Did you know that approximately 33% of the U.S. population say they’re eating more vegan foods despite not being vegan themselves? While you don’t have to be vegan to grow your own fruits and veggies in a greenhouse, the lifestyle diet will certainly help get the most out of your green growing structure!
Greenhouses provide an affