The ability to grow crops year-round in a greenhouse offers many benefits that go beyond the benefits of conventional gardening. A greenhouse can be used for farming and growing houseplants and herbs inside during cold months. Greenhouses are perfect for getting a head start on your garden or flower bed because they protect plants from cold weather. You will have a bountiful harvest of produce all year long with proper care! Greenhouses provide the perfect environment to grow a variety of plants. They are used to cultivate vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other ornamental plants.
Here are are 9 greenhouse tips that you should consider as a gardener.
Check out the dimensions of your garden and greenhouse
You should think about the dimensions of your greenhouse. This will help you ensure that enough space is available to place all plants inside. If you have a small space, you can construct a small greenhouse of about 8mx 15m. This can be ideal for planting crops such as cucumbers, grapevines, passion fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and propagating seedlings and cuttings. For instance, such a greenhouse can accommodate an average of 600 tomato plants. If you have enough capital and space, you can set up several 8m by 20m greenhouses or larger. However, the size of the greenhouse will also be determined by what you are planning to grow.
Set up the greenhouse early enough
You can set up a greenhouse early enough before the onset of the growing season. This is to better prepare your garden before the rainy season and harvest when the demand is high. For instance, if you plan to grow french beans, you can set up your greenhouse between June and August, when the demand is low. This will help you to plant your crop by September and have the produce ready by November. Setting up during the low season will help you ensure that the structure is ready on time and that all components, such as irrigation and cooling systems, are set up in the best way.
Check on the drainage
When designing the structure to accommodate your greenhouse, you will need to ensure that proper drainage occurs throughout the system. The soil in the greenhouse must be well-drained to prevent waterlogging and disease, and mold development. It also favors fungus growth. You do not need much humidity inside. At the same time, you should design a proper drainage system when building your greenhouse. There should be no stagnant water in and around the greenhouse. Install gutters to harvest rainwater.
Ensure there is proper lighting in the greenhouse
After laying down the foundation of your greenhouse and ensuring that the soil conditions are perfect for crop production, you need to ensure that there’s proper lighting in the greenhouse. The selected area should receive adequate sunshine throughout the day. Extreme sun rays may be harmful to flowers and various sensitive crops such as lettuce.
You can use solar lighting systems to light up your greenhouse during the day and night. This nifty item is well suited for both flowering plants, including tomatoes and peppers, with ease of use and durability.
Use a proper irrigation system
Plants require moderate moisture for optimum growth. The irrigation method affects the water efficiency in the greenhouse, significantly influencing production and plant growth. Systems such as sprinklers are inefficient in most crops and may result in extremely high humidity in the greenhouse. Overwatering and high humidity favor the development of diseases such as anthracnose. If you are propagating seedlings, ensure that you do not underwater or overwater the plants. Lack of moisture, for instance, can make the leaves droop, plants wilt, stems limp, and the seedlings die. Using drip irrigation systems is a good idea that can take you far as a greenhouse gardener. It gives control over the amount of water that gets to the plants with higher precision. This increases water efficiency and promotes plant growth.
Maintain optimum temperatures in the greenhouse.
The temperature within greenhouses can get adversely affected much worse than outside. Irregular temperature changes will affect the plants and seedlings grown in the greenhouse. You can use a heater to increase the internal temperatures if it’s too cold. Besides, you can use heating sources to maintain optimum growing conditions for your plants and garden. Ensure that there is enough air circulation in the greenhouse. If an overhead vent is used, ensure that it’s not letting in too much direct sunlight.
Check out the weather and humidity regularly
Greenhouses are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels, so it’s essential to be aware of these fluctuations as a gardener. Checking the temperature, humidity, and air quality help maximize crop growth and production. Ensure that there is proper greenhouse ventilation and that all components are fitted in a good way.
Control pests and diseases on time
Pests and diseases can negatively impact crop yields and plant health. Most crops are mainly attacked by birds, soil bacteria and fungi, and pests such as spider mites, slugs, snails, aphids, and rodents. They are also susceptible to diseases such as blights, mildew, and rust. Embrace proper and timely disease control using correct and sustainable management practices. Do not use synthetic chemicals extensively.
Choose the location of your greenhouse very carefully
Most beginners will think that greenhouses can be established anywhere. The location of a greenhouse matters a lot, and it can significantly affect the quality and quantity of what you plant. First, you need to conduct a soil test to understand its structure and fertility. Besides, you need to consider other factors such as the wind intensity, vegetation around, climate, and other ecological conditions. You don’t want trees or branches falling on top of your greenhouse. Also, you wouldn’t want to establish the structure where all the rainwater drains.
Gardening Just Became a Year-Round Hobby!
Greenhouses are all about maintaining your plants and doing things for them. You can easily add extra lights if the weather is changing in the middle of spring or fall and move around frames according to height growth for maximum yield. Adding a growing timer is even easier now that you can use your smartphone to operate the lights or automate the lighting system efficiently!
All that is left for you to do now is choose your preferred plants, add the finishing touches and soil amendments using compost and manure, and use the best irrigation systems. And there you have it, a year-round business that thrives no matter the season and the weather!
Greenhouses are the perfect way to get a jump start on the growing season, and with a little bit of care and attention, you can grow some amazing plants in them. They provide the perfect environment for plants to grow, and with the right tips, you can make sure that your greenhouse gardening experience is successful. At Mazero Agri-Food, we’re always happy to help! Contact us today and get started.