Greenhouse Gardening: A Guide to Getting Started

Feb 11


Ellen Bell

Ellen Bell

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Do you enjoy gardening and want to know how you can expand your hobby or take your skills to the next level? Have you considered investing in a greenhouse, but aren't sure where to start? This article has all the answers and more. Find out everything you need to know about gardening in your own greenhouse.

Gardening is a popular hobby for young and old alike and can provide an education at home for children to better understand where our food comes from.  For the beginning gardener who enjoys gardening and wants to take their skills and interest to the "next level," perhaps it is time to consider investing in a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are permanent or temporary structures,Greenhouse Gardening: A Guide to Getting Started Articles usually constructed of transparent or translucent material such as clear glass or plastic, that allow the sun's rays to enter and warm the air inside.  Delicate plants that would die if planted outside will often thrive in a greenhouse.  Furthermore, the standard growing season in your area can be extended by as much as 3-4 months into the early spring and late fall with a greenhouse.  A greenhouse can be a haven for the hobby gardener; it is a place to fill the hours of late winter in harsh climates, planting and transplanting, and tending to flowers and vegetables.

Before investing in a greenhouse, it's important to assess your goals.  What do you want to achieve with your greenhouse?  Some common greenhouse gardening objectives might include:
  1. Starting vegetable plants early to get maximum yields from your garden.
  2. Starting and cultivating beautiful flowers to extend their growing and flowering life.
  3. Extending fall by move some plants such as tomatoes or peppers into the greenhouse for final ripening.
  4. Growing and harvesting vegetables for your own use during winter months.
  5. Growing plants from seed, and thus lowering the overall cost of gardening (because seeds are much more economical to purchase than small plants).
  6. Growing plants for sale at a farmer's market or other business.
  7. To experiment with new varieties and hybrids of plants, or even to hybridize your own new varieties.

Once you've determined what your greenhouse gardening goals are, then next step is to decide on a type of greenhouse.  It is possible to build your own greenhouse from scratch, though it may take you a lot of time and frustration.  It may be easier to purchase a greenhouse kit, which are readily available for purchase online and through catalogs.  A kit will make the process much easier, and in some cases, less expensive.

Another thing to consider is how much space you have for your greenhouse.  For individuals with very large backyards, acreages, or even farms, space is not an issue.  However, for many suburban gardeners, their backyard space is at a premium.  If this is the case, you may want to consider a portable greenhouse.  Portable greenhouses come in many shapes and sizes, and are usually designed to be set up temporarily on a patio or deck, and then they can be easily moved or taken down later.  For apartment or condominium dwellers who don't even have a deck or patio, don't despair.  Indoor tabletop green houses are good option because they can fit on a shelf, workbench, or end table.  These units usually have several shelves, and can be outfitted with a grow light or heat lamp for maximum efficiency.

While greenhouse gardening may seem intimidating, it's really no different than outdoor gardening.  The hardest part in getting started is choosing your greenhouse and getting it set up.  Once you've accomplished this, the fun of greenhouse gardening begins!  The greenhouse gardener can look forward to bigger plants, more flowers, larger harvests, and most importantly, a longer growing season to extend their favorite hobby throughout the year.