Not everyone has the luxury of a heated greenhouse and the boss of Britain’s leading family-owned greenhouse manufacturing company has some timely, cost saving advice that will beat the cold but not beat-up your wallet.
Linda Lane is managing director of Hampshire based Griffin Glasshouses – a business started more than 50 years ago by her late father – and she recommends using a combination of bubble-wrap to double glaze the glass and horticultural fleece to protect tender plants in extremely cold weather.
“A roll of bubble wrap won’t break the bank and there are some in ingenious ways to attach this to the metal or wooden greenhouse framework and provide a low-cost double-glazing system,” she says.
“Alliplugs are very good for attaching the plastic to some aluminium frames and are available online. If that doesn’t work, good old bulldog clips will ensure an effective connection. I don’t recommend using drawing pins on wooden frames and, again, clips will do the trick”, says Linda.
Although she is talking about keeping out the cold, Linda warns about ensuring an adequate supply of fresh air, providing there is no frost.
“Even in the depth of winter a greenhouse or cold-frame will heat up rapidly in the sun, so opens doors and windows in the day time – but remember to close them before the sun sets. Fresh air is vital for healthy plants”.
“In really cold weather conditions more tender plants will require additional protection and horticultural fleece is ideal. It keeps the plants warm and also allows the light to penetrate, keeping them healthy and cosy”, adds Linda.
Check out Linda’s regular greenhouse gardening blog on www.griffinglasshouses.com