When to Start an Outdoor Mini Greenhouse in Northeast Iowa

You are wondering when to start an outdoor mini greenhouse in Northeast Iowa? If you live somewhere in Cedar Falls, Decorah, Waterloo, Independence, Waverly, or Dyersville, you’re living in areas where steep hills, as well as valleys, are more common than the other parts of the Hawkeye State.

More often than not, the summer seasons in Northeast Iowa are also the rainiest seasons of the year. However, this doesn’t change the fact that summer days in these areas are especially hot and humid. In fact, the usual day temperatures can range from 90˚F (32.2˚C) to 100˚F (37.8˚C) in the month of July.

When you’re planning to start an outdoor mini greenhouse, you need to consider a few things. The good news is, you’re not alone. To help you get started, check out the most common questions people ask about mini greenhouse gardening in Northeast Iowa.

When to Start an Outdoor Mini Greenhouse in Northeast Iowa

When is the Best Time to Start an Outdoor Mini Greenhouse in Northeast Iowa?

If you’re planning to set up your mini greenhouse outdoors, it’s best to do it in April. However, since mini-greenhouses allow you to do nonstop gardening, you can also choose to set yours up even during the middle of winter.


Do Mini Greenhouses Protect Your Plants from Frost?

Yes, a mini greenhouse can provide your tender plants with enough protection from frost. However, you need to make sure that that your mini greenhouse is securely anchored to the ground to keep it from getting caught by strong winds.


What Vegetables Can You Grow Inside a Mini Greenhouse?

You can grow a variety of vegetables in a mini greenhouse, including eggplants, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, salads, cucumbers, courgettes, squashes, sweetcorn, chilies, spring cabbage, and French beans.


What Fruits Can You Grow in a Mini Greenhouse for Beginners?

The fruits that are easiest to grow in a mini greenhouse include strawberries, raspberries, peppers, cucumbers, cherries, cantaloupe, grapes, chilies, and lemons.


What Flowers Can You Grow Inside a Mini Greenhouse?

The best kinds of flowers that are easiest to grow in a mini greenhouse are peace lilies, African violets, kalanchoe, begonias, marigolds, sunflowers, nigella, daisies, and morning glories.


What are the Herbs and Spices that are Best Grown in a Mini Greenhouse?

The best kinds of herbs and spices that are easy to grow in a greenhouse include licorice, lavender, cumin, anise, rosemary, catnip, bay laurel, thyme, tarragon, sage, cilantro, and mint.


What Can You Grow in a Mini Greenhouse in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter?

The best time to keep your young and tender plants growing in a mini greenhouse is during springtime. At the start of the season, go ahead and grow plug plants that include begonias, busy Lizzies, and petunias.

During the summer season, you can use your mini greenhouse for seed starting and for cloning the plants that are already growing in your outdoor garden. On the other hand, you can also start growing spring cabbage, take cuttings from geraniums and fuchsias, and plant salad crops inside your mini greenhouse in the fall. You can also choose to grow cacti, orchids, and various carnivorous plants in it once you’ve managed to learn how to control the climate inside the enclosure.

In case you’re wondering, your mini greenhouse can also provide your young plants and cuttings with enough protection from cold, as well as first mild frosts. The mini greenhouse also serves as the ideal environment for the young plants that you’re planning to overwinter.


Do Plants Grow Better Inside a Mini Greenhouse?

Yes, they do! Since mini-greenhouses offer indoor settings, you can easily take control of your plants’ growing environment. To give you an idea, you can connect your watering system to an automatic timer so that you can save time and control the internal temperature regardless of the time of the day or season.

Moreover, the enclosure can also allow you to implement automatic ventilation to facilitate ideal indoor airflow and a steady supply of carbon dioxide for your plants. In case you’re wondering, your crops need this in order to produce sugar, as well as oxygen.

Getting concentrated amounts of carbon dioxide will cause your crops to produce larger leaves and stronger plant stems. To top it all off, this can also increase your plants’ potential to produce early flowers, as well as fruits.

You’re probably aware of the fact that most plants thrive in a humid environment. For this reason, your plants can experience peak development when you install moisture regulators that can help keep the level of humidity consistent inside your mini greenhouse.

Aside from helping your plants focus on producing flowers and fruits, a mini greenhouse helps keep the soil moist.  When your plants are planted in moist soil, their chances of being attacked by pests or developing various forms of diseases are significantly reduced.


Final Thoughts on When to Start an Outdoor Mini Greenhouse in Northeast Iowa

A mini greenhouse lets your plants get most of the sun, experience longer growing seasons, and produce a great harvest at any time of the year. Now that you know when to start an outdoor mini greenhouse in Northeast Iowa, the next logical step would be to purchase your own mini greenhouse and experience the wonderful benefits of min greenhouse gardening!


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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.



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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