A mini greenhouse is a significant addition for gardeners who prefer growing plants in limited space. In addition, greenhouse cultivation helps extend the growing season for plants. I will try to cover all aspects of setting up a greenhouse for beginners in this article.
Two Primary Greenhouse Cultivation Methods
Nowadays, gardeners prefer greenhouse structures made of galvanized tube frames and polyethylene foil over the glass option. This is because plastic greenhouses are much affordable compared to glass greenhouses. Besides, they can be easily moved from one place to another without much hassle. Moreover, 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:
- Sweet peppers
- Tomatoes, etc.
The conventional glass greenhouse set-up is a costlier option, and not everyone can afford them. Therefore, they may not be the ideal option for beginners. Also, glass greenhouses are static since they cannot be moved from one place to another that easily.
Plants that require controlled temperature and less heat can be grown in glass greenhouse:
- Leafy greens
- Swiss Chard etc.
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 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 of An Exact Plant
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 will likely 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:
You will face less difficulty if you take one step at a time; the following are a few vital steps that all beginners need to follow to achieve success in greenhouse cultivation:
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. For example, based on the regional climatic condition during summer, you will require a cooling system that will help the plants thrive better. However, in winter, you will need to arrange for a heater to ensure that plants’ growth doesn’t get affected.
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 to get a fair idea about the qualitative growth of seedlings.
You can also use the hybrid seed to save time. They are bigger and healthier, too, though they are expensive, and the storage time is generally shorter.
Sunlight is essential for plants to perform photosynthesis. So plants require sufficient light for survival. You need to keep three things in mind regarding light exposure.
- Amount of daylight available
- The current season
- What type or a variety of plants are you 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.
Water is among the most vital essentials responsible for boosting plant growth. Create a proper timetable 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
Several vegetables are easily grown in a greenhouse. Some of them are as follows:
- French beans
- Sweet Corns
- 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. Unfortunately, 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 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 benefit from the shadow created by shelves as the same helps them stay protected from the sun’s scorching rays.
Remember to adopt the culture of “Crop Rotation” to maximize your greenhouse yields. In addition, 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 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 are also very fruitful and can be grown easily in the greenhouse during the summer.
Orderly layout: Consider an orderly and systematic placement if you are planning too many plants in limited space. 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 the 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.
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 gardening: 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 a few permanent markers and tags for the labeling of trays and plants.
Antifungal sprays: You need to keep the antifungal spray so that you can protect your plant in 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 to sit and work on plants and soil.
Ventilation: Ventilation is critical for the proper execution of the greenhouse model. A 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 an 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 heat leakage. Bubble wraps reduce the heating cost as well.
Use of heaters: You can use heaters to keep the greenhouse warm during nighttime.
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
It would help if you kept 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.