Why use a Greenhouse or Glasshouse?
A Greenhouse will be a valuable addition to your property. There are many great reasons why to grow in a Greenhouse...
Greenhouses offer warmth and insulation, protecting your precious plants from the harsh elements such as frost, snow, wind and hail.
Extend the growing season
The warmth and protection a greenhouse provides means you can start growing produce much earlier, and depending on your circumstances, grow right through winter thus extending your growing season into the cooler months.
Be self reliant
With the ever growing popularity of green living, growing your own food is not only fun, it is a wise and environmentally sound choice. No more GMO's! You are even able to set up an hydroponic or aquaponic system to make growing your vegetables in your greenhouse even easier.
Wider crop variety
Growing in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse means you can effectively cultivate a much wider variety of plants than you would normally be able to grow outside.
Many people find that even a small greenhouse in their backyard will supply enough produce to set up a booth at a local farmers market. This can be done on a much larger scale if you have the space.
Nurture your prize winning orchids
With an effectively set up greenhouse, you are able to control the environment and give your orchids what they need for optimum growth.
Hours of enjoyment
When you have cabin fever in the winter months, there is no better place to spend some time than surrounded by the beauty in your greenhouse. What's better than having a warm retreat to potter about in on a rainy, windy day! You will be the envy of your neighbors.
Many times we have heard our customers say "I am tired of having to replace all my plants every year." We even had one gentleman who estimated he spent $1,000+ each year replacing plants!
Growing Seedlings and Propagating in a Greenhouse
Growing seedlings in a greenhouse is very similar to growing outside. They need adequate nutrients and water, and protection from pests and disease. In a greenhouse, however, you have the ability to control some of the variables you encounter when gardening outside. It's easiest to use standard seed trays but you could just as easily use egg cartons or something similar. A good quality soil mix should be used. Seedlings should have plenty of light, good ventilation, and enough space to grow. The soil should be kept moist. As with all seedlings, label and date the plants. Additional lighting can be beneficial if growing spring seedlings in particularly cloudy regions.
If you are starting the seeds in the greenhouse and then planning on moving them outside once established, then it's often recommended to 'harden off' your young plants. All plants need to be transitioned when you are changing the conditions they will be in. This transitional period between the two environments helps the plants to adjust to the outdoor conditions. This 'hardening off' period takes about 7 -10 days. If properly hardened off, the transition to the garden should be trouble free. Here's a great little link on how to harden off seedlings. www.wikihow.com/Harden-Off-Seedlings
If you are growing produce that is to be fully grown in the greenhouse you can plant the seeds straight into the bags or pots. When growing full sized plants such as tomatoes or beans, be sure to stake your plants as you would outside. Remove any unnecessary foliage to ensure adequate air movement around the plants and keep the plants well supported. Often greenhouses have hanging clips or brackets which you can clip/screw onto any upright wall, which you can then create vertical string lines. I find the bamboo tripod type structures work really well too.
If you have a great tasting variety of tomato, save those seeds for next season! Simply place the seeds on a paper towel and leave to dry on a windowsill. There are websites and Facebook pages dedicated to 'Seed Saving and Swapping'.