Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been readying the greenhouse for winter. It is two and a half years old and was in need of a damn good clean.
So out with all the cucumber and tomato plants. They hadn’t quite finished but I needed to crack on. The former produced a good crop this year – just about the only thing that did! And the toms put on a goodish show … eventually. Especially Gardener’s Delight – living up to its name.
Out with all the paraphernalia that had accumulated above and below the bench (goodness only knows where it all comes from). Out with all the cacti and succulents. Out with my kettle and mug. Out with clutter. Only then could I light a sulphur candle (in truth a tin of sulphur granules). This is a simple and effective way of cleansing your greenhouse.* It should pretty much kill any pests lurking within the warm, moist confines. (I did a quick scout about before hand and carried out four softly snoring newts. There are always a handful that like to over-winter beneath the benches).
Having lit the paper fuse, I cautiously retired. (I hate that we have pink pavers in the greenhouse. Why do we have pink pavers in the greenhouse? Someone? Anyone? Why didn’t I have them replaced? Pink!).
And watched, a little mesmerised, as it filled with thick, pungent, white smoke.
I left the ‘house overnight (no frost forecast) so that the smoke would kill any nasty critters; though the following morning there were still half a dozen wolf spiders inside, quite unconcerned at being fumigated. N.B. Wolf Spiders will inherit the Earth.
Next, I spent three long hours cleaning all the glass. Inside only – the outside didn’t really need it. Or so I told myself.
All looking a little sparkly – if a little bare. And it has an unusual perfume: sulphur and vinegar and cedar wood. Not altogether unpleasant.
Time to start re-filling – I like this bit. I’m not really used to having the Priory Garden HQ looking as tidy as this but I suspect it won’t last.
Some of my sempervivum pots brought into the dry. They don’t mind cold but will rot if they get too wet.
Now I have to start bringing in all the tender plants from the tropical bed and elsewhere in the garden. Some of these are BIG plants so it’s going to be a tight fit to get them all inside. And inevitably these plants will be harbouring some pests and nasties.
Which makes me wonder why I bothered fumigating the greenhouse in the first place.
* And, I believe, organic.