Why are greenhouses popular for growing particular plants?
- Protect Plants: A greenhouse is able to protect the plants inside it from extreme cold and heat. It can even shelter the plants in it from unwanted pests and insects.
- Maintain Optimum Conditions: A greenhouse lets you be able to control the temperature and moisture conditions compared to outdoor weather conditions. You can change the heat settings to provide warmth throughout the entire year which means that crops can grow even when it is technically winter. Moreover, fans and greenhouse heaters in a greenhouse can be used to propel air that is rich in carbon dioxide which is exactly what is needed for plants to be able to engage in the process of photosynthesis.
- Prevention from Pests: The greenhouse is also an enclosed and protected environment where pests can’t reach your plants, keeping them safe at all times.
- Increase length of growing period: You can technically increase the length of growing period that your plants are able to enjoy in a greenhouse environment.
- Off-Season plant growth: With suitable living conditions, plants can thrive more compared to an ordinary outdoor environment.
Whatever your reason for growing plants in a greenhouse, there’s a lot that can be done to take complete advantage of your greenhouse. If you are asking yourself what can you grow in a greenhouse read on to find out.
What considerations should you keep in mind before growing plants in a greenhouse?
Location of Greenhouse
Before beginning make sure that the location that you have chosen for your greenhouse is ideal. The site that you pick for your greenhouse will be a deciding factor in how well your plants are able to grow. If your greenhouse is located closer to your living space (such as your house) then it will be easy for you to access it and visit it regularly as compared to it being much further away.
Availability of Resources
You will ideally have water and electricity in your greenhouse, those two are crucial to creating a ‘controlled’ environment. In case there is a water outage and the sprinklers can’t turn themselves, it will be easier to get water to your plants and vegetables if is the location is closer.
Sunlight is a key component for your greenhouse plants to be able to flourish. You need to pick a spot where your greenhouse is able to soak in at least a solid 6 hours of broad daylight, especially during the winter. If the direction of your greenhouse is set from east to west, it will be able to make the most of the southern sunlight.
Make sure that your plant isn’t located close to coniferous trees because they keep a tight hold of their leaves in winter. This means that their tree-tops or canopy can form a shade over your plants, effectively blocking the sunlight away from them. Deciduous trees, on the other hand are more suitable because they can provide appropriate shade in summer and let go of their leaves in the winter season. This helps by not blocking sunlight from plants in the cold season, where daylight hours are already very short.
Which plants and vegetables should you grow in your greenhouse?
Once you have your greenhouse all set up, you will need to move onto the next stage which involves planning what exactly you want to grow in your greenhouse. If you have a greenhouse with a soil-floor, you will want to begin your greenhouse journey for the ground only.
This is because it will be easy for you to water your plants and the excess moisture will drain away easily. There are other alternatives as well such as growing containers, crates and grow bags – which have benefits of their own such as not having to worry about weeds popping up every now and then and less soil based diseases.
Tomatoes being grown in a greenhouse.
Do some research
You will need to research the plants that you are interested in growing in your greenhouse as well as deciding whether or not the physical and environmental conditions you can offer are suitable for their optimal growth.
Popular plants to grow in the greenhouse
Some of the most popular plants to grow in your greenhouse are: cucumbers, spinach, microgreens, herbs, mushrooms, salad leaves, tomatoes, spring onions and radishes, beetroots, onions, garlic, peas, runner beans, broad beans, potatoes, ginseng and the list continues.
Virtually, you could grow almost any crop in your greenhouse. Not only will almost any plant grow in a greenhouse, but it will grow faster than usual because of the extremely suitable living conditions that are provided in a greenhouse. You can even grow flower varieties in your greenhouse such as: chrysanthemums, poinsettias, caladiums, salvias, petunias to mention a few. This is because of the micro-climate that you are able to create in a greenhouse.
How to care for your plants which are growing in a greenhouse?
Temperature and humidity are the two key factors you will need to take immense care of when you are working with a greenhouse. Just one night of too much frost and cold could be enough to destroy most of your crops if they are cold sensitive. A digital thermometer will help you keep track of the temperature in your greenhouse so that you can alter it according to what your plants prefer the most.
Install the best equipment
Install fans and vents in your greenhouse so that you can turn the air on as required to let the excess heat pour out of your greenhouse if it heats up too much. Regulating the temperature is one of the key components to be able to ensure that you are getting the most out of your experience for your plants.
Regular watering and pest control
Water your greenhouse plants on a regular basis with your garden hose, using an appropriate spray nozzle, but not too much! Only appropriately to what the plant needs. Keep an eye out for slugs, pests and other insects which could potentially be damaging to your plants.
Greenhouse growing season lasts longer.
The Bottom Line
Greenhouses are great places to grow off-season plant varieties and get considerable produce all-round the year. You can grow vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, flowers, fruits and other plant varieties equally well in a well-maintained greenhouse.