Setting up a New Greenhouse

Dear Jo

I am about to begin an adventure with my very first greenhouse. Something I have long wanted but whilst I am excited at the prospect, must admit to feeling a little daunted!

The greenhouse is now in place and I need to think about essentials like staging. I am not sure if I really need three tier but can see the attraction of having the extra tier. Any advice you can give me in this respect would be much appreciated


Also, given the season, what should I concentrate on planting first?


Kind regards


Gillian Kirkpatrick

Dear Gillian

Congratulations on your new greenhouse.  Don't worry about feeling daunted.  You'll soon get organised and wonder how youever managed without one!

I personally would opt for 2 tier staging.  You tend to use only the top shelf forgrowing plants as the lower shelves often become too shaded or the plants outgrow them.  The bottom shelf can then be used to store pots, fertilisers and tools. I use 2 tier staging both in the Harrod Kitchen Garden greenhouse and in my own greenhouse at home and have always used it this way. 

You don't mention how large your new greenhouse is, but my advice would be to put staging along one side of your greenhouse and have a boarder along the other side.  A greenhouse boarder will allow you to plant into the ground rather than using containers for everything.  It will provide the ideal growing space for tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer and for growing Winter crops when these are over. 

At this time of year, your greenhouse is the ideal place to sow salad leaves and herbs.  Soon the weather outside will become cooler meaning summer salad leaves will slow down their growth.  Your greenhouse will extend the season for these crops.  Sow some cut and come again salad leaves into a container or greenhouse boarder and you will be harvesting them well into the Autumn. 

You can also sow French beans and calabrese to provide a late crop in the warmth of the greenhouse. 

In October/ November you can start off your broad beans and peas to get a head start for next year. 
These can be overwintered in your greenhouse and planted outside in Spring next year.  You can also do this with Sweet peas to give you an early display of flowers.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas to start you off on your greenhouse adventure!  I would also recommend subscribing to a good veg growing magazine as these will point you in the direction of what you should be doing and when, giving you timely monthly jobs to keep you on track.  Don't forget to read our Kitchen Garden update on the Harrod website.  This gives you a month by month diary of what Stephanie and I are doing in the Kitchen Garden which includes the greenhouse.

Good luck and enjoy!  Please let me know if I can be of any further help.


Kindest Regards

Jo Blackwell
Kitchen Gardener