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Building Your Own Greenhouse for Gardening

4/18/2013 12:46:40 PM | by Anonymous

Gardening Consultants

A greenhouse allows you to grow your own tropical plants and warm-season edibles year round, enjoying blooms and fruits when temperatures outside hover near freezing. There are many different ways to build a greenhouse. From working with a kit to creating a simple cold frame that extends the growing season, the following provides helpful information when selecting the best fit for your lifestyle.

 

What greenhouse style is right?

Evaluating your space will help determine what greenhouse will best suit your gardening needs. If you're growing plants on an apartment balcony or in a fire escape, most greenhouse kits will be way too large. You may find that a cold frame fits nicely.

 

A cold frame looks like a wooden box with a glass or Plexiglas lid that keeps interior plants and seeds warm. Use a cold frame to provide spring seeds with an early start or as a means to continue the growing process after the last frost date occurs in your area. Turn cold frames into hot frames by placing heaters beneath the box.

 

If you have a large, sunny backyard, you'll be able to house an ample greenhouse of the DIY or kit variety. Greenhouse kits snap together for easy assembly. To save money or to get a custom built greenhouse, build your own from online or print plans. You'll find that you can create your own greenhouse from many recycled materials such as PVC pipes, wood, old soda bottles, recycled windows, clear plastic tarps and more.

 

What You'll Need

While the greenhouse covers the majority of needs, you'll still want to have supplies on hand to keep plants healthy and happy. Consider adding the following to your shopping list:

 

  • Foundation - Use landscape fabric and pea gravel to create a foundation that keeps weeds from growing while allowing water to drain without puddling.
  • Heaters - Tropical plants and edibles need to be kept warm in the winter. A portable heater will help heat your greenhouse at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit so plants continue to thrive in the coolest conditions.
  • Thermometer - A thermometer will let you easily track greenhouse temperature. Turn on the heat if it's too cold for the plants. Vent the greenhouse if the interior becomes too hot.
  • Watering system - While you can head out to the greenhouse and water each plant on a daily basis, you may find a watering system to be more helpful and efficient. Options include overhead misting and drip irrigation tubing that keeps the vegetation moist. Since irrigation tubing stretches, it can easily take the shape of your greenhouse.
  • Rain barrel - A rain barrel stores rainwater for reuse. While you might not be able to water your whole plot with the collected rainwater, using any collected amount can lessen water bills and reduce your environmental footprint.

 

Early spring is the right time of year to be putting together greenhouse plans and building a greenhouse. Start browsing gardening books and blogs for design ideas. You'll love the way a greenhouse helps extend your growing season, and you may find yourself making plans for a second structure in no time!

 

Author Bio: Holly is an Indianapolis native with a passion for green living. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses.

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