6 Greenhouse Growing Tips for Beginners
Greenhouse growing is an exciting prospect for any beginner but there are some important factors to consider before you take the plunge. As dyed-in-the-wool greenhouse gardening enthusiasts, here are our 6 expert tips for making the most of your greenhouse.
- Location – obviously there may be restrictions depending on the space you have available, but try and choose somewhere flat, sunny, easily accessible and away from any overhanging trees which may block light and shed debris. Also, avoid areas that are exposed to the wind, if possible. You can maximise sun exposure by siting a free-standing greenhouse east to west or a half greenhouse against a south-facing wall.
- Compost – not all compost is equal, so you need to choose the right one for the job. If you’re starting off with seedlings, a phosphate rich potting compost will help your plants develop a stronger root system. When it comes to planting up, a high-quality multi-purpose enriched with some good old garden compost should do the job. Compost has a shelf life, so don’t be tempted to use those old bags you found in the shed and make sure to replenish nutrients in the soil as your plants grow. It might take a bit of experimentation but getting your compost mix right will pay dividends.
- Temperature – the whole point of a greenhouse is to provide a more controlled growing environment and protect plants from cold winters and frosty mornings. A consistent temperature is what you’re after, so think about how you will regulate your greenhouse environment throughout the seasons. In winter, you may need to add some extra insulation. In summer, greenhouses have the potential to become incredibly hot and plants can become scorched, so make sure you don’t let the temperature fluctuate too wildly.
- Watering – this can be a tricky one to get right. Over-water and your plants will drown and rot, under-water and they’ll wither away. Without an automated control system, temperatures inside a greenhouse will fluctuate which means your plants’ watering needs will change accordingly. So, you’ll need to monitor the conditions closely or invest in some helpful tech to regulate soil moisture if you want to give your plants the best chance of thriving.
- Ventilation – while the warmer, moisture rich environment of a greenhouse is what helps nurture your plants, they also need plenty of fresh air. If the air gets too humid, mould and pests can become a real problem. As hot air rises, opening up the roof vents is a good way to regulate high temperatures and humidity, or you could invest in a fan system to help circulate the air.
- Overcrowding – when you’ve caught the ‘grow your own’ bug it can be tempting to pack as many plants into your greenhouse as you can. After all, we’re all looking to pile our plates high with those lovely homegrown veggies. But resist the urge to overcrowd your growing space. Too many plants in a small space will use up nutrients in the compost more quickly and could lead to pest problems. A bit of planning ahead and careful bed management is all you need to enjoy bumper crops all year round.
Why not make life even easier with a smart greenhouse?
If you’re new to gardening, making the most of the latest technology can help you avoid some of the more common greenhouse growing problems. For a beginner, the ability to automate things like rainwater collection, watering, temperature control and ventilation can make a huge difference to the success of your first greenhouse vegetable crop. With moisture and temperature sensors doing all the complicated stuff for you, you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring your greenhouse plants.
With a Harvst smart mini-greenhouse, you get all the joy of nurturing and eating home grown food without the hassle. The web-connected system can be easily controlled from your phone, so you can track what’s going on and trust the sensors to let you know what needs to be done. Not only do you have cutting edge technology on your side, but our friendly Harvst community are on hand to share their own expert greenhouse tips and experiences.
To find out more about how a Harvst mini-greenhouse could help you start your greenhouse growing in style, get in touch for a chat or visit our community page to see what other Harvst owners are up to.