Garden Greenhouse Tips and Ideas For Building One of Your Own

While gardening can be a satisfying and beneficial pastime, many of us reside in climates that only allow us to garden outside a few months annually, due to seasonal temperature changes. These temperature restrictions can severely curb our ambitions, and may frustrate many people enough to discourage them from the practice altogether. This is why so many people in recent years have decided to build a garden greenhouse of their own in order to extend the growing season throughout the year.

Simply moving your crop indoors for part of the year can allow you to put your green thumb to use virtually year-round. In fact, in addition to greatly increasing the length of your growing season, a properly configured garden – greenhouse can even allow you to grow flourishing plants that would not naturally reside in your area.

Before you can successfully begin to grow your plants in a greenhouse setting, there are some things that you should keep in mind. For example, the very aspect of greenhouse gardening that makes the practice so attractive in the winter-time (the higher than ambient air temperature inside) can actually kill your plants off during the warmer months.

The fact is that, on average, the air inside a greenhouse is 35 degrees warmer than the air outside. This is a pretty drastic difference, and during the warmer months, it can make your greenhouse inhospitable. The solar power that you depend on in the winter can actually work against you in the summer months. That is why it is important that you take measures to monitor and maintain proper temperatures at all times.

One of the best ways to modify the temperature of your small garden greenhouse without using electrical power or other potentially expensive energy sources is to simply utilize a blanket or sheet as a shade source. When the sun is prevented from entering the structure, the temperature is lowered.

Another important thing to consider when planning out a hobby greenhouse project is your new growing season. If you are using the garden for food, you will be able to substantially cut down on the cost of plants by starting from quality garden seeds rather than purchasing costly young plants from a commercial nursery or garden supply center.

In order to determine the appropriate planting dates for your climate (to ensure that your budding plants are transplanted to your outside garden at the right stage of their development and at the right time of year), you may want to consider investing in and inexpensive (and generally very accurate and resourceful) farmer’s almanac.

Finally, in many cases, individual plants can not only be brought from your garden greenhouse to the outside each spring, they can also (in many cases) be transplanted from the garden back to the greenhouse for the summer. This allows you to harvest fruits and vegetables off of the same plant(s) for several growing seasons, and can be another way to help you cut your food budget. In addition, many people opt to do the majority of their gardening in the confines of a greenhouse because it cuts down on pests and makes organic -gardening a snap.

Love Your Apartment Garden

You don’t have to sacrifice your love of gardening just because you’re living your big city dreams-or maybe you’re a total gardening newbie. While it’s lovely to have a spacious lawn and plot ideal for growing your own flowers, veggies and herbs, the reality is that gardening doesn’t actually require a lot of space. In reality, it doesn’t even require a lawn or yard at all. Urban or apartment gardening is spreading like weeds, and tucking into your studio or flat for the winter is the perfect time to get your garden in order.

An added bonus of apartment gardening is that it can be very therapeutic. There are many plusses to city life, but the downside is that it’s challenging to get back to nature. Too much time in the urban jungle can lead to stress and generally feeling blue, but the peaceful, nurturing ambiance of a garden can provide great therapy. Here’s how to get your apartment garden blossoming (and get spring started early).

Define “Garden”

Container plants can be just as fruitful and enjoyable as those grown in a garden. Whether you have a small balcony, patio, roof or even a windowsill available, there’s some part of your apartment that gets natural sunlight. The type of plant that will flourish in your apartment depends largely on where you live, the temperature and availability of sunlight. However, popular apartment choices include peppers, small tomatoes, lettuce and Farmers Long Japanese eggplant.

Start by choosing the right site and check what your plant demands in terms of sunlight and protection from winds. Warm-season veggies like tomatoes need a minimum of six hours of sun per day and are vulnerable to hot winds. However, ferns and other shade lovers need some safeguarding from the sun and are ideal for apartment dwellers who don’t get much natural light.

Prep Your Container

You can match the container’s design and colors to your d├ęcor; just make sure a drain hole is at the bottom. A simple screen can be added to keep the soil inside, and adding a saucer to collect extra moisture that leaks out is a good idea. Just like with children, buy a size larger container so the plant can easily mature. Vegetables do best in containers that are 14 inches in diameter, and the potting mixture should be fast draining while still holding in moisture. Your local garden center will be happy to advise you of just the perfect soil and nutrients.

When it comes to watering, if you’ve worked in a garden in the past, keep in mind that more watering is required for container plants. Sometimes, if the weather gets exceptionally hot and/or windy, watering numerous times per day may be necessary. A thorough and even watering is required to ensure the drainage holes are reached. With fertilization, a bi-monthly liquid option during growth season is an easy method to use.

Easy Tips

Most importantly, choose a plant that you will truly enjoy whether it’s the aroma of rosemary or miniature limes to feed your addiction. It’s always best to choose plants which are naturally local, as they’re already attuned to the environment (this is less important if you’ll be keeping the plants indoors). There’s something magical about caring for a living thing, but be forewarned-those whimsical fantasies of moving to the suburbs will likely be squashed when you have the best of both worlds in your city apartment.