Chances are, you’ve been to your local nursery to pick up plants, gardening supplies, and other landscaping materials for your home and yard. While shopping, you may have perused the aisles of flower and vegetable plants in a greenhouse, a large structure made of glass or plastic to hold heat and moisture for optimal growth. Greenhouses create a consistent environment for plants, giving control to the grower and allowing gardening in all types of weather and climates.
Why Consider Building a Greenhouse?
In unpredictable or colder climates, greenhouses allow for a longer growing season, increasing the production of your plants, whether they be vegetables or flowers. A greenhouse can be any size or layout of your choosing and can be as complicated or as simple as you like. It all depends on your budget and the kind of gardening you plan on doing. You can buy a prefabricated greenhouse kit, but there are many DIY options that are much more affordable and are relatively easy to build.
Setting Up Your Greenhouse
Before you even begin to build your greenhouse, consider the best location for it. You will need a place with an abundance of sunlight, especially morning light, unless you plan on installing artificial lighting. But why bother with that large expense when the sun is an endless source of free light? Also, be sure to select a spot that is slightly elevated in order to maintain good drainage. Setting up your greenhouse in a place where water can become stagnant would cause the health of your plants to deteriorate and would invite unwanted bugs and parasites.
Once you’ve determined the best location, you can begin to build! DIY greenhouses can be made from a variety of materials ranging from wood, PVC pipe, plastic sheeting, wire fence panels or even old windows. The great thing about building it yourself is that you can make it whatever size and layout you want to fit your gardening needs.
After you’ve erected the structure, it’s time to create an optimal environment for your plants, making sure that they grow to their maximum potential. You can regulate the temperature inside your greenhouse by opening windows to allow ventilation or with the addition of heaters or fans depending on the type of weather you’re experiencing. You can add a misting system to increase humidity and to keep your plants watered, or you can use a mono pump to create a convenient irrigation system. Mono pumps offer a consistent flow of water at any pressure and require minimal maintenance to operate.
Now that all the equipment is in place, you’re ready to add plants. Depending on the type of plants you decide to cultivate, you can sow your seeds directly into the ground, or you can add tables or shelves to stack pots, allowing you the use of the full area and height of your greenhouse. Be sure to choose plants that thrive in similar environments and that they have adequate space to grow to their full size.
Reaping the Benefits
With little effort, you can have your own greenhouse and enjoy it for years to come. Having a protected garden means you won’t have to worry about late or early frosts, flooding rains, or drought. With proper care, you’ll find your plants flourishing in their new and, most importantly, affordable sanctuary.
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