House and Greenhouse Plants
Week 3: As pot plants increase in size, periodically move them apart, to prevent their foliage becoming entangled.
It is equally as important to move pots that are standing on capillary matting otherwise they may root into it, which could prove troublesome later.
Week 13: Ensure seedlings and other delicate plants are protected by temporary shading.
Increase watering frequency on growing plants, and feed established plants.
Week 18: Protect seedlings from bright sunlight, as it will soon scorch the growth of delicate young plants and seedlings.
Apply a coat of Coolglass to the exterior of the greenhouse and will protect delicate plants from sun, add more coats as season progresses.
A useful product for light shading, is agricultural fleece placed over the plants, single sheets of newspaper are a cost-free alternative.
Exterior greenhouse roller blinds are ideal, but are more expensive, their main advantage is that they can be rolled up in dull weather.
Exterior shading also has the advantage of reducing temperatures inside.
Potted houseplants will benefit from a foliage wash in the shower or by means of a pump spray.
Week 36: Established pots of tender bulbs should be checked over and either top dressed or re-potted.
Only re-pot completely when the bulb clusters are congested to the point of spilling over the edge of containers.
Use loam-based, open textured compost such as John Innes No.2 or 3.
Top-dressing consists of carefully teasing about 25mm (1”) of compost from the surface of pots and replacing it with fresh compost.
If soil-less compost is used, remember regular feeding will be necessary during the growing season.
Week 42: Keep tender ericaceous pot plants such as Cape Heathers and Indian Azaleas growing healthily by using soft water e.g. rain water mixed with Miracid (soil acidifier) every 2-4 weeks.
When shoots are 25-50mm (1”-2”) long, or 75-100mm (3”-4”)for large-flowered daffodils, and the flower buds have formed, bring them into a well-lit, cool room or greenhouse.
Keeping them too warm will damage the flower buds and reduce flowering.
Slowly acclimatise them to the conditions of the room they are to flower in.
Keep the plants below 16°C (60°F) to prolong the flowering period.
Keep the compost moist and feed weekly with a high-potash liquid fertiliser.
If they show signs of mould or any other problem associated with cold or humid conditions, move them into a warm and dry place to prevent further deterioration.
This is a good time to make up dried arrangements for the festive season, and remember that teasel, spent hydrangea flower heads and other supplementary material may still be available in the garden.
Week 51: Regularly check bulbs in plunge beds or cool dark places to prevent compost or bulb fibre from drying out.
Also top up hyacinth jars as necessary.
When a good root system has formed and the shoots are 25-50mm (1”-2”) tall, move the containers into a shady place for a week or so to allow growth to green up, then move them into a warm, well-lit position to encourage flowering.