Greenhouse Gardening Tips for Year-Round Cultivation
Contrary to popular notion, greenhouse gardening does not require rocket science on your part. It is still traditional green house gardening with a positive twist – you can actually grow your plants for the whole year regardless of weather. Now, that is something that your eyes and stomach will appreciate!
Of course, your choice of plants to cultivate in the Hobby Greenhouse will largely depend on the type of weather you are experiencing. Of course, you can plant just about anything because of the climate control in the greenhouse but oftentimes, it is better to care for plants that suit the outside weather so as to ensure success.
With that being the case, the following are examples of plants suitable for each season:
- Spring – Start planting in mid to late February, basil, beets, cantaloupe, peppers seedlings, rutabaga, watermelon and zucchini
- Summer – Continue spring planting from late April to early May, cucumber, tomato and onions
- Fall – Planted from September to October, kohlrabi, lettuce, potatoes and radishes
- Winter – Kept from fall garden, spinach, turnip, chard and carrots
Of course, you can give Mother Nature a helping hand in terms of pollination. The best way is to open your greenhouse doors so that bees, butterflies and other insects can pollinate the plants. You may also either tap the plant (tomatoes), use a cotton bud (courgettes) and gently moving the pollens (sweet peppers).
Upon transplanting your plants, you must fertilize them so as to encourage the growth of new roots. Needless to say, the type and quantity of fertilizer to provide the plants depend on large part on the type of plants you are cultivating. Of course, organic fertilizer is still the best in many instances although commercial fertilizers may be used albeit in smaller quantities.
Regardless of the type of fertilizer used, you must apply it when the soil is moist. Otherwise, the relatively strong chemicals in fertilizers will destroy the fragile roots. Plus, the water in the moist soil will further dilute the fertilizer, thus, making for more equal distribution.
The trick to successful greenhouse gardening is to keep the humidity high. Or at least, as high as the plants need it to be. Thus, it is always advisable to install a drip irrigation system with misters on timer to achieve this purpose. Just make sure that your plants will not suffer from over watering as this can cause the growth of fungi and bacteria.
The beauty about greenhouse gardening is that you can provide for artificial lights such as metal halide and fluorescent bulbs for days when the sun is at its weakest. This way, your plants still continue to grow even in the dead of winter.
On of the most cost-effective heating tips in greenhouse gardening is to fill numerous plastic milk jugs with water and place them in strategic places around the greenhouse. During the day, these containers will heat up and then release warm air during the night. When coupled with a few incandescent lights, the effect is multiplied. And don’t forget to provide air circulation through electric fans especially as the combination of warm, still air and moisture lead to fungal diseases in the plants.
Greenhouse gardening is as easy and enjoyable as traditional gardening if and when you remember the above mentioned tips.