For a passionate gardener, a greenhouse adds a bit of excitement to cultivating flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. In a greenhouse you can grow just about anything, but what makes it different than your standard garden is the use of greenhouse accessories. There are several different accessories that can make your gardening encounter a success.
The main thing that makes a greenhouse different is the ability to control the environment. You can actually create an atmosphere that is ideal for growing the plants of your choice, regardless of the climate in which you live. The elements that must be controlled to create the ideal growing condition include lighting, temperature, air circulation, ventilation, and moisture. Another thing that is good about a greenhouse is that it gives you more space for gardening.
Accessories for controlling the environment…
The lighting in your greenhouse can be minimized by shade cloths or shade nets. Lighting can also be expanded by the use of artificial lighting, or grow lights. These accessories make it possible to ensure that your plants get enough light, even if the sun isn’t out. You can also make sure that the plants don’t dry out due to too much sunlight.
Common types of lights used in a greenhouse include fluorescent lights, incandescent lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lights. Light meters that measure the light intensity are also available. Lights can be programmed, or set on a timer, to come on and go off automatically.
Shading and lighting can also help to control the temperature, but temperature control is dependent on other things as well. It may be necessary to use a heating system when it is cold and an evaporative cooler when it is hot. Solar panels can help also, but mechanical devices are more dependable. To avoid frost without heating the whole greenhouse, soil-warming devices can come handy. Using thermostats to automate your heating equipment is recommended.
In addition to temperature, air circulation in the greenhouse is vital. Without good air circulation, the heat will rise to the top of the greenhouse leaving the cool air at the bottom around your plants. A forced-air heating system may be adequate for circulating the air, but if it isn’t, fans can be used for circulation.
Ventilation helps to maintain the temperature, aid circulation, to avoid too much humidity, and to maintain a good level of carbon dioxide. Ventilation can be provided by vents in the roof of your greenhouse or through the installation of an exhaust fan.
The moisture in your greenhouse is often referred to as humidity. Controlling the humidity is essential to gardening in a greenhouse. Fortunately, there are devices that are excellent greenhouse accessories for managing the humidity. Measuring the humidity is important. This can be done using a humidity meter or a sling psychrometer. A hydrothermograph is nice because it keeps a record of the measurement; however, it is more expensive that the other options.
Measuring the humidity is simple, but controlling it is more difficult because so many things play into it. Humidity in the greenhouse depends on moisture, temperature, air circulation, and ventilation. Your heating system or an evaporative cooler can affect the humidity and it can definitely be affected by your watering practices. It usually takes experimentation to maintain humidity at an appropriate level.
Accessories for expanding your space…
In a traditional garden, your space is limited to the ground in front you. Then there is the problem of what to plant since some plants, like squash for instance, can takeover your garden killing your other plants. By using certain accessories in a greenhouse, you can definitely alleviate these problems and expand your garden varieties.
In a greenhouse you can use planters, containers, plant shelves, wire mesh, poles, and trellises to enlarge your garden. Of course, you could use these outside, but the accessories would be exposed to wind and would likely get knocked over. In a greenhouse they are more protected.
Using plant stands, you can grow several delicate plants in a small space. Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and herbs are ideal for plant stands or racks. You can save large spaces for the plants that seem to overtake your garden – squash, cucumbers, and melons. Berry bushes can be grown in containers and things like beans can be grown on a bean pole or trellis.
Gardening in a greenhouse can be a whole new adventure. With the right greenhouse accessories, you can grow anything and you can plant more in less space. The possibilities are endless.