A Greenhouse Clean Up

Usually January has the coldest temperatures of the year, however the month is nearly over and apart from last weeks cold snap, it has been a mild month.  Surprisingly my first daffodil is flowering in my garden:

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 The snow drops that I brought back from my allotment last January are beginning to also bloom in my garden:

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I am so glad they survived the move as they remind me of my good friend that passed away three years ago in February…..when there were snowdrops flowering everywhere.  Also on the day of her funeral as we walked out of the cemetery, all of a sudden snow fell from the sky and it looked beautiful.

Snowdrops will always remind me of my friend and I hope to plant more again this year in my garden, together with the ‘for-get-me-nots’, which seem a complementary match.

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  On the park when I walk Judy, I have noticed that as well as snowdrops flowering there are purple and yellow crocus too:

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Yesterday morning as I walked around the park it felt very spring-like, as the birds were singing beautifully and the sky was lovely and blue.

I have also noticed that daylight is lengthening slightly every day and on fine days it is getting dark a little bit later and lighter a little earlier, which always makes me feel better.

January is usually such a dark and gloomy month, but time seems to have past by very quickly this month and it is nearly February already……is this my age?….or have I just been busier than normal?

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Unfortunately I have been poorly this week with fluid on my ear and sinusitis and I haven’t felt my usual self.  The doctor gave me some antibiotics and I am on the mend now, though I am more tired than usual.

However, on the moments that I have felt ok I have managed to get into the garden.

Last weekend Mr Thrift helped me to clear my greenhouse and give it a good wash as the windows were filthy.  I used ‘Citrox’ which is disinfectant based on extracts of citrus fruit.  It says it is safe to use around children and pets, which is what attracted me to it.

  It washed well and didn’t smell like other disinfectants that I have used in the past:

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After removing the screening that I had left up since summer, we realised that we had a problem with the our neighbours lilac tree and ivy.  They were growing against the greenhouse glass and the ivy was pushing between the panes of glass, which we thought would eventually damage the greenhouse:

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So we spent a whole morning cutting back the lilac tree and removing the ivy, using my long handled pruners and loppers.  Myself and Mr Thrift were too ‘big’ to fit down the back of the greenhouse to remove the ivy, so my youngest daughter (who is very thin) did this for me….and she did a grand job!

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I am going to have to make this an annual job now, so it doesn’t get this bad again.

Afterwards I bought some new greenhouse bubble wrap, as I removed the old bubble wrap last Spring as it really had seen better days.

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The next day I put the bubble wrap up, but unfortunately I need to buy a tiny bit more for the door, as I ran out:

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I also checked my greenhouse heater still works ok, ready for when I need it.

I don’t heat my greenhouse until all my windowsills are full inside my house, as even though my heater is electric and is thermastatically controlled, it is still expensive to run.

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Unfortunately I think I did a bit too much too soon and after sorting my greenhouse out I went downhill and slept for nearly 24 hours!

However in the middle of the week when I started to feel a bit better I decided to dig up my kale (and was told off afterwards by Mr Thrift for doing too much again before I was better).

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The recent winds had blown my kale over, but there wasn’t much of it left anyway.

I picked the remaining kale and the two remaining red cabbages and cleared away the net.  The area looks much better and you can now see the daffodil in flower at the back too:

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Some of the outer leaves of the cabbages were a bit rotten, but once I removed these there was lots of cabbage inside that was fine:

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Both the kale and the cabbages tasted lovely and I even added some of them to the large pot of spaghetti bolognaise I made this week to pad it out:

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So this week has been rather quiet as I have been poorly.  However one final thing I did manage to do was to start some cress seed off.

I love cress as it reminds me of when I was a child as I used grow it then, as it was so easy and it grew quickly.

  “To grow cress, just shake a few seeds on a damp tissue and leave it in a dark place until it germinates and then move it to a windowsill to continue to grow, until it’s about an inch high.  Make sure the tissue is remains damp at all times”.

Cress is nice in sandwiches and in salads and it is something that people forget about.

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Hopefully I will be fighting fit again next week.

So thank you for reading my short blog today and I will be back next Friday as usual.

Have a good week!

