Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners

A glasshouse is a structure that creates a protected environment for plants to grow while also extending their productive lives. Greenhouse gardening is an enjoyable and functional means to garden all year-round. You will be able to pick tomatoes in the winter, grow herbs and vegetables and start seedlings and cuttings.
Glasshouses come in a range of distinct styles with each type being suited to a particular level of seriousness of greenhouse gardening. For the beginner gardener there are smaller versions available in the form of portable, hobby or mini greenhouses. There is also the option to construct your own from scratch.
Some of the many practical uses for a home garden greenhouse include:
  • Being able to carry over garden plants to be used as parent plants next season
  • Giving tender plants started from seed an early start
  • Increasing the chances of a greater variety and continuous supply
  • Easier cultivation of small vegetables for winter use
  • The ability to experiment and propagate various plants as a hobby
  • Develop new varieties of plants
As with the majority of projects, start your greenhouse gardening with a plan. You need to consider the style of greenhouse you want, such as a cold house or a heated greenhouse.

Whether you are planning on building your own greenhouse or going for a ready-made kit, you need to look at the type of foundation that is required for your new structure. In addition, the type of equipment you will need together with watering systems, humidity control, heating and air circulation systems are all factors that need to be considered.

A cold house is the simplest form of home greenhouse. It is not equipped with any artificial means of heat which means that the growing season is shortened when the outside temperature drops below freezing. Frost sensitive plants will not grow between late fall and the middle of spring unless you provide heat. However, a cold house does lengthen the growing season from that of gardening outdoors by trapping the heat from the sun throughout the day. Furthermore, it provides a cozy respite for you to enjoy your gardening in addition to protecting plants from the outside elements.

Monitoring the temperature of your glasshouse is especially important. Whenever the inside temperature gets overly hot, the chances are high that your plants will wilt and die. Conversely, temperatures that drop too low can decrease the vigor and growth of your plants. You should therefore develop a daily schedule that maintains the best possible temperature. An hour or so of intense heat is all it takes to destroy all the work you put into your greenhouse. It is far better to leave your greenhouse open, and have it a bit cool, rather than to have your plants die from the heat. For the first few days, check the temperature of your greenhouse several times and if necessary, open the doors or provide more ventilation to maintain the desired temperature. During the late afternoon or early evening, once the temperature has cooled off, close up your greenhouse. This is the best time to water your plants and flats if they need it.

If you start gardening with a cold house, once you fit a greenhouse heater you will then be able to benefit from a true greenhouse. When you do this, you will transform your love of greenhouse gardening into a year-round hobby. To grow greenhouse plants throughout the winter the minimum temperature is forty-five degrees.

Distinct from gardening outside, where the rain waters the plants, it does not rain inside a greenhouse. Watering greenhouse plants is not simply a case of taking a hose and saturating the soil. Within the soil, there are small open-air pores that roots depend on for providing themselves with nutritious gases. When you water your plants, these small pores fill up which then causes suffocation for the plant roots. When the roots suffocate, the plants wither and it is very common for most gardeners to water the plants even more thus causing further suffocation.

Bear in mind that the watering requirements inside a greenhouse are different because the environment is enclosed. This means that for the majority of the time, a reasonable amount of moisture remains therefore lessening the amount of watering required. A good rule of thumb when it comes to watering is to check the soil and if it is dry then add water.