Backyard Greenhouses for Growing Vegetables and Flowers
Growing plants in a greenhouse can prove to be both fruitful and rewarding for a home gardener. Not only can you grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs at a time of the year when they can't be grown outdoors, but it also serves as a prelude to starting your very own vegetable garden, where you can grow plants and later move them out to your garden. However, you must understand Greenhouses in detail for whatever reason you want to create a backyard greenhouse for growing vegetables and flowers. This blog can help you to do just that.
What is a Greenhouse?
A Greenhouse or a Glasshouse is a structure made mainly from transparent materials such as glass. It consists of a roof and walls and is used to grow plants that require controlled climatic conditions. The size of these structures can range from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. The interior of a greenhouse, when exposed to sunlight, becomes notably warmer than the external temperature, which helps in protecting its contents in the cold weather.
Meaning and Types of Backyard Greenhouses
A backyard greenhouse (also known as a hobby greenhouse) provides a balanced environment to grow plants all year round. The various types of greenhouses are listed below:
Attached or Lean-to
The most significant advantage that an attached greenhouse offers is that there is no need to build all four walls. These structures are less expensive than other models and are perfect for growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables in places where there is limited space. However, the disadvantage is that the structure wall's orientation may restrict the available sunlight to which it is attached.
Freestanding or Detached
Freestanding greenhouses are stand-alone structures, letting you build them wherever you want as long as the site receives plenty of sunlight. Though they are more expensive than attached greenhouses to start, they offer the advantage of lower costs per plant as several plants can be grown inside them simultaneously.
Also, in most areas, a freestanding greenhouse allows you to grow plants much ahead of the growing season. You can then bring your plants in again to extend the growing season at the first sign of frost.
Main Systems Used in a Backyard Greenhouse
Several vegetables, herbs, and flowers can be grown in a backyard greenhouse using three central systems:
- In-ground soil culture
- Container culture
While the requirement for water and fertilizers is not so demanding under the in-ground soil culture, the container culture offers the advantage of no weeding and reduced occurrence of soilborne ailments. As such, the determining factor could be the type of Greenhouse you choose to own. If you select a transplant house with a concrete or gravel floor, you can use containers to grow plants. If you choose a structure with loose soil, you can choose from either of the two systems.
In either case, unless you're using hydroponics, a drip irrigation system is the best way to reduce labor, control watering consistency, and prevent wet foliage and soil splash problems. Greenhouse owners may also use plastic mulch to prevent weeds while preserving the moisture in the soil.
What Can You Grow in a Greenhouse?
In a greenhouse, you can grow nearly anything. However, it is best to choose crops that cannot be profitably grown outdoors. The high demand for popular greenhouse crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, and microgreens throughout the year makes them a viable option to reduce your spending on produce at your local grocery store. With a Greenhouse, you could produce enough crops or cut flowers to sell to friend or neighbors
The demand for medicinal herbs such as basil is consistently high and can be grown throughout the year. Certain other tender herbs such as thyme and rosemary can be stored in a greenhouse for sale as container plants or culinary herbs for use in your kitchen.
The success of a greenhouse depends on selecting a variety of plants to grow. Crops that provide increased resistance to common ailments, or crops that grow better under low lights, can also be the right choice of plants to cultivate in a greenhouse.
Advantages of a Backyard Greenhouse
A backyard greenhouse offers four significant benefits, namely:
- Extended season
- Higher Quality
- Higher Yields
- Higher Profitability
A backyard greenhouse allows you to grow plants weeks ahead of the growing season. Farmers who own both a greenhouse and a regular farm can first grow plants in their Greenhouse and later move them out to their farmland.
As plants grown in a backyard greenhouse require less or no pesticides, the resulting products are healthier and high quality.
Plants cultivated in a backyard greenhouse are less prone to damage caused by pests, wind, hail, rain, and other natural hazards, resulting in higher yields.
If you can find a market to sell vegetables, flowers, and herbs not available throughout the year, greenhouse production can increase your income.
Backyard Greenhouse - Important Factors to Consider
Consider the following several factors to create a perfect backyard greenhouse:
Proper ventilation helps the Greenhouse remain cool down during warm days. A backyard greenhouse must ensure natural air movement at regular intervals to provide as much fresh air as possible.
A small-sized backyard greenhouse tends to heat up and cool down faster than larger ones. Larger greenhouses provide you with space to grow more plants and maintain a uniform air temperature for long-term gardening success. Similarly, a taller greenhouse provides plants with better ventilation. Consider the backyard space available when deciding on your Greenhouse.
Shading and Insulation
Greenhouses do not require a constant supply of sunlight throughout the day. Morning sunlight and shading in the afternoon provide the best growing conditions for greenhouse plants. A double layer of plastic or plywood helps to insulate and cover holes in the walls or any connection points nearby.
A reliable heater powered by electricity or an inexpensive fuel, such as propane or natural gas, helps plants survive extremely cold conditions. Apart from ensuring a comfortable temperature range, the heater's dry air prevents bacterial issues resulting from excessive humidity condensation.
Your backyard greenhouse can be an appealing structure and serve a practical purpose. It can be made of glass or plastic, expensive or inexpensive, depending on your budget and gardening needs. Eventually, the decision should be based on your Greenhouse's effect on making your life better.