Friday, November 18, 2011

Starter Greenhouse Gardening Advice

You might wonder how you can put a greenhouse to work for you as you garden, but that's only due to the fact that you don't understand the economical, spiritual, physical, and mental advantages of gardening in greenhouses.

There are some sound benefits to having a greenhouse, no matter what your growing conditions are or the type of gardening you do.
  1. Greenhouses come in a number of types, sizes, and styles.
  2. They work for protecting plants from both extreme heat and cold.
  3. Extend your growing season with a quality greenhouse and reap the benefits of garden grown vegetables and fruits no matter where you live.
You can use cold frames, growing rows, portable greenhouses, growing racks, and permanent greenhouse structures of several kinds to extend your growing season.
  • Using a house linked greenhouse to function as a hot house can give you fresh food year round.
  • Not only can you supplement natural lighting with grow lights, but a greenhouse of any type can protect plants from frost, sunburn, and other hazards. Some crops can be harvested constantly with mature plants lasting season after season.
  • Other plants can be grown easily from seed saving you money on nursery grown plants.
  • Using a greenhouse allows you to control the climate to be ideal for many plants that would not grow in your local area.

When you go to design where to place a greenhouse you should take into account a few things.
  • Look carefully at your yard during all seasons and pick a site that has good winter sun exposure.
  • Keep in mind that you might want to have trees help shade a greenhouse in summer to cut down excess heat gain.
  • Not only will you want good sunshine for your greenhouse, but you will need to be able to reach it conveniently.
  • For some people this means attaching the greenhouse directly to the home, making the greenhouse a hot house.
  • Other people who like working in the soil directly might want a dirt floor portable greenhouse that goes right over the garden bed.

In either case remember that good drainage is a must, even though the site should be level as possible. A greenhouse should be protected from cold winds to reduce heat loss from them blowing across it.
  • Adding a hedge or fence can help insulate your building if you have no other options.
  • You might want to consider adding fans, heaters, misters, and other things depending on climate and need.
  • Decide if you must have a “hothouse” type greenhouse or if you can get by with one that is not heated.
  • Many plants can stand a little chill but will wilt and die if over heated.
  • If you live in a hot, dry area make sure you have plenty of air circulation and misters to help the greenhouse maintain an even temperature.
One final bit of advice is to become a masterful record taker.

Check your greenhouse twice daily and note how it is performing in the morning and evening.
  • Make adjustments based on recorded observations until you get the right self sustaining balance.
  • This can be simple as storing water containers inside the greenhouse.
Whitney Segura is an advanced greenhouse gardener from Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also an owner of the EarthCare Greenhouse Company, a premium brand of greenhouses and greenhouse accessories for sale in the United States. Whitney enjoys writing how to garden articles and greenhouse gardening advice at the EarthCare garden tips blog.