Organic Gardening

How do you grow fruits and vegetables in a greenhouse?

shutterstock_449105029Knowing how to grow fruits and vegetables in a greenhouse is a useful skill to have. By being able to let your greenhouse, you can learn how to grow the food you need right at your own home. This helps you save on money, on time and on effort. Plus, for any cooking related emergencies like running out of pepper all of a sudden, you wouldn’t have to worry about going all the way to your grocery store. What you need is right here!

You also wouldn’t have to worry about how fresh or healthy your fruits and and vegetables will be. Almost every household has a staple set of fruits and vegetables they consume on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.  This means that there is a tendency to worry about how the fruits and vegetables were grown. You would wonder if they were grown with much care and little amounts of toxic chemicals. With greenhouse gardening, you wouldn’t have to worry as much about how safe your fruits and vegetables are to eat.

What’s different about greenhouse gardening from your regular organic gardening is that it makes use of structures impervious to climate and weather changes. While for most of the year it’s fairly easy to grow your own fruits and vegetables because they can thrive in a kind of temperature, it gets a little bit more difficult when winter comes around.

This means that growing your fruits and vegetables in a greenhouse would give you crops at times of the year when they can’t be grown outdoors. When the fruit or vegetable is particularly not in season, the prices for this produce skyrocket in a market. An example would be your out-of-season tomatoes, lettuce and celery.

Maintaining a greenhouse also allows you to earn by providing cheaper alternatives for consumers. At that point, when you have grown a big garden, heat will be your biggest cost center. This will be followed by labor unless you can tend to it yourself. You may also have to install supplemental lighting to help with the lack of sunlight in the colder months.

Greenhouse gardening also protects your fruits and vegetables from damages caused by wind, rain and diseases. The yield you will get is often much more than your usual too because greenhouses provide the optimum condition in which to grow your crops.

If you know what fruits and vegetables you’d like to grow in your greenhouse, you’re all set to begin. Here are some things you need to know in order to continue.

First, find out your own scope and limits.

Find out what fruits and vegetables you and your family eat. If you’re creating your own greenhouse in order to sell, find out what crops sell the most especially when it’s off-season. If you have logistical constraints, like the size of your backyard having only limited space, then you can opt for a smaller greenhouse with smaller plants inside too.

Also consider the temperature inside your greenhouse. If your greenhouse is set up to its basic needs and functions with no fans or heaters, you will need to find a way to track the temperature in your greenhouse day and night. You can do this by installing a thermometer and coming by to check the temperature reading every so often. There are also weather trackers in the market available for your purchase. They don’t only track the temperature, but they also track soil temperatures in the greenhouse and will send alerts to you via phone or email if there’s something you need to fix urgently.

After that, you can pretty much control the temperature and air circulation in your greenhouse. You can use vents or exhaust fans to avoid retaining too much heat. You can add a heater or use compost in order to increase the warmth inside your greenhouse if needed. Air circulation can be controlled by using a small fan and adding ventilation in strategic places.

After being able to control the weather conditions in your greenhouse, you can now start planting your fruits and vegetables. Once you have selected the plants you would like to grow and have prepared the soil and compost, you can now plant the seeds or clippings in starter pots. Starter pots are simple cardboard egg cartons, eggshells, etc. When the fruits and vegetables are ready to transplant, you can transfer them to the ground in your greenhouse.

Take note that some of your plants will need aid in pollinating so they can bear fruit. Some fruits and vegetables are not the self-pollinating types and thus need the help of insects and animals in order to pollinate. You can research on your fruits and vegetables first to find out if they’re self-pollinating or open pollinators.

Self-pollinators are those with male and female parts. These are your tomatoes, peas and peppers, among others. Open pollinators have separate male and female parts. These are usually your squash, melons, and cucumbers, among others. If your fruits and vegetables are the open pollinator type, then you would have to attract pollinators into your greenhouse. You can do this through a lot of ways, some of which include providing shelter, food and water to these pollinators.

Distinguish as well whether your vegetables are those that thrive in cold seasons or warm. Cool season vegetables do really well in greenhouses as they don’t require much sunlight when growing. A few examples are your beets, broccoli, carrots, and so on. Warm season vegetables need high light intensity and warmer temperatures in the night. This might require additional heating systems in your greenhouse. Warm season vegetables include eggplant, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and tomatoes, among many others.

Planting diifferent fruits and vegetables mean different needs when it comes to greenhouse gardening. After doing sufficient research, and installing systems into your greenhouse for weather control, you’re pretty much good to go. All there is to do now is plant your first fruit and vegetable, nourish it, and watch it grow. Happy gardening!

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