Gardening isn’t as tough as it sounds, provided you do some research, have the correct equipment and of course the patience and dedication to coax a little seed to life. Here are a few basic tips for the greenhouse gardener who is just starting out for a successful beginning.
1. Start with seeds: Starting off with a sapling or a cutting might be tempting, but the way to minimize the probability of insects and disease is to start with seeds. Sow more than you expect to grow because not all seeds will germinate.
2. Be mindful of your plants’ space and needs: Choose plants according to the space you have. Assess the room your plants would need when they are full grown. Overcrowding can hamper the growth of the plants and make them prone to disease and insects.
3. Keep the space tidy: You might love the look of a space full of green plants vibrant with clean air and bursting with color, but you’re going to have to take great care to keep everything in its place and have room for potting et al. Dark spaces and stacks of unused equipment can be havens for slugs and snails, that could destroy your plants slowly.
4. Start easy: Start off with easy-to-grow plants to get the hang of running a greenhouse. Peppers, salad leaves, microgreens, seedless cucumbers etc. are all great options. Don’t opt for trees and shrubs as these take a while to grow and also need more effort.
5. Light: Summer and Spring will bring enough natural light into your greenhouse but come Autumn and Winter, you will need an alternate source if you want healthy plants. Fluorescent lamp strips and LED grow lights are popular and economical options.
6. Compost: Don’t overlook this “gold”. These ensure healthy, thriving plants and what’s better, you can make your own. Biodegradable materials make great compost.
7. Watering: There is such a thing as too much water! Ensure the pots allow excess water to drain away and ensure you use well-draining soil. If there is too much water retention, the roots could rot.
Having a greenhouse can be a fulfilling experience. Watching a tiny seed blossom and bloom into a full-fledged living breathing plant can be exhilarating! So, if you have space, forgo that pool in your backyard and build a greenhouse.