up.
You may be surprised to find that salad leaves can be effectively sown in late-winter, but only if you have a heater. Wait until after the frosts if not. If you’d like to have a continuous salad crop, sow salad seeds every few weeks.
Tomatoes and peppers can also be sown around this time if your greenhouse is heated. Delicate plants, such as courgettes can be started in April or May, after the last frosts have departed.
Herbs can be grown in successfully in a greenhouse too. Basil, for instance, will be happy in a greenhouse when the warm seasons arrive. May tends to be ideal for this Mediterranean herb.
Hardier varieties, like rosemary, thyme and sage, over-winter well in a greenhouse. While they’ll be fine in the garden, you may continue to get a crop if you move them inside.
4. Nutrient Values
The plants mentioned above should all do well in multi-purpose compost. As such, there’s no need to worry about specialist potting mediums and soil acidity during your first foray into growing your own.
However, bear in mind that your plants probably won’t get nutrients from the ground while in the greenhouse. Be sure to feed the plants according the packet instructions.
Use water from a water butt, rather than tap water too. This will have more nutrients and fewer chemicals than tap water, which your plants will appreciate.
5. Provide Shade
The availability of shade can be vital to the health of your fruit and veg. If the sun becomes too intense through the glass during the summer months, it may damage the leaves and cause the soil to dry out too fast.
Be sure to invest in some shades and open the louvre vents to allow cool air to circulate, so the air doesn’t become too damp.
6. Apply Heat
One of the main benefits of a greenhouse is the ability to extend your growing season.
It’s ideal if you’re looking to get seedlings started in late winter. However, be mindful of temperatures. The UK has been known to get snow as early as November and as late as March, so a greenhouse heater can help keep seedlings healthy when the mercury plummets.
Many heater models now have in-built thermostats, which turn the heater on when the temperature drops. The latest models are also very economical, so you don’t need to worry about running up a large electricity bill.
7. Added Protection
Whether you’re heating your greenhouse or not, it’s always worth having some fleece or bubble wrap to hand. This can be used to insulate the most sensitive plants during the worst winter months.
There are plenty of how-to videos online that can show you how to do this to the best effect.
8. Consult an Expert
Many seed companies have advice available online, while forums and videos can provide plenty of useful tips on making the most of your greenhouse all year round.
Terms and Conditions:
• Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and not employees of Garden Trading, Rhino Greenhouses, their immediate families or anyone else connected with the promotion or either business
• Winner must be 18 or over and have a UK postal address
• No automated, bulk, third party or consumer group entries are permitted
• Entrants can enter the competition only once
• Entry into the competition is valid from 18.02.19 to 23.59pm on 31.03.19
• Full details on how to claim the prize will be provided to the winner upon notification that they have won
• The competition winner will be selected at random after the competition has closed
• The competition winner will be contacted via the email provided upon entry to the competition no later than 04.04.19
• All reasonable effort will be made to contact the winner, however, if the winner has not claimed the prize within 3 weeks of notification a new winner will be selected, and the previous winner will no longer be entitled to claim the prize
• Garden Trading's decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered
• The name of the winner will be available by sending an SAE to Rhino Greenhouse Competition, The Marketing Team, Garden Trading, Carterton South Industrial Estate, Carterton, Oxfordshire, OX18 3EZ
• Entry into the competition includes sign-up to the Garden Trading email newsletter only if you opt-in upon entry. Once opted in, users can unsubscribe at any time
• Your details will not be shared with anyone else aside from Rhino Greenhouses and only if you opted to receive their marketing upon entry
• Any entry which is incomplete, incomprehensible, late, incorrectly submitted or otherwise does not comply with the rules may be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of Garden Trading
• Garden Trading reserves the right to withdraw or cancel this competition for any reason and at any time
• Garden Trading will use your details to administer the prize should you win
• If you are successful at winning, Garden Trading reserves the right to use your name and or/image on the Garden Trading journal, Twitter account and/or Facebook page and any other social media if required, highlighting you as a winner
• Garden Trading reserves the right to withdraw this competition or amend these terms and conditions without notice and at any time