Thoughts on greenhouse prep for winter please....

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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floss2floss2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I'm approaching my first winter with my allotment, which has a greenhouse and parrafin (i think) heater. I'm not sure whether I need to test the heater, as I'm uncertain whether to heat or not. Can I have some thoughts as to the merits of heating or not please? The only plants that will be in there are the permanent grapevine, a few less-hardy herbs, some winter salad leaves and possibly my Christmas spuds in their grow-sacks.

Also, what should I be doing in the way of cleaning / de-bugging for the winter & next year? Again, the grapevine is permanent so how can I "disinfect" with that sitting in the corner?

And finally, I have a couple of frogs and a toad that live on the plot & come into the greenhouse - are these likely to stay inside over winter or do they hibernate?

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  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    You would be mad to heat the greenhouse for low-value plants, but you could put fleece over things and they'd probably survive pretty well till Christmas in an average sort of location and winter. Paraffin heaters are a bit of a nightmare anyway and old ones are not for the uninitiated. Badly adjusted, they can kill everything.

    The grapevine will be fine and if you use Citrox to disinfect the greenhouse it will come to no harm. :)

    The frogs and toad will do whatever they normally do, perhaps getting under stuff in the greenhouse if you leave an 'untidy corner' (after cleaning-up!:rotfl:) They will appreciate if you slightly raise a paving slab so they can crawl under it; an few cm is all that's needed.

    Frogs get active pretty early in spring, often spawning by the end of February. Toads are a bit later. Either way, if you don't have standing water on your plot, they'll be off when the urge takes them, but they'll probably return.
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
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    Davesnave wrote: »
    ... Frogs get active pretty early in spring, often spawning by the end of February. Toads are a bit later. Either way, if you don't have standing water on your plot, they'll be off when the urge takes them, but they'll probably return.

    Ah. I have a small, slightly stagnant, rather iffy looking, duckweedy pond so that may be why they stick around!
  • I have started to sort the greenhouse and have given the panels a good wash down with washing up liquid. The bubblewrap has started to be applied and some plants have been brought in.

    I have also started filling up some plastic bottles with water as this is supposed to keep the temperature up a little as the water should heat up during the day. I have also heard that having a few bricks in the greenhouse does something similar.

    Hoping for another mild winter.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    I have also started filling up some plastic bottles with water as this is supposed to keep the temperature up a little as the water should heat up during the day. I have also heard that having a few bricks in the greenhouse does something similar.

    Even better, a secondhand IBC Container full of H2O!

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Storage-Tanks-/147793/i.html?_nkw=ibc+container
  • :rotfl:

    You may be onto something there.

    I'm thinking underfloor heating with the potential for it to double up as a water source in spring/summer. It certainly wouldn't leave any space for anything above ground level in my greenhouse!
  • balloo_2balloo_2 Forumite
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    Be careful when you use the paraffin heater you don't turn it up to high, or you will have a nice Sooty greenhouse when you wake in the morning.
    The solving of a problem lies in finding the solvers.
  • There are lots of things that you can do in the greenhouse over the winter but most will require you to go out on cold wet and windy days to tend to whatever it is you are doing. The chances are yo won't want to bother.

    I clear all the plants out of my greenhouse about now and just leave it. In the spring I give all the staging, pots glass etc a good clean in a Jeyes fluid liquid which will kill off anything that is over wintering. if your frog lives there leave him alone he is quite happy and will eat your slugs and snails

    Bring any tender plants into the house if you can
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