Monthly Archives: May 2017

Time to plant out tomatoes, courgettes and squashes – plants now for sale, and the story of my cedar greenhouse.

From the start of June it’s safe to plant out courgettes, squashes and tomatoes outdoors. The garden centres would have you believe that these things can go outside from March when they start selling them… but of course they only care about selling them, not whether they survive!

As usual I have lots of tomatoes, courgettes, and squash plants for sale, lovingly and ecologically grown in my back-garden polytunnel and newly restored greenhouse. See my Plant Sales page for an updated list of what I have available.  Send me an email (peter@stroudgardener.co.uk)  or give me a call (07729 103263) to buy plants.

Restoring the greenhouse has been a major project this spring – finished about a month ago, just in time to be useful.   It’s a ‘vintage’ cedar wood greenhouse, which I was lucky to acquire for free a couple of years ago from a friend in our local permaculture group.   I’d wanted a cedar greenhouse for as long as I can remember!

My cedar greenhouse after restoration.

When I received the greenhouse, the wood around the bottom was in a very sorry state with lots of rot – it had either been used or stored in damp conditions without enough air circulation around the frame.  The amount of work involved put me off starting the repairs for quite a while, and I also built a rather lovely compost toilet when I should have been fixing the greenhouse (that’s another story).   However, having found suitable cedar timber for the repairs, this spring I machined it to the correct profile, cut out the old wood and fixed in the new – luckily, woodworking is something I enjoy, and over the years I have built up a well-equipped workshop.

My cedar greenhouse during the repairs

With luck, after all this attention, the greenhouse will be good for another 20 or 30 years.  In theory it could last forever, as the nice thing about wooden structures is that they are always repairable.  Cedarwood doesn’t rot outdoors in the correct conditions (well drained, well aired), but this old greenhouse proved that cedarwood can rot if left shady and damp for too long.  Of course, the nice thing about aluminium greenhouses is that they never rot… but on the other hand they just don’t look so good in the garden!  I’m glad to say that the cedar greenhouse now mostly blocks out the view of my polytunnel, which is far from a thing of beauty, for all its usefulness.