Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners
Installing a greenhouse in your garden is a great solution to ensure that your plants are protected from the elements in a way that better helps you control the environmental conditions, keeping your plants in a warm cosy climate at all times and lengthening your growing season. So where do you start, what should you grow? In this post we will discuss how to get your greenhouse off the ground and common mistakes to avoid.
Setting up your greenhouse:
Setting up a personal greenhouse at home can be relatively straightforward. There are many options available from online retailers & garden centres alike that vary wildly in terms of size and budget. Plan ahead how big you want your greenhouse to be, as well as where it will be positioned in your garden to achieve maximum sunlight.
Depending on your greenhouse, follow the manufactures instructions to assemble. Some smaller budget options can be assembled very quickly and easily, larger greenhouses may actually take some construction depending on the specification & materials used.
What should I grow in my greenhouse?
This is entirely up to you. There are so many plants and vegetables that will thrive in the greenhouse such as tomatoes, peppers, peas, squash, strawberries, chillies and tons of root vegetables!
Whatever you want to grow in your greenhouse, take care to monitor your soil and water as much as required as there won’t be any benefit from rainfall and the internal temperature can be high.
Common Greenhouse Pets:
- Slugs & Snails: These pesky creatures are attracted to fruit & vegetables and are most commonly active during the night time or after a heavy rainfall. They are far too common to completely eradicate, however there are preventative measures you can take to help prevent the chances of them harming your plants such as using sharp gravel along the outside of your plant pots, or elevating them on high shelves.
- Aphids – Otherwise known as greenflies due to their appearance, aphids can be very harmful to your plants by spreading disease to them that will reduce your harvest if left untreated. Introducing Natural predators such as lady birds are a fantastic way to help reduce harm from aphids in your greenhouse.
- Fungus Gnats are small dark insects. They don’t harm plants directly though - they have a habit of laying their eggs on the underside of leaves that will eat their way through your plants when they hatch into larvae.
Top tip: When setting up your greenhouse for the first time, ensure that you get some good quality topsoil. Inferior potting soil can carry pests and disease wich will trouble your plants later on down the line.
Common Greenhouse Mistakes:
- Not Ventilating – Take a look at your greenhouse and ensure that there is thorough ventilation that will allow enough air to circulate throughout the greenhouse. Some greenhouse models will have some kind of roof vent or even a small fan. Without adequate ventilation, your plants may die.
- Ignoring the internal temperature – A simple thermometer will help you keep track of the internal temperature of the greenhouse to help prevent heat loss and ensure that it does not over heat.
- Invading roots – If your plants are on the ground, ensure that there are no invading roots from nearby plants and trees on the outside of the greenhouse.