Friday, November 19, 2010

Jump Start Your Vegetable Garden with a Greenhouse

When you hear the word greenhouse, the first picture that probably pops into your head, are those large buildings and structures mostly used by local garden nurseries and farms right? However, a greenhouse can come in all shapes and sizes, more on that in a moment. First let’s talk about what a greenhouse is and how it works.

A greenhouse, in its simplest definition is a container where plants will grow. They protect plants from various weather elements such as cold temperatures. A greenhouse allows sunlight to enter the container creating thermal energy and thus heating up what’s inside.

When the sun goes down that creates a condition where the greenhouse is no longer producing heat since the sun’s rays are not shining through anymore. Now comes the beauty of a greenhouse. As the heat is created during the day, and taking into account that you have decent soil for your plants, that soil will absorb the thermal energy and will then release that thermal energy later on as your greenhouse needs it when the sun is not shining through.

As a word of caution it is possible to “cook” your plants if your greenhouse becomes too hot. In some greenhouses you will see vents which will open when the temperature inside the greenhouse gets too hot. That goes beyond the scope of this article as being a more advanced topic of greenhouse construction.

I mentioned earlier that greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes and for our efforts as home vegetable gardeners this is a good thing. You can create a relatively small and effective greenhouse that can sit on your window sill at home.

Here is how you can create a basic, small, yet excellent greenhouse to use. The next time you are the supermarket, look in the yogurt isle. Find a yogurt that you like that also contains a clear plastic lid. After you consume the yogurt, clean it out (soap not necessary). Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage and fill the yogurt cup with potting soil. Now plant the seed of your favorite plant in the soil, add a little bit of water and put the clear plastic lid on top. Place the soil filled yogurt cup on a window sill that receives sunlight first thing in the morning. You have just created the simplest form of a greenhouse. Just make sure you have the yogurt cup sitting on a plate to catch the drainage of the water.

As you can see this greenhouse example is as basic as it gets. As you become more comfortable with this process, continue to improve on advancing your skills by creating bigger greenhouses, if the space permits.

A greenhouse gives you the ability to begin growing your plants earlier in the season and allows you to extend your growing season when the temperatures begin to drop. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is the administrator for the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment