Growing plants in a garden green house is very similar to growing them in your garden. However, mistakes that occur outside are magnified even more when they occur in a green house environment. And the outcome can be fatal to the plants if you aren’t careful. To ensure success with your indoor gardening, here are eight things to avoid with your garden green house:
Arbitrarily selecting a site for your green house. Take time to evaluate and consider a few key factors like the levelness of the ground, the amount of sunlight the green house will receive in the summer as well as the winter (pay attention to long winter shadows), access to electricity and water, and protection from strong winds.
Overheating the greenhouse. Remember, it’s supposed to collect solar heat but too much of a good thing can be bad! You need to monitor the temperature frequently to adjust for the day’s weather. Set up an inside thermometer and log the changes until you become familiar with the outside temp’s impact on your greenhouse’s temperature. Make sure there are ventilation options available to release the heat through doors or windows when necessary.
Letting it get too cold. You also need ways to supplement the lack of solar heat on cold, cloudy days. Heaters and accessories are available for purchase in addition to experimenting with a few thermal heat options.
Forgetting to water. If you’re planning to use the greenhouse year round, make provisions for easy access to water during good and not so good weather conditions. You may be able to run a hose to the greenhouse, carry buckets, add a water barrel, or you may be fortunate enough to have running water in your greenhouse. And just because the plants aren’t subject to drying winds and direct sunlight, they still need regular watering … but not drowning! Again, monitor and record the needs of each plant.
Over or under fertilizing. Make sure you understand the individual needs of the plants. Some plants are heavy feeders and will require fertilizer more often than others. Avoid the “one size fits all” practice when fertilizing.
Forgetting the importance of fresh air. Even when the inside temps remain fairly consistent, the plants in your garden green house will appreciate some fresh air circulating around them. An oscillating fan is great for circulating air – just make sure the size of the fan is appropriate to the space in your green house.
Using only one level of horizontal space. It’s common to see wooden or aluminum shelves providing horizontal work areas and plant storage. However, the vertical space between the floor and the ceiling provides lots more room for stacking additional shelves and hanging plants, hoses, and tools from the structural frames. Don’t be afraid to use all the space in your greenhouse including the floor under the shelves.
And finally, forgetting your greenhouse! In the beginning the excitement about a new greenhouse may drive you there several times each day! However, as time goes by, this excitement may temper a bit. Make sure you check your garden green house every day to regulate the inside temperature and take care of watering chores. If it’s a sunny morning, make sure you do a temp check and make adjustments for proper ventilation before the greenhouse has an opportunity to overheat. It’s a good idea to maintain a daily routine of visiting the greenhouse and monitoring the conditions inside.
You can’t just set it and forget it. If properly managed, a garden green house provides hours, months, and even years of enjoyment for home gardeners. A quick checklist of easy chores makes for sweet success.