The idea of having a greenhouse out in our backyards or back gardens is a very appealing thought for a lot of people who may have an outside garden, raised beds or lot. It will create a different approach to gardening and becomes an important accessory that will assist us greatly with some of our horticultural tasks. The greenhouse or glasshouse as it is know to some people is primarily a nursery of sorts for the germination and propogation of tender plants and vegetables. Before we plant these outside in the open, we can harden off these seedlings and get them ready for outside planting by gradually introducing them to a harsher climate. We can do this exercise in stages and it is a great way of getting a headstart during our growing season.
Greenhouse gardening for beginners is not overly difficult and perhaps the thought of using a system like this frightens us more so. It should, afterall, be a gardener’s dream to be able to have one of these facilities and when we get used to using and having one of these, we would find it very difficult to be without one. They kinda grow on us after a while, if you get my meaning, no pun intended. Greenhouses come in all different sizes and shapes and the cost of one of these structures will be dictated by the size dimensions. We can expect to pay upwards of $400 – 500 for a standard size unit and that would measure approx 4ft x 6ft x 7ftH. They are pretty sturdy constructions as standard due to the fact that they are predominantly constructed of glass and have rust proof aluminium frames. A greenhouse can be possibly described as a large coldframe, but has superior benefits and room for assisting our growing tasks.
Pros of a greenhouse;
There are many and numerous advantages of having a greenhouse and the most obvious of these is that we can extend our growing season, regardless of where we reside and what type of climate we have. Essentially we go from novice or beginner to pro or semi-pro by installing one of these greenhouses and we will see the return of our investment, easily by the end of the first year. Some of the primary benefits of a greenhouse are as follows:
- Start growing our seeds and seedlings earlier,
- Longer growing season,
- Enhanced growing envoirnment,
- Grow veggies all year round,
- Accomodates tender vegetables and plants,
- Can regulate heat, atmosphere and aeration,
- Protection from the elements,
- Easy to control insects and pests,
- Animal and rodent proof enclosure,
The above points are some of the more important benefits of having a greenhouse and as we can see from the list, there are some noteworthy advantages that can be had by using one of these units. There are many more if we dig deeper but for starters, this is a serious list of extra helpings from an accessory such as this.
As for the cons or disadvantages, I have not come across any to-date except to say that during the very warm days, we will need to monitor the inside temperature of these glassshouses, as they can get seriously hot and can resemble an oven, if we get careless or forget to open the doors and windows.
Selecting a location for a greenhouse;
It would be time well spent to plan and decide where is the optimum location for our greenhouse. There are several factors to consider and placement of these glass houses will have a huge bearing in how to get the most from one of these constructions. The primary objective is to have a sunny location and after that we would want a solid and level foundation, on which to build these on. The other important issue is this area needs to be sheltered from strong winds for obvious reasons and also remember not to locate these near or under trees of any description. We might also consider the idea of locating this unit near a water and power source as we may need these throughout the year for different reasons. We have often seen greenhouses as a type of a lean-to and they can be constructed as an extension of our dwelling house or an outside shed or garage. This method would offer fantastic shelter and stability for these units, but we need to orientate these in a south facing position.
Assuming that we have a greenhouse in place, our nest step is to attempt to put it into use. Whether or not our greenhouse comes with shelves, this is something that we may consider constructing ourselves. Failing that we would need a work table or bench of some description, which would enable us to work comfortably and efficiently. As some of these units come with stacking shelves as standard, they are more often than not portable and not fixtures as such, so therefore we can arrange these to suit our own requirements and needs. If there are water gutterings on the greenhouse, it would be a good idea to divert the water into a barrel, which would be very useful for watering and irrigating our plants later on.
Owning a greenhouse or glasshouse can definitely give us some growing advantages as we outlined above, but there are numerous challenges associated with greenhouse plants. As we have an area protected from the inclement elements, this enables gardeners to extend the growing season, it also means natural insect and pests are controlled to a degree, but not entirely. So some steps to take would be to ensure good air circulation, keep an eye on your plants for pests and diseases, and isolate any affected plants right away so you can treat them and keep the problem from spreading to the rest of our greenhouse. It’s all part of operating and running a successful and rewarding greenhouse. As ever we are social here at buildingraisedbeds.com and feel free to contact us with any issues or concerns.