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24 thoughts on “A Greenhouse Clean Up

  1. Sorry you’ve been feeling poorly – but glad to hear you’re on the mend! We have cauliflower and spring greens, leeks and kale growing at the moment. Cauliflower and spring greens covered with mesh cloches so stop our pigeons eating them all! Your greenhouse looks all ready to be filled up again now. Ours is still full of garden furniture and geraniums at the moment.

    • Yes mine usually is too…it must be because I haven’t got my allotment this year lol. I do miss my overwintering cauli’s from my allotment, but I just can’t jusitfy the amount of space they take and for how long….I wonder if there is anyway around this-i’ll have to have a good think!

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for your blog I enjoy reading what you have been doing.I have had leeks from my allotment this week.Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  3. Sorry to learn you have been unwell. To sleep for that long shows you needed to rest. I’m always amazed at how much you do. Perhaps you just have a lot of energy, I know I could never cover as much as you do.
    Really enjoy reading about you, even if it makes me feel lazy!

    Best wishes,
    Angela (Devon)

  4. Hello,I thought it was about time I logged on to wordpress to comment. Sorry to hear youve been ill.Like the saying goes ‘You cant keep a good woman down’ Be careful you take time to recover. Ive been out in the garden to see what’s coming up & has survived the winter so far.I even had a purple/blue fuchia in bloom until last week now after that cold frost its not even got any leaves left on it! Im glad the days are lengthening & its the same for me January’s gone so quickly.I have my daughters,sisters fathers & husbands b’days in Jan so its a busy month.I am always amazed how productive your plot is even in winter.I’m busy getting ideas for what to concentrate on this year,after my late start with runner beans (slugs against me)& with your advice that it wasnt too late to plant more- my crop went right on till October.Tomatoes are essential,spinach/chard,herbs coriander& basil,shiraz mangetouts peas(purple ones !) My son likes growing cress we use it in Grandads egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Your bakes always look good.I got some free fresh yeast in tesco & made white morning rolls & focaccia with herbs pressed inside the dimples.Hope your father in law is back in good health .Keep up your excellent blog -so many useful tips to follow.
    Regards ,Carrie

    • Goodness you have been busy too. The tesco near us doesnt give the yeast (such a shame). Your rolls and focaccia sound lovely…nothing can beat homemade!
      Your growing list sounds very much like mine and you are right about the tomatoes. Have a great week Carriet XX

  5. Thank you, nice to think of all your family out working in the garden together,a real joint effort,the greenhouse is now safe.Ivy soon takes over! elderly Dad has blackberries invade his greenhouse through the skylight vents,you can imagine how well they were doing in there. It was like Sleeping Beauty’s castle for a while till we got in with the loppers.I made the rolls & focaccia with less than half a bag of Aldi Strong white flour which is only 75p a kilo anyway.So cheap & homemade plus the house filled with a tantalizing smell while it baked.

    Take care till next week C x

  6. Hope you are feeling better already. I got to the end of my dreary January ‘to do’ list this week with the last item “Order seeds for the allotment”. I sorted the packets out into the beds I plan to put them in. I picked up a few packets in Poundstretcher (39p!) last week and ordered the rest online. I’m going to try that quick growing broccoli rabe you didn’t have any luck with last year. I know I’m asking for trouble because you are far more experienced than I am. Ah well, I guess it will make good compost.

    • I think the raab didn’t work in my garden as it was in the wrong place (a dry raised bed-which I have removed now). Make sure the area has plenty of compost/manure in the soil asap so the soil becomes firm before you plant them and also make sure you dance around on the soil well to firm it before planting and you will probably have an awful lot more success than I did……pls let em know how you get on and I may have another go

  7. I hope you’ll soon be entirely better and that Judy will give you much attention in the meantime. 🙂
    There’s lots of sinus issues here, as well – I think because of the mild weather.

  8. Sorry to hear that you have been unwell, there is so much around at this time of the year, I used jeyes fluid to clean my greenhouse is awful stuff never again! Oh I do love cress in a sandwich and is lovely to have some homegrown to cut. Do have a lovely week.
    Sue

  9. Hiya
    I do love your blog. Now we’re finally in to the smallholding I shall spend some time (when I get some) going back through your blog for hints and tips as I find it very useful. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a happy, healthy week to come.

    • Hi Tracy I am looking forward to reading your adventures in your new small holding…some of my older ‘allotment’posts may be good to read for inspiration…though I’m sure you have your own plans….enjoy it!

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