Anyone with an interest in gardening, whether growing vegetables or flowers, will find owning a greenhouse invaluable. One of the plus points of a greenhouse is that it serves multiple purposes, giving it incredible flexibility to suit your growing needs and preferences.
Starting Plants Early
The beauty of having a greenhouse is that you can start off young plants earlier than you would if growing outside. You don’t have to worry about frost damaging precious seedlings when they’re confined to a greenhouse. By giving plants a head start in the greenhouse, you can extend the growing season and allow crops to flourish earlier than normal. It also means you can do your sowing and growing whatever the weather outside. Some plants will still need to reach a certain temperature to germinate, so you may need to provide some heating in your greenhouse if it’s very cold.
Encourage Strong, Healthy Plants
You can encourage plants to grow strongly and healthily by starting them off as young seedlings in a greenhouse and then potting them on outside when they have grown and the frost risk has passed. Plants that are strong and healthy are less likely to get attacked by pests. In fact, a greenhouse is really handy if you want to protect plants from succumbing to pests and diseases that are more common outdoors. Greenhouses can get hot, even early on in the season, so make sure to regularly water and feed plants and allow air to circulate on warm days. Although the risks of pest problems are reduced when placing plants in your glass house, they aren’t totally immune, so keep a check on plants to nip aphid attacks in the bud.
Increase Your Choice of Plants
What makes greenhouses so appealing for many gardeners is that they give you the opportunity to grow a wider variety of plants, many of which wouldn’t thrive outdoors. You could try your hand at growing exotic plants, for instance, and those found in hotter climes. As well as growing plants in pots to sit on benches or the ground, you could make use of the roof of the greenhouse to encourage grape vines to grow.
If you grow something a little less ordinary in your greenhouse, make sure you understand what requirements it has, as having a warm temperature may not be enough. You might also need to consider humidity levels, the type of compost to use and food or watering requirements.
A greenhouse isn’t just the nerve centre of your plant growing operation: it’s also a useful place to store your pots, planters, trays and labels for easy access. Keeping your greenhouse organised and tidy is a must, so benches or shelves are a handy addition. A greenhouse is also useful for storing plants over winter that would be too vulnerable to leave outside. In some cases, these plants may need to be wrapped with horticultural fleece inside the greenhouse to offer additional protection – unless you have heated systems running throughout winter.