Setting Up A Greenhouse. Beginners Guide

A mini greenhouse is a significant addition for gardeners who prefer growing plants in limited space. Greenhouse cultivation helps extend the growing season for plants. I will try to cover all aspects of how to set up a greenhouse for beginners in this article.

 

Two Primary Greenhouse Cultivation Methods

Plastic Greenhouse

Nowadays, gardeners mostly prefer greenhouse structures made of galvanized tube frame and polyethylene foil over the glass option. Plastic greenhouses are much affordable compared to glass greenhouses. Besides, they can be easily moved from one place to another without much hassle. They provide a significant advantage by extending the growing season for plants.

Plants that thrive in heat are grown best in a plastic greenhouse. They include species like the following:

    1. Broccoli 
    2. Cauliflower
    3. Cabbage
    4. Sweet peppers
    5. Chilies
    6. Aubergines
    7. Tomatoes, etc.

 

Glass Greenhouse

The conventional glass greenhouse set-up is a costlier option, and not everyone can afford them. They may not be the ideal option for beginners. Also, glass greenhouses are static by nature since they cannot be moved from one place to another that easily.

Plants which require controlled temperature and less heat can be grown in glass greenhouse:

    1. Mushrooms
    2. Spinach 
    3. Cucumber
    4. Ginseng
    5. Leafy greens
    6. Microgreens
    7. Swiss Chard etc.

 

Mini Greenhouse

If you want to construct a mini-greenhouse, make sure you have made plans for the same. Proper planning is required so that you can utilize such limited space to your advantage.  As a result, the plants will be able to bear the healthiest of fruits throughout the year. Hold your patience if you want the plants to reap the best grade fruits. Sometimes the process may turn out time-consuming.

 

What You Need to Know About The Cultivation An Exact Plant

  • Temperature
  • Condition
  • Moisture 

Remember, you must consider these key aspects to evaluate the most suitable conditions for growing the plant. If you take proper care of these chief considerations, the plant is likely to survive all seasons and reap you with the best of results.

As a beginner, you must target plants that thrive easily compared to others. 

Few examples are as follows:

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Onions
  3. Peas
  4. Garlic
  5. Potatoes
  6. Strawberries
  7. Tomatoes

You will face less difficulty if you take one step at a time; the following are a few vital steps which all beginners need to follow to achieve success in greenhouse cultivation:

 

Temperature

Temperature is one of the key factors which help decide the result of the cultivation. Learn how to control the temperature inside the greenhouse, depending on the climatic condition of the place where you reside or operate. Based on the regional climatic condition during summer, you will require arranging for a cooling system that will help the plants thrive better. In winter, however, you will need to arrange for a heater to ensure that plants’ growth doesn’t get affected.

 

Seeding

First of all, being a beginner, you must maintain a descending record of the seed you have planted by proper labeling as per your understanding, for example, date/type, etc. Proper seeding is crucial. Use sterile soil to prevent various types of diseases that occur in plants. Add good quality fertilizers to the soil so that it helps the seeds to grow. Always focus on proper watering of the seeds to get good results. Maintain a record book where you can note down the seeds’ germination rate so that you will get a fair idea about the qualitative growth of seedlings.

You can also use the hybrid seed to save your time. They are bigger and healthier, too, though they are expensive, and the storage time is generally shorter.

 

Light

Sunlight is essential for the plants to perform photosynthesis. So plants require sufficient light for survival. You need to keep three things in mind regarding light exposure.

  1. Amount of daylight available
  2. The current season
  3. What type or variety of plant you are trying to grow.

Different plants have different needs, and if you are growing a plant that is generally leafy by nature, remember it will need adequate sunlight. During late spring or in summer, adequate sunlight is highly beneficial to sustain the growth of plants. Artificial light cannot help the plant perform photosynthesis.

 

Watering

Water is among the most vital essentials responsible for boosting plant growth. Create a proper time table and follow it while watering the plant as even excess water can be dangerous for plants. Get an overall idea of the water requirement of each plant so that you can reap optimal results. 

 

Vegetables Which Are Grown Fine In A Greenhouse

There are a number of vegetables which are easily grown in a greenhouse. Some of them are as follows:

 

  1. Cucumbers
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Courgettes
  4. French beans
  5. Sweet Corns
  6. Squashes
  7. Melons
  8. Strawberries 
  9. Lettuce, etc.

 

How To Grow Vegetables In A Mini Greenhouse

The space in a mini greenhouse is quite limited. Hence to utilize it to the fullest, you need to plan it carefully. There are few ways in which you can utilize the small space to its utmost level.

Shelving at the northern side of the greenhouse

Install shelves on the northern side of your greenhouse so that you can enjoy two-way benefits. Firstly, shelving will help stack-up plants reaping vegetables, which are shorter in size; for example, you can place lettuce and herbs on top of each other and keep a larger space open on opposite sides for taller plants like cucumber tomato and sweet corn.

Secondly, after you have accomplished shelving on the northern side of the greenhouse, focus a little to the south. Find out if the southern sides are open and can receive adequate sunlight. Also, do not overrule the big shadows created by shelves. Plants like tomatoes and sweet corn require shadows to thrive.

During the peak of summer, all plants are benefited from the shadow created by shelves as the same helps them stay protected from the scorching rays of the sun.

Remember to adopt the culture of “Crop Rotation” to maximize your greenhouse yields. It helps in the optimization of space. 

Try using tumblers for growing cherry tomato plants and hang these tumblers from the ceiling of your mini greenhouse.

Greenhouse in summer

In summer, greenhouse cultivation proves to be an ultimate choice to protect crops like cucumber tomatoes, aubergines Peppers etc. 

Dig the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches, followed by which you will need to water it at least once in a day to get better results. The effort will lead to a better quality product compared to plants that are grown outside.

Try to arrange some space for the pepper plant as it will give you good results and pay off your hard work during winter.

This summer, try planting some Mediterranean herbs, for example, marjoram and oregano, which require less water than plants bearing vegetables. These plants are responsible for absorbing heat.

You can also think of cultivating small-sized zucchinis, which grow very well during the summertime; later, when it becomes mature, it takes the shape of a gourd.

Another option you can consider is the Yardlong beans, which is also very fruitful and can be grown easily in the greenhouse during the summer.

 

Greenhouse Ideas

Orderly layout: If you are planning too many plants in limited space, consider an orderly and systematic placement. Once you start arranging the greenhouse in an orderly manner, it becomes easy to handle. Also, the greenhouse interiors turn presentable. Divide your greenhouse into two primary sections. Don’t make it overcrowded. 

Garden oasis:  If you add a swinging chair with a rustic appeal, it will give your garden a countryside appeal. Adding a few furniture items like benches makes sure their color matches that of the plants making the environment appear more like an oasis.  

Addition of skylight: If you are willing to build a greenhouse in the garage space or utilize an extra space that opens to the outdoor, add a skylight that will add to space’s appeal.

Living space transformation: When the living space is huge, and there is sufficient sunlight available, you can think of transforming it into a greenhouse. 

Utilization of vertical space: You can hang terrariums or potted plants as they will lend a greener outlook to space. Also, this will help you save space.

 

Greenhouse Essentials

Once the greenhouse structure is ready, you need to align a few essential things required to set up your greenhouse.

Pots of different varieties: bring in pots of various sizes, which are extremely handy. They are required in different stages, such as seed growing and specimen plant growing. Pots can be of plastic or made of biodegradable materials. 

 

Trays: If you are planning to start your greenhouse from scratch, consider investing in seeding trays. 

 

Fertilizers & potting mixes: You need to keep potting soil and other mixes handy and store them in closed boxes so that you can use them against pests.

 

Tools used for the gardening purpose: You need to keep a few gardening tools such as scissors, strings, pruner, pot brush pencils, and gloves handy for better operation.

 

Markers & tags:  Store few permanent markers and tags for the labelling of trays and plants.

 

Antifungal sprays: You need to keep the antifungal spray so that you can protect your plant in the times of need.

 

Workplace: make sure you arrange the limited space of your greenhouse to attain optimal results. Also, include a stool and a small table where you can sit and work on plants and soil.

 

Ventilation: Ventilation is critical for the proper execution of the greenhouse model. Ceiling vent or a simple door opening can solve the purpose.

 

Thermometer: Also, you will need to fix a thermometer inside your greenhouse to keep a tab on the temperature. During summer, use the thermometer for checking the temperature so that you can decide whether or not you must shift certain plants and place them where there is shade. Similarly, during the winter, with the help of a thermometer, you can determine whether the temperature is warm enough. These necessary steps will help you yield a better result.

 

Artificial light: If you arrange for artificial light for your greenhouse set-up, it will remain illuminated even after sunset. Also, you can continue to work inside the greenhouse since there will be the availability of light.

 

 

How To Keep A Greenhouse Warm At Night

There are few ways to keep the greenhouse warm at night, which are as follows:

Use bubble wrap for insulation:  Bubble wrap helps in insulation. You need to increase the size of the bubbles as it will increase insulation.  Also, you will need to cover all doors and windows, ensuring there is no leakage of heat.  Bubble wraps reduce the heating cost as well.

 

Use of heaters: You can use heaters to keep the greenhouse warm during night time.

 

Thermostats usage: Use thermostats at night to control the greenhouse temperature. You can also use a heater, which is thermostatically controlled.

 

Air circulation: You can install an air circulation machine that helps in mixing the air; as a result, there are no cold or hot patches inside the greenhouse. If there is no mixture of hot and cold air, the thermometer gives a false reading. Hence it is essential to focus on air circulation, and it, in turn, keeps the greenhouse warm.

 

The Temperature In The Greenhouse

You should keep a note of the inside temperature of the greenhouse to get the best results.

As per studies, the minimum required temperature within the greenhouse should be ideally is 55°F.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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