Greenhouse Tips for July

The summer has been generally good so far.  The vegetable garden has flourished and the flowers have been marvellous. The only thing that has not done so well was the rhubarb.

Last year, I bought a GridGrow mat at Bloom in the Park  to grow strawberries.  The mat suppresses weeds which makes managing the crop much easier than usual. It also keeps ripe strawberries away from the soil. The mat helped me to stop runners taking root, and it allowed the plants to grow strong and well-established.

Strawberries growing on gridgrow and hand picked in bolwsMany greenhouse plants flourish in July – as long as you need to water them every day.  Dampen down the floor in the mornings to humidify the greenhouse.  

It is important to feed tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers every week. I use a liquid tomato food to feed all three.  Be sure to water tomatoes evenly or they may start to crack or split. If the temperature fluctuates too much, they can also develop Blossom Rot (dark blotches on the ends).

Ventilation is very important in warm weather. Circulate the air in your greenhouse by opening the louvre windows as well as the front door.  The louvre windows draw in cool air near the ground and it escapes through the roof ventilators. 

Check for greenhouse pests too. Use sticky card traps to get an idea of  what pests may be about.  If a particular pest keeps landing on the sticky cards, you can look for ways to treat your plants. Be sure to keep your greenhouse clean of fallen leaves and spent compost.  This can prevent potential pest and disease problems.

For anyone growing grapevines, surplus shoots on a grapevine should be removed weekly to restrict the size of plant.  This will direct its effort in ripening the grapes.  If there are too many bunches of fruit none of them may ripen, so you should remove some of them.  Thin to 10 bunches per square metre of floor space.  This allows more space for the fruit to develop.