How to Use a Greenhouse For Beginners
Learn everything you need to know about how to use a greenhouse for beginners, including the types of greenhouses available, the tools needed, and how to start using your greenhouse.
Greenhouses provide an environment for growing plants in a sheltered and protective manner. They help to replicate climatic conditions required to grow a certain variety of plants. This article attempts to understand how to use a greenhouse for achieving optimal plant growth.
A greenhouse is a glass or plastic structure, used for growing flowers, vegetables, and fruits, and for pollination inappropriate climatic conditions. The walls of a greenhouse are heated using solar radiation from the sun, to warm plants, soil, and other things inside the glass or plastic. A greenhouse allows one to alter the conditions to suit the plant growth, instead of choosing and restricting the plants to suit the condition. Let’s take a closer look at how to use a greenhouse.
Important Pointers for Using a Greenhouse
While greenhouses can effectively grow and solve many problems associated with growing different plants in different climatic conditions, the following should be kept in mind to ensure the smooth functioning of a greenhouse.
Read More: Best Gardening Tips for Raised Bed Garden
The location of your greenhouse is one of the most important aspects of growing plants. You cannot grow the same type of plant in a desert area or a temperate area.
Selecting the location for your greenhouse is not as difficult as it seems, as long as you know what type of climate your plants need. It just needs to be set up at a safe distance from buildings and other structures that can potentially cause damage to it.
Greenhouse and Aeration
Aeration is the process in which air enters the greenhouse, giving plants more oxygen. It’s important for both plant life and human life.
Aeration in greenhouses is usually achieved by using fans to blow air in all directions. But because these fans are not always able to provide perfect circulation, they can make it hard for plants to thrive in their growing environment.
Choose The Right Style of Greenhouse
There are four types of greenhouses that a gardener might need to use for a variety of purposes. These include glass greenhouses, cold frames, hotbeds, and cold frames.
Cold frames are not just for plants that need to be protected from the winter; they can also be used during the summer months when there isn’t enough time to grow plants in the ground before it gets too hot outside.
The one thing you should keep in mind is how much time you want the greenhouse to stay open. There are many options for this including purchasing an automatic opening or closing door or using an electric opener or closing mechanism.
Water is essential to all plant life. As the greenhouse works on the technique of trapping and building moisture within its structure, regular watering or even overwatering is not required. However, that does not mean one ignores watering plants completely.
Individual plants have different water requirements, especially in peak summers. Using a moisture gauge to check moisture and humidity levels to determine watering needs, will ensure an adequate water supply to the plants with the right watering system.
The temperature in a greenhouse needs to be regulated as per the climate around it, as it uses sunlight to harness its heat build-up. During peak summers, the doors should be left open for a while, whereas during winters, they should be shut tight to ensure trapped moisture does not escape.
A good ventilation system should be in place to ensure good circulation of air and moisture. Invest in a good thermometer to gauge the temperature within the structure.
Pests are probably a major factor in ruining many greenhouses. While bringing plants from outside, check them thoroughly for any pests or diseases. If one plant has a disease, it will spread it to others as well, as a humid climate is what most pests and diseases thrive upon.
Keep treating the greenhouse to prevent diseases. If one is using bugs or bees for pollination, make sure you trap and move them out, once the pollination process is done.
Top 05 Effective Uses of a Greenhouse
Greenhouse gardening can add a completely new dimension not only for cultivating plants but growing a variety that is varied and profitable. How to use a greenhouse depends on individual requirements, time, and effort one is willing to put in.
The following are some ways to use a greenhouse:
As the climatic environment within the greenhouse can be altered and temperatures controlled, one can sow seasonal flower and fruit seeds in advance, to prolong its bearing.
This is particularly useful in cold climates, where it is necessary for the seeds to germinate and grow into healthy and sturdy seedlings, before transplanting them.
Commercial cultivators use greenhouses to sow seeds, to have their produce (saplings) ready for marketing in time for the planting season.
2. Sheltered Growing
Greenhouses are commonly seen in places, where the winters are harsh and the summers are short. They provide an easy and resourceful way for growing plants and vegetables. One can grow plants in different size containers, filled with rich, humus soil and healthy seedlings. The young plants will grow and provide better yield when protected from temperature variations, and annoying pests. A greenhouse will allow you to have fresh produce grown without pesticides or medicines to ripen them, throughout winter.
Greenhouses are used for propagating plants, either to be sold commercially or to create a hybrid, that will replicate the properties of two or more plants. Many plants are genetically altered in a greenhouse.
Propagation can be done using different methods like cutting, grafting, and air or soil layering. Propagating and cultivating attractive and hardy, pest-free plants in greenhouses, for commercial use, has turned many small-time cultivators into a unified, thriving industry.
Southern Spain’s Almeria province is one such example of how a greenhouse has turned this once arid landscape into a prosperous community.
4. Xeriscape and Hydroponic Growing
A greenhouse is an ideal environment to grow different kinds of plants to suit different places. Individually or combined, xeriscape and hydroponic gardens will help balance out water needs. Xeriscape gardening involves plants that are drought-resistant or need very little water to facilitate their growth.
They just require some good moisture-retaining soil. Hydroponic gardening, on the other hand, has plants that are water-intensive, and to grow them, one needs good access to water.
5. Growing Herbs and Exotic Plants
The rise in the popularity of the alternative therapy industry like aroma, and the growth of the spa culture, has many cultivators moving toward growing herbs and exotic plants in greenhouses, where growing them organically can be well-controlled.
Long-stemmed roses, carnations, and other bulbous exotic lilies like the irises, freesias, tulips, and orchids yield good returns for greenhouse growers. Even growing fruit trees like avocado, lemon, orange or banana, can be managed in a greenhouse.
Using a greenhouse is easy. For big commercial greenhouses, it is best to have an expert look into its requirement, but for the small ones just ensuring moisture, temperature, and pest control will yield good results. So, now that you have understood how to use a greenhouse, flood your senses with beautiful, colored flowers and exotic plants! You can learn more about greenhouse commercial farming.
Read More: How To Build A Good Greenhouse For A Farm