Select Page

How to Use a Greenhouse for Beginners

Have the thought of combating rising food costs by growing your own fresh fruit, produce and even herbs crossed your mind lately? Maybe it has but you aren’t familiar with gardening inside or outside a greenhouse! If the thought of supplementing your income by reducing weekly or even monthly grocery costs is intriguing to you; then you have definitely come to the right place! In a society where it seems the only thing not increasing at a rapid rate is wages earned through our chosen fields of employment, it can be beneficial to cut costs when and wherever you can. Food insecurity is a bigger issue than most would realize in numerous towns and cities around the globe. If you want to learn how to grow fresh but plentiful produce in your own home or backyard, you may have heard of how a greenhouse can increase your chance of success. Unsure of where to start? Not an issue, as this article will tell you how to use a greenhouse for beginners! Let’s begin, shall we?

Why is it a Good Idea to Grow Your Own Produce?

Growing your own produce has not only financial benefits but also health-related ones with the lack of chemicals and preservatives used throughout each stage of the growing process. Thanks to scientific and clinical studies, there is a greater exposure and understanding on what negative effects different chemicals and preservatives can have on the human body. With these new discoveries, it should come as no surprise that numerous households are turning to fresh fruit and vegetables to boost their immune system and reduce the amount of harmful material put into their body. Also, fresh produce can add new flavors to dishes or increase the taste of a well-loved favorite! A quick summary, it is a good idea to grow your own product because not only is it:

  • cost effective when looking for ways to reduce your household grocery budget, but
  • it is a tastier option when given the choice between fresh, canned, or even frozen produce, as well as being
  • less harmful to put into your body due to a lack of pesticides, chemicals, preservatives etc.

What is a Greenhouse and Why Should You Use One?

A greenhouse is a wooden or metal structure that has been “walled-in” or surrounded by plastic sheeting. Other material may be used as the walls of a greenhouse, as long as it allows for light to penetrate and air to circulate. It is generally the shape of a small building with four walls, a roof, and a single entry/exit point. Greenhouses can be purchased already assembled through your local hardware store or even nurseries while some hardware stores carry “greenhouse kits” – which are starter kits to building your own greenhouse. As a convenient alternative, you can also buy them online! A greenhouse reduces the chance that intermittent weather and seasonal issues could hamper the progress your garden makes not only during the germination-of-seeds (the initial stage of allowing a seed to root and start to grow) process but also during the crucial growing season. It also allows the gardener to grow their own produce in comfort and can be less physically demanding for those with limitations. The lack of physical demand compared to an outdoor garden comes from the majority of plants being waist high in rows opposed to down in the ground. A greenhouse will encourage the moisture needed to boost growth to stay in the air while also allowing for the proper temperature control needed for certain produces and plants. It offers weather and pest protection to delicate plants and increases the length of the growing season versus an outdoor garden. Some people tend to use a greenhouse only for the beginning of the growing process before moving their plants to an outdoor garden whereas others use it year-round due to space, time or other restrictions. Neither way is incorrect but instead, the correct way to use a greenhouse is to use it completely how you would prefer to!

What You Will Need?

There are a few things to consider when it comes to constructing or purchasing your greenhouse once the decision has been made to grow your own produce. To ensure a positive and productive growing season, it is recommended that your greenhouse has the following features:

  • Ample height for taller plants and yourself
  • Room for heating and air systems, if needed
  • Room to maneuver other plants and yourself around the greenhouse without damaging plants
  • Tight plastic or other reflective material as the walls of your greenhouse to allow light in but stop heat and moisture from escaping
  • The proper location to provide natural sunlight or shade, depending on your climate
There are a few things to consider when it comes to constructing or purchasing your greenhouse once the decision has been made to grow your own produce. To ensure a positive and productive growing season, it is recommended that your greenhouse has the following features:

  • Ample height for taller plants and yourself
  • Room for heating and air systems, if needed
  • Room to maneuver other plants and yourself around the greenhouse without damaging plants
  • Tight plastic or other reflective material as the walls of your greenhouse to allow light in but stop heat and moisture from escaping
  • The proper location to provide natural sunlight or shade, depending on your climate

How to Use a Greenhouse: Step-by-Step

1. Choose the style of greenhouse that will suit your needs

There are multiple types and styles of greenhouses available from free-standing structures to leaning ones. The freestanding structures are placed in your backyard and a leaning one has only three walls; with the fourth being the wall of an existing structure – i.e. your house.

  • Freestanding structures need a higher level of space than that of the leaning structure. Leaning structures are a good option for those short on space but it is to be remembered that one wall will not receive any natural sunlight due to the wall being made from a material that cannot be penetrated by UV rays or water.

2. Research the additional features you may need for your greenhouse

perhaps the current climate where you live does not allow for a particular temperature during growing season or you plan to grow produce year-round. Determine if grow lights, heating systems and/or fans are needed to make your greenhouse suitable for the produce you want to grow.

  • If you live in a climate where sunlight exposure is decreased in accordance with the seasons, a grow light system may be recommended

3. Select the location of your greenhouse

Regardless of the style of greenhouse you choose, it is crucial that the location has maximum exposure to the sun, as the natural UV rays will enhance the growing ability of any type of plant.

  • If your current location does not allow for at least six hours of sun daily (even in the winter months), grow lights can be installed to ensure that your plants receive the UV exposure as well as the temperatures they need for positive growth. The most commonly-purchased type of grow light tends to be the LED light; as they are efficient but low-wattage, decreasing the amount of money added to your monthly electricity bill.

4. Check for air circulation

Any plant you will grow to completion will need a certain level of ventilation for survival. Oxygen is as important to plants as it is us humans. Most gardeners tend to increase ventilation by the use of fans to circulate the air throughout the greenhouse.

5. Ensure that a level of shade can be found

While all plants thrive under sunlight, they also can dry out and burn from too much exposure. Using trees or other means – such a shading sheet for greenhouses – increases the odds of survival of both delicate and sturdy plants.

  • Shading sheet – a sheet of dark material designed to roll down over the greenhouse similar to a window shade.

6. Check for pest interference

Yes, a greenhouse would have a higher chance of maintain pest cost but it is possible for pests to wreak havoc on your plants. Outside foliage should be kept away from the greenhouse to reduce the risk of contamination.

  • Some people will install insect screening around any open area – this includes the doorway, air vents, and watering systems.

7. Use correct growing seasons

In the spring, start seeds inside the greenhouse. Summer, start growing flowers and small plants. Fall, start growing seasonal plants. Winter, grow cold-resistant plants

Conclusion

Hopefully, with this tutorial, you are now ready to start showing off your own green thumb while saving money the same time!

As previously stated, the rising costs of today’s society can be hard and stressful for a household to contend with. By reducing your grocery budget by introducing home-grown fresh produce into your diet, not only will you reap the financial benefits, but also the physical ones. It has been proven that fresh vegetables contain a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than their frozen or canned counterparts.

So by using a greenhouse to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and even herbs; you can be on the way to looking and feeling great, both inside and out, with a few extra dollars in your pocket for a rainy day.

If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to use a greenhouse for beginners and found it informative, please feel free to share it with your family and friends. If you currently use a greenhouse or you have previous experiences growing with the aid of a greenhouse, and you have inventive ideas or tips on which produce grows the fastest; share these thoughts down below in the comments!

 

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

>