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Beginners Gardening

Greenhouse Basics



A greenhouse is a great way to grow a variety of plants in the colder parts of your year. It allows you to extend your growing season and experiment with species that may not be viable in the outdoors due to climate, time or space constraints.

Greenhouse Basics

A greenhouse enables you to control the temperature and humidity inside, providing an ideal environment for plants. It can be used for starting seeds, warming up tender plants during winter or propagating landscape plants.

Plants need light to photosynthesise (make food in their leaves). A greenhouse amplifies the light and provides a safe place for your plants to grow and thrive.

In addition to providing light, a greenhouse also supplies the other elements that your plants need to thrive, like water and carbon dioxide. This allows you to produce different varieties of fruits and vegetables throughout the year without the worry of weather conditions affecting your production.

The key to successful greenhouse gardening is to understand your plant’s needs and keep them well cared for. By feeding and watering your plants properly, you’ll avoid a lot of problems with diseases, pests and fungus.

Shading: In warm climates, a shade sheet over your greenhouse can help to reduce the amount of direct sunlight that hits the plants. Polypropylene shade cloth, a roll-up screen of wood or aluminum, vinyl plastic shading or paint-on materials are all effective ways to add a bit of protection from summer sunburns and heat stress for your plants.

Ventilation: A fan can help keep the air moving through your greenhouse and prevent many disease problems. You can also use electric or temperature-sensitive hydraulic vents to automatically open and close based on the climate in your area.

Use a Foundation: A greenhouse is more stable when anchored to a sturdy base. You can pour a concrete footer or use cinder blocks.

Frame: The frames for your greenhouse can be made from either aluminum or steel. They are both durable and rust-resistant, but aluminum is generally more insulative and a better choice for small greenhouses.

Shelves: Shelves are an essential part of a greenhouse and provide the perfect place to house smaller seedlings and potted plants. Shelves can be wood, wire or metal shelving units.

It is important to choose shelves that are strong enough to support the weight of your plants, but not too heavy for them to move around easily. If you are not careful, you could have a lot of movement between your shelves that can cause sagging or collapse.

If you are a beginner, it is best to start with a small greenhouse. This will give you a good idea of how much space and energy you need to dedicate to gardening, and allow you to see what works for you.

Temperature: The temperature in your greenhouse should be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a bit cooler at night. You can monitor this with a thermometer, and you can open vents and turn on fans to help cool the room down when it gets too hot.

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