Greenhouses are a great way to grow your own vegetables or plants. In colder climes, greenhouses are used to extend the growing season. Anyone can have a greenhouse, and you don’t actually need a lot of space to have one.
Gardeners who are thinking of buying a greenhouse need to make a couple of decisions, how large you want the greenhouse to be and how much you are willing to spend.
There are a variety of greenhouse types to choose from:
Cold frames – These ‘mini-greenhouses’ are designed to be set directly on a garden bed for seed germination and for hardening off transplants. These types of frames are primarily used in early spring to get seedlings to sprout and take root where they would otherwise perish due to frost and cold spring rains. This allows you to start your gardening season a little earlier that normal,
Starter greenhouses – These small and mid-size greenhouses are very popular for propagating seeds and starter plants which will be transplanted outdoors to garden beds. These smaller greenhouses also double as a potting shed, where garden supplies can protected from the weather and transplants can be re-potted. These greenhouses often have clear or semi-diffused coverings, since the direct light favors seed propagation. You can have a floor or small rocks or mulch so the water can drain away.
Grower greenhouses – These are much larger greenhouses, often with shelving, for growing crops full-term indoors under shelter. These are all-purpose greenhouses, good for propagating seeds, great for indoor growing of crops, and spacious enough for curing harvested crops and preparing them for storage. These are useful if you grow flowers or plants to sell, you’ll have a place to keep them safe that’s more permanent.
The temperature level you desire is also a factor in the type of greenhouse you buy. Whichever type of greenhouse you purchase, you have the choice of three basic ways of approaching greenhouse gardening – hot, warm and cool.
Hot house greenhouse – This has a stable temperature in the range of 65 – 70 degrees, or higher. This temperature range is used to grow exotic and tropical plants. Heaters and grow lights are usually needed to maintain this level of heat.
Warm greenhouse – Has a temperature in the range of 50 – 55 degrees. In this temperature range, you can grow plants which you would grow in your outdoor flower or vegetable garden. You may need to use grow lights or heat lights to meet the heating needs during the winter night months.
Cool greenhouse – Has a stable temperature in the range of 40 – 45 degrees. This is an ideal temperature range for a ‘nursery’ greenhouse, where you will be germinating seeds and raising your own starter plants and vegetables for the summer months. You generally don’t use grow lights or heat lights in this environment.
When you are deciding which type of greenhouse you need, make sure you take size and temperature needs in account for the type of greenhouse you need.