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...
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’.