I received a really nice email from a gentleman the other day who had read one of my previous articles regarding greenhouse accessories. He pointed out to me that he did not use the accessories in exactly the same way as I outline in my article. This just served as a reminder to me that greenhouse growing is indeed a learning curve for all of us. Here’s the thing – We all live in different climates. We are all growing different plants. It is up to us as greenhouse owners to learn how to supply the necessary climate in the area we live in. He mentioned that he only used his heater at night in his location. I would dare to say that someone in Wisconsin growing tomatoes in the winter would totally disagree with this. He also mentioned an evaporative cooling system. He was in a location with a desert type climate. I can see where that would work for him. But here, in Louisiana we have just about 100% humidity (I am sure it just feels that way) all summer long. An evaporative cooling system is totally ineffective here. He also considered a shade cloth as an optional accessory. I consider it an absolute necessity. That is, if you are using your greenhouse at any time except in the winter months. If you have it shut down in the spring, summer and fall, I would not really suggest getting one. When someone calls me asking about greenhouses and accessories, I recommend that they at least get a ventilation system at the same time, as it is installed into the greenhouse frame. This is easier as an initial installation than it is as a retrofit. I don’t like loading greenhouses up with a whole lot of equipment that you may not need at a later time. I suggest adding additional accessories one at a time and as the need arises. Of course don’t wait for the last minute, because everyone else will be in need at the same time. For custom made items such as a shade cloth, this can lead to a delayed lead time. The thing is, we are buying a greenhouse maybe for practical reasons, but most of us are purchasing them for our love of growing. So relax, take the time, learn what you need in your area, for your plants to make your greenhouse a success. And as always, keep growing!
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Great time in the greenhouse. Teaching children to grow their own flowers and food.There is nothing better than sharing your wisdom and your passion with the next generation of gardeners. Especially when you are teaching (more…)
So, You have decided you are going to get a greenhouse. Congratulations. You will love it. Now the first question, of many, is what is the ideal size for a beginning greenhouse. There are a few things to keep in mind as you start to look. You will probably want to go at least a little larger than the size you originally decide on. After all, we are all collectors. We just found the next perfect orchid to add to our collection. Or, there is a new seed that we want to try in the garden. So, we will be starting more plants than originally calculated. If you are overwintering plants in your greenhouse, you know that you cannot resist that specimen with your favorite color or flower.
If you have plants already, the easy way is to set them out in your backyard in a configuration like you would use in your greenhouse. Don’t forget to allow an aisle. Then just use surveyor stakes and mark out the size of the greenhouse. If you are going to have plants on benches, figure out the size of benches you will be using and then draw them out in a graph to see what size you need. With benches, we do not recommend going over 36″ deep. This is about all you can reach over and comfortably work on your plants. If you think you want a center aisle, I would go with at least a 16 foot width. That way you have room for your benches and a nice walkway on either side. Greenhouses are available in many sizes and configurations. We are always here to help. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Start here to find your perfect greenhouse.
I know it is hard to image this. We are under a heat advisory today in Louisiana. But, now is the time to start preparing your greenhouse for winter. Really, I am serious. You should be doing a check for all of your systems and tightening up for the cold winter months ahead. This is a really good article covering what systems you should be looking after. Even though this was written for commercial greenhouse growers, most of the aspects still apply to the backyard greenhouse grower. Although, I am not sure that there are that many of us that have a back up generator on our home greenhouse.