Are you interested in growing veggies throughout the year? Or is it your gardening season that you wish to extend? Well, if your answer is a ‘yes,’ then you need a greenhouse. It is a wonderful treasure to any crop and the greatest asset to gardeners wishing to make the most of the sun. Even the smallest greenhouse vegetable garden will allow gardeners yield a variety of high-grade crops.
By the virtue of you being here and wishing to know how to grow your own greenhouse vegetable garden, all we can say is, congratulations. It’s probably one of the greatest choices as a gardener. With a greenhouse vegetable garden, you’re guaranteed of fruitful harvest all year round.
Undoubtedly, veggies are freshest when they emanate from your own garden. Thanks to our appreciation of that fact, we cherish giving insights on matters gardening. Whether you possess a black thumb or boast of a green thumb, this post will give you unmatched insights on greenhouse vegetable gardens, just read on.
Why Do Plants Grow Better In A Greenhouse Vegetable Garden?
- Controlled environment. For instance, the automatic timers on the watering system allow the gardener to control the environment depending on the time of the day thus saving time.
- Consistent supply of carbon (IV) oxide. This is enabled by the automatic ventilation controls in the greenhouse. The high concentration of this air supply results in vigorous plants and higher potential for timely flowering and fruiting.
- Correct moisture content. The moisture regulators ensure correct air humidity for peak development. Moist soil also deters pests and diseases.
Where to Buy a Greenhouse
There are loads of greenhouse vendors and the choice depends on you. We recommend that after doing your due diligence, start with a smaller greenhouse. This will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed as you start off your greenhouse garden project.
Where to Establish Your Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
The most ideal spot has maximum sun exposure and is sheltered from cold winds.
Also, ensure you have easy access to electricity and water.
How to Make the Most Out Of Your Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
Just like any other worthwhile investment, the start of a greenhouse vegetable garden can be a bit overwhelming. However, everything is easily mastered as you proceed. The need for proper planning can’t be overemphasized. The space, soil temperature and a water source ought to be right checked from the beginning.
- Start with easy to grow greenhouse plants. This will give you pleasure and excitement as you see them thrive. After some time, level up and grow some more challenging plants.
- Choose the right type of veggies to grow. These depend on your structures location and temperature. The correct veggies will accrue your garden’s overall success.
- Make optimal use of autumn sun by growing salad crops and French beans.
Best Time for a Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
As aforementioned, a greenhouse can be used all year round. However, even though heated greenhouses allow for 24/7 usage, they aren’t cost friendly. Here are best timings for a greenhouse vegetable garden.
- Late Winter To Early Spring
Best time to sow hardy crops such as cabbage, lettuce, onions and peas for transplanting during warmer seasons. We recommend a heated propagator to ensure total germination.
This is best time to sow fast-growing and tender crops such as pumpkins, melons, French beans and cucumbers. This ensures they’re reading for planting out in late spring. Use a heated propagator to ensure total germination.
- Late Spring To Early Summer
This is best time to transplant young outdoor plants too their final position after the frost has passed.
It’s time to harvest the summer crops and remove spent melon, cucumber or French bean crops
- Late summer
If you still have sufficient space, grow spicy salad leaves and lettuces to provide late harvests.
This is time to remove spent summer crops and plant suitable crops for harvest over winter.
How to Grow Your Own Greenhouse Vegetable Garden?
- Watering hose
- Garden or potting soil
- Vegetable seeds and plants
1. Plan and choose a greenhouse that suits your needs
They say that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ So, always start by planning as follows.
- Take the dimensions of your greenhouse’s floor space and beds. Ensure you have enough space for all the crops you wish to grow.
- Plan to have some catch crop of salad leaves in the greenhouse borders before you need to utilize that space for summer crops.
2. Sowing Seed Indoors
After proper planning, proceed to sowing your seeds. Ensure you use clean and uncontaminated pots, trays and peat-free seeds. Follow the user’s instructions on the seed packets for proper propagation of seeds.
- Fill the pots with soil up to the two-thirds full level.
- Place the seeds into the pots.
- Arrange the pots in a net manner, probably in the order of their height.
- Install the thermometers to gauge the indoor and outdoor temperatures. Regulate the temperature appropriately through ventilation or insulation in case of heat loss.
During cold seasons, ensure you have a sunny windowsill of heated propagator in your greenhouse in order to provide the required warmth for seed’s germination.
After germination, your seedlings will require sufficient light and frost-free environment to grow on. An unheated greenhouse will not provide sufficient warmth for that, therefore transplant the seedlings to another environment.
If you’re growing tender plants, you may need to heat your greenhouse vegetable garden to ensure it has suitable environment for growth. Be keen on weather forecasts and always protect your plants with fleece on frosty nights.
As soon as your protected crops become well-rooted and sturdy, transplant them to their final position. Plant along the greenhouse borders, growing bags or plastic containers.
We recommend grow-bags for autumn salads. Ensure climbing plants such as melons and cucumbers have enough support and tie tomatoes into canes.
Maintaining Your Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
This is very important for proper growth of a vegetable garden. As such, install an irrigation system and ensure proper daily watering.
Uneven or insufficient watering leads to drying up of your crops or blossom end rot in crops such a tomatoes.
During warm days, it’s important to ventilate your greenhouse garden by opening vents and windows. If possible, have automatic ventilation. This ensures optimal circulation of air therein.
If you have warmth-loving crops such as cucumbers, you can leave the vents closed. However, keep humidity raised by damping down.
This helps reduce light and heat intensity thus resulting into quality and higher yields. Add this gradually because it reduces growth at the beginning.
- Pest Control
At the beginning, hang sticky traps to provide an early warning to pests and keep them at bay. After some time, introduce biological controls.
- Provide enough support and prune off side-shoots of tomatoes.
- Insulation: A bubble wrap will prove handy. It’s also inexpensive and easy to fit.
- If you have a heated greenhouse, ensure the thermostat is functioning properly for correct night-time temperature.
- Check the temperature. Use a minimum-maximum thermometer to constantly check and monitor conditions.
- Keep the structures clean. This helps avoid infestation by pests and diseases.
Challenges You’re Likely to Face While Growing You’re a Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
Any greenhouse can suffer from a few challenges that can deprive you the enjoyment of gardening in your closed environment. You probably know them from your outside gardening. These challenges include:
Fruit veggies such as eggplant and tomatoes will require mechanical pollination. Though you can pollinate the garden veggies by hand, this is time-consuming especially in a medium to large greenhouse.
Contrary to belief of most gardeners, walls and roof of the greenhouse don’t keep of weeds. If anything, weeds can grow faster inside the greenhouse than outside. Here are a couple of ways to keep weeds out of your garden and ensure zero competition for nutrients.
- Pests and Diseases
These normally enter your greenhouse vegetable garden once infected soil is ferried into the structure, usually on gardening tools or shoes. We recommend using sterilized soil to hinder the pests and diseases from wrecking havoc in your greenhouse garden. Here are best methods to sterilize your soil.
Factors That Determine the Success of a Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
Though you can use old seeds to grow your greenhouse, their odds of germinating is always wanting. Seeds viability is affected by these three elements.
- Age. Most seeds are viable for one year and some foe a longer period. The germination percentage depends on their age. It slows as the age increases.
- Seed’s variety can influence their life. Seeds like peppers rarely stay alive after two years while those of carrots can stay up to four years. Cucumber seeds can last for up to six years.
- Store seeds in a cool and dark room to have them last much longer.
For greenhouse starters, knowing the correct amount of water is tricky. Its moisture retention is higher than a garden. Considering that plants normally absorb water differently, organize your greenhouse plants depending on the water needs.
Additionally, do proper watering for optimal growth. Over-watering or under-watering causes stunted growth or death of plants.
- pH level
This is usually overlooked by gardeners. Do proper monitoring of your soil’s pH and ensure it’s fair for your greenhouse plants. Incorrect pH can slow down plant’s germination.
Instead of toying with the idea of growing your own greenhouse vegetable garden, now jump in and start. Hopefully, this post inspires you to show the world your own green thumb. Kindly share it with your friends and family and let’s together explore the myriad opportunities available for growing a greenhouse vegetable garden.