A small greenhouse can have its temperature regulated relatively easy. For amateur gardeners, a greenhouse is good for the following uses
- Raising plants for winter use.
- Holding over garden plants to be used as parent plants next season.
- Getting an early start for tender plants started from seed.
- Increasing the possibilities of greater variety and continuous supply.
- 5. Easier culture of small vegetables for winter use.
- To propagate, and experiment with various plants as a hobby, or to develop new varieties.
You will need
- General gardening tools
Choosing a site for your greenhouse
- Choose a level, clean site in a low-traffic area.
- If possible align your greenhouse with the long side facing south. The angle of the roof is engineered for catching the maximum amount of the sun’s rays in the winter with the least amount of loss by reflection. Also, if you end up seeing shade cloth during the warm days in spring and summer, you will need to shade only one side, instead of both sides.
- Orient the greenhouse so that the sun will reach it the maximum number of hours during each day. The most important time for the sun to reach any greenhouse is during the spring and fall when the sun is lowest in the southern sky. Find the place where there is clearing towards the Southeast through the Southwest or as much sun is available.
- The greenhouse interior should allow enough room for potting plants and moving about comfortably.
- Also take into consideration the height of the benches and tables you plan to use. If you want a sink, where will you put it? Will you have storage space for tools? Deal with these questions before building your greenhouse.
- Place a thermometer in the shade near the middle of your greenhouse and monitor the temperature at different times during sunny and cloudy weather. If the temperature is 80-90º or higher and the plants need a range of 60-70º, compensate by ventilating.
- Adequate ventilation is achieved when air can freely circulate among the plants. Spread your plants evenly throughout the greenhouse, rather than jamming them all onto one bench, so the air is distributed evenly.
- Also, you can hose down your greenhouse floor and open your veiling vents, and the entire unit will cool down quickly.
Soil and irrigation
- Only water when the soil is dry. Over watering in a climate controlled greenhouse environment will be the death of many plants or seedling. Drip irrigation systems are effective and also prevent the leaves from getting too much water on them. Drip systems are gentle on seedling too.
- Regularly disinfect the entire greenhouse with a scrub brush and mixture of diluted bleach, being careful not to get any on plants.
- Open up any vents to let fumes escape; scrub down all the walls and floor, then rinse with clean water.
- Spray the walls and corners with a hose set on the jet nozzle, periodically between disinfections.
- Use any of the following in the bottom of your boxes or pots, for good drainage: broken clay pots (soaked in water), cracked walnuts, marbles, charcoal, or gravel.
- Herbs are nature’s insecticides; be sure to include a variety of them in your garden.
- Throw crushed egg shells on your garden for plant growth.
- Rinse vegetables and fruits outside with a garden hose before brining them into your home. The dirt and bugs will stay outdoors and your kitchen will stay clean.