A greenhouse helps you to extend the growing season considerably: you can start sowing in February and harvest vegetables until the end of October! A greenhouse also allows you to grow exotic plants or protects sensitive plants from frost. In short, a greenhouse offers great opportunities. There are, of course, a few things to consider when buying, building, and using a greenhouse. So read on to find out our tips.

A greenhouse will extend cultivation time.
Small stone wool cubes are great for germinating seeds.

How to use my greenhouse?

A greenhouse is a very versatile construction and can be used in many ways, whether it’s for growing exotic plants, like tropical plants or orchids, or fruit plants that need a lot of light and heat, for example tomatoes, red and green peppers, aubergines, and cucumbers.


Another option is to use your greenhouse as a small ‘starting area’, germinating and giving plants a good start before transplanting them into the garden. In that case, keep it at a sufficiently warm temperature. For all these reasons, think carefully about how you want to use your greenhouse before you buy it.

Choosing a greenhouse

Would you like a glass greenhouse in the classic shape of a little house, or would you prefer a polytunnel made of transparent plastic? Both serve as places to grow and/or overwinter frost-sensitive plants. Whichever greenhouse you choose, consider all its possibilities, e.g. whether good ventilation is possible. Also consider whether you have space available in your garden. Last but not least: since a greenhouse is a more or less permanent fixture in the garden, choose one that you really like and whose materials are robust and durable.


Always keep in mind the use you plan to make of it, for your vegetable garden, you will need a large greenhouse. If you want to protect only a few plants, you can buy a mini greenhouse.

A polytunnel made of transparent plastic can be sturdy and easy to maintain.
A polytunnel made of transparent plastic can be sturdy and easy to maintain.

Positioning your greenhouse

After buying a greenhouse, it is time to put it in your garden.


What are the things to consider when setting it up?


1. Position in relation to the sun.
2. If you are growing directly in the soil, consider the quality of the soil in that area of your garden.
3. How are you going to manage the water and/or electricity supply.
4. The wind direction.
5. If it’s a lean-to greenhouse placing it in a place where receives enough sun, and where you can fix it securely.
6. Think about convenience. Instead of setting up your greenhouse in a secluded corner of your garden, it may be more convenient to have it close to home.

How to furnish your greenhouse

Furnishing your greenhouse depends entirely on how you want to use it and how big it is.


If the greenhouse is large enough, having a work surface, such as a large table, or some storage solution where you can keep your gardening tools that you use the most in it, will allow you to do the work more comfortably. Also having a storage solution where you can keep the gardening tools you use most in the greenhouse will allow you to do the work more comfortably.


Having a separate area for germinating and rooting cuttings and clones can also be a good idea.


If you are going to use it as a covered vegetable garden, and you can’t grow directly in the soil, you will need to create growing beds with the best quality substrate.


But whatever the size and use of the greenhouse, it is vitally important not to overload it with plants and to arrange them so that you can reach all of them comfortably.

A small greenhouse can be ideal when you have little space, or more demanding varieties.
A small greenhouse can be ideal when you have little space, or more demanding varieties.

Provide a balanced microclimate: avoid mould and mildew!

In all greenhouses, temperatures can rise dramatically. Although creating and capturing heat is one of their objectives, temperatures can soar on hot summer days. Combined with all the moisture exuded by the plants in these circumstances, a humid, hot climate will develop in a very short time. The favourite of mould and pests. To avoid them, it is very important to ventilate the greenhouse properly. In spring and summer, opening a window or door is usually sufficient, but on days that are too hot, covering the greenhouse with something to provide shade can be a good idea.


Top pick: to avoid introducing infestations that will reproduce under the desirable conditions of your greenhouse, quarantine new plants before introducing them into your greenhouse. Starting from seed can also be a good way to avoid these problems.

Lighting installation in your greenhouse

Light is absolutely essential for plant development. Without light the plant cannot photosynthesise and will not develop leaves, flowers, or fruits. In summer, plants usually receive sufficient sunlight, but the rest of the year additional lighting will have a positive influence on the photosynthesis process.


You can set up a simple grow light setup and connect it to a timer, so you don’t have to worry about anything else. Nowadays there are LED grow lights that are very easy to use, consume very little energy and are economical, as well as not raising the greenhouse temperature too much. On the other hand, your plants will be grateful for these extra degrees in autumn and winter.

Regular cleaning your greenhouse

Growing plants involves the presence of insects. Many insects are incredibly useful and even indispensable, but some, such as whiteflies, are. To prevent an outbreak of pests in your greenhouse, regular cleaning is a must, especially after the growing season: discard all plant waste and thoroughly clean your greenhouse. Even throughout the growing season, you can get rid of dead plant material, wilted leaves, etc. With good maintenance you will be able to enjoy your greenhouse for much longer.


Tip: Do you grow plants in the soil of your greenhouse? Even if you practice crop rotation, refresh the top layer of soil before starting the growing season.


You can add some new organic substrate and use soil improvers such as Worm Delight or Upgrade, which will replenish nutrients while boosting soil life.


You can also help by adding products such as Atazyme, which will speed up the decomposition of plant debris, which will turn into organic matter that soil life will take advantage of, and subsequently, your plants.


By refreshing the topsoil regularly, you will maintain soil fertility and prevent potential pests and diseases.

 

In conclusion, owning a greenhouse is an investment, but it also has many advantages when it comes to producing more and better crops. If the climate in your area is not suitable for growing crops for most of the year, and you want to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables for longer, you won’t regret getting one.

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