Unsuccessful Greenhouse Culture II
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jordan Bender
Posted on: April 30, 2001

Thank you for your response [about stunted growth in my greenhouse and your suggestion that drainage may be the problem]. I have since cleared out all of my soil for replacement. Drainage is definitely the problem. The soil rests in wood boxes with a plastic covering approx. 5-6 inches deep with no drainage at all! Now I am unsure as to provide proper drainage. Should I simply drill holes through the wood or drop a one inch layer of small stones and drill holes for proper drainage before laying the soil back in.

Drilling holes is probably all you need. Adding the stone layer will improve drainage but if you drill lots of holes you may not need the stone layer. Adding the stone layer will reduce the overall nutrient store available to the plants which may make a noticeable difference to the health of the plants because the boxes are only 5-6 inches deep to begin with.

Also I intend to purchase my herbs in the next couple of weeks, what is the best time to plant, and does the selection vary at any given time? Thanks again.

For greenhouse culture it doesn’t make a great deal of difference when you plant. Many herbs respond better to the longer days and warmer temperatures of the summer season in northern and southern temperate regions, but most can be planted any season in heated greenhouses.

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