Greenhouse gardening isn’t limited to only those working in professional nurseries; more and more home gardeners are choosing to grow plants in their own greenhouse. Why? There are a number of reasons. A greenhouse can allow the home gardener to extend the growing season, protect and over winter delicate plants, grow and have fresh produce year round, and escape the stress of everyday life. There is, however, another important motivating factor for greenhouse gardening-environmental control. A greenhouse gives you the ability to easily control the growing environment of your plants.
There are numerous types of greenhouses available, and with a little research, you can easily find a greenhouse that will suit all of your growing needs. But how do you decide which one is right for you? You should first determine your specific needs. For instance, are you simply wanting to over winter plants, or do you want to grow something exotic? Are you interested in starting plants through seeds? Do you want to sell produce, or would you simply like to extend your growing season? Once you have established your growing needs, consider the size of greenhouse that will accommodate those needs and the amount of space it will require. Also, ask yourself how much time and money you would like to invest in your greenhouse, whether you purchase one from a retailer or build your own.
Want to produce vigorous-growing plants without taking up valuable space? Season extenders, or cold frames, are ideal for gardeners with little space. A cold frame is both compact and flexible. Its smaller size can easily fit into the tightest of places. Generally, cold frames are used for starting plants from seed; however, they can also be used to plant cool-weather crops straight into the garden as well. Cold frames are widely available at garden supply centers and individual greenhouse retailers, or you can create one yourself for next to nothing. As an example, I once constructed a cold frame out of nothing more than leftover cinderblocks from a home-remodeling project and an old, discarded window. As my plants flourished, I decided to add another one. This time, however, my cold frame consisted of an unused camper top from our pickup truck. Hey, it worked!
There are some gardeners that prefer using a lean-to greenhouse for their small spaces. This type of greenhouse remains sheltered on one side and is attached to a building structure. This can be the house, garage, shed, or even the barn. A lean-to greenhouse is much like a cold frame and is also a good choice for those with limited areas. With a lean-to, gardeners can start seedlings in early spring and extend the growing season throughout the fall. During winter, it maintains extra heat, making it ideal for over-wintering precious plants. Lean-to greenhouses are easily accessible and available in a variety of sizes that will fit your particular growing requirements.
Whether you’re an urban gardener with limited space or a rural gardener with a huge lot, there are numerous free-standing greenhouses available in various styles and sizes suited to your individual preferences. If you’re in the market to buy one, however, shop around for the best deal as they can get quite costly, but in the long run, your greenhouse will pay for itself. Depending on the size you choose, costs for your greenhouse can range anywhere from $100 on up to $4000. It makes no difference if you’re new to gardening or the well-seasoned; greenhouse gardening is both easy and rewarding. Why spend a lot of money on plants when you can easily start your own from seed or propagate from others? Why feel limited to growing only a few select plants when you can enjoy growing a wider variety outside of your hardiness zone and over-wintering them in your own greenhouse? Over time your savings will increase, especially if you’re interested in selling plants or produce to others.
Whether you purchase your greenhouse or construct one yourself, consider aluminum framing. Not only is it lightweight and easy to maintain, but it is also incredibly sturdy and long lasting. Regardless of the type of greenhouse you choose or its size, a suitable foundation is necessary to anchor it to the ground. Options here might include galvanized steel, concrete block, or landscape timbers. Your flooring options can consist of a variety of materials such as wood chips, shredded mulch, gravels, brick, or just bare ground. An extremely vital feature in any greenhouse is air circulation. Because of the insulation it provides, temperatures within a greenhouse can climb rapidly. Therefore, most greenhouses are equipped with windows in the roof that allow the hotter air to escape while cooler air flows in. To provide plants with additional air circulation, try setting them on shelves equipped with slats or hang them from baskets. Keeping a thermometer handy in the greenhouse will make it easier for you to regulate its temperature. A constant temperature of around 75º during daytime and 65º during night is usually recommended in order for seeds to germinate easily.
All plants require light so be certain to locate your greenhouse in an area receiving at least 6 hours of full sun, especially in winter. You’ll also want to consider the wind patterns in your area; situate the greenhouse where it will be sheltered from excessive winds. As with any type of gardening, good, well-drained soil is important. Since most greenhouse plants reside in flats or containers, choose a potting soil that includes a mix of sand, peat moss, and vermiculite to help ensure adequate drainage. Of course, watering your plants is also going to be necessary; however, be careful not to over water them. Most gardeners prefer to water greenhouse plants with a watering can, but installing a drip irrigation system works just as well, if you can afford to do so. Ideally, it is better to water your greenhouse plants during the day as well.
Greenhouse gardening is an easy way to keep doing what you love to do best-garden. No more winter woes, with a greenhouse added to your landscape, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful plants every month of the year.
This is the most common practice for gardeners where they keep the plants and flowers in the best shape by caring and nurturing them so that they can provide them with the necessary ingredients like oxygen and their house feels like a greenhouse plastic film.