A greenhouse is a fantastic addition to any garden or allotment. The experience of growing your own crops, plants and flowers is rewarding and pleasurable. It’s also a great way to save your grocery money and live healthier. We’ve weeded out classic beginner’s confusion to sow some straightforward tips and get you growing.
Why do I need a greenhouse?
Investing in a greenhouse enables you to lengthen the seasons to grow a diverse crop. You are able to grow pretty much all year round, as well as give hardier plants a nurturing start before being planted outside. You also have the option to grow plants and vegetables not usually found in your area.
In addition to adding growing options, your greenhouse protects from extreme heat, cold and pests. Humidity inside your greenhouse is higher than outdoors, encouraging photosynthesis – you want this to happen as much as possible, because it stimulates growth.
Your environment and your greenhouse
A good idea is to buy the largest and best quality greenhouse you can afford. A greenhouse is a long term investment. Make sure you give yourself more floor space than you think you need. You will grow into the greenhouse as you take on more projects. Save yourself the headache now and make sure you add on a little extra space while you cultivate your new hobby.
When you consider the site for your greenhouse, look out for shadows cast by neighbouring buildings, hedges, fences and walls. You want your greenhouse to catch as much sunlight as possible. Access to power and water is preferable, particularly if you plan to use an electric heater to keep your greenhouse warm (120 volts for small and 240 for large greenhouses).
An alternative method to encourage warmth is placing heat absorbent items such as large rocks around the greenhouse interior. Heat is retained during daylight and your greenhouse stays warmer with a slow heat release overnight. Greenhouse vegetables demand lots of natural light and vertical growing space.
Adequate protection beneath your greenhouse is essential and there are a variety of methods used, of varying complexity. The main idea is to keep the floor of your greenhouse dry and of course to repel any pests from raiding your crops. A damp proof membrane (DPM) is a vital layer to maintain a flourishing environment.
Beginner’s greenhouse secrets
Do yourself a favour and buy a thermometer. No more guessing the temperature which, incidentally must be above 2 degrees centigrade (13 degrees for sensitive plants). To help maintain the temperature in the warmer months, open the greenhouse door during the day.
Ward off fungi and other annoying pests by ensuring your greenhouse is properly ventilated and has a steady movement of air. Remember to leave enough space between your plants for the air to travel easily.
Water your crops in the evening, as watering during the day causes the water to evaporate too quickly. Also, cover your plants with fleece, or bubble wrap, which is cheaper, when it’s cold.
These secrets will help you create and maintain the perfect environment to nurture your choice of vegetables, plants and flowers – all while you indulge in a popular pastime with a dedicated following.