For those who are ardent gardeners or would like to be, one of the lowest priced methods to get started in gardening will be a greenhouse or even a mini greenhouse. It will help you to grow your own plants or to start your seedlings without the concern about the weather or the cold or heat. Nearly any kind of fruit, vegetable, herb, or flower can be started in a greenhouse and under the right conditions, can grow and excel in production.
When you are growing plants in a greenhouse, your best bet is to start your plants from seed and move forward.
How Do You Control the Temperature?
The environment of your greenhouse can be controlled in several ways. You may take advantage of passive heating if you have the right climate. This means that the energy of the sun will actually heat up your green house so that it does not require outside energy sources. Of course, if you’re not in a climate that is conducive to passive heating, you will need some type of energy source available to you, such as electricity in order to adequately heat your greenhouse in the cooler months.
Circulation of Air
You will also need some type of air circulation in order to prevent mold and excess humidity from enveloping your greenhouse and contributing to plant disease. In a small greenhouse, even small fans can be used to circulate the air, and in the warmer weather, nothing more is required than simply leaving the doors open or the flaps up in the smaller mini greenhouses.
Preparing the Soil
You will need pots, boxes, or flats in which to plant your seeds. Fill them with a very good quality soil such as topsoil and each plant can also be given some composting mixed into the soil. Depending on what you are considering growing, you will want to offer the kind of soil in which that plant best grows into the pots or boxes.
Sunshine and Light
Situate the plants or boxes in an area which is going to offer them the amount of light per day that they require. The heat in the greenhouse should not go below fifty at night, so if you are not in a warmer climate you will need to consider adding a heat source to the greenhouse in order to ensure proper germination and growth of your seedlings.
Thinning the Plants
Once you have attained a few inches of growth in each of your plants you will need to thin the plants in order to allow them to have enough space in which to grow. Particularly for root vegetables, having enough room to spread out in the roots and the tops is essential. Thin the plants til they have about a half inch in between them or transplant the seedlings to larger pots to enable growth room.
Transplanting the Plants
Transplanting to the outside can take place as soon as the weather is warm enough but prior to doing so, you will want to sit them outside in a semi shaded area for two or three days. Do not leave them outdoors until all danger of frost is past, but hardening the plants for the outside is necessary and can be done by leaving them outdoors for a few hours and then bringing them in to the greenhouse overnight for several days.
If you will be leaving your plants inside the greenhouse for the growing season, you will need to transplant them to larger pots or to larger containers of some type to give them room to grow.
Plants that will be growing in pots in the greenhouse should — as a general rule of thumb, be given a pot which is about the same height as the leaf aspects of the plant will be at full growth. The exception of course would be corn, which is typically not grown to full height in containers or greenhouses.
Ensure that your plants receive adequate water and sunlight according to the needs of the plants and your greenhouse plants should thrive quite well and offer you an early harvest.
Whitney Segura is an expert greenhouse gardener and green enthusiast, who writes content for the EarthCare greenhouse blog. Whitney encourages gardeners and beginners to try new things & be more self-sufficient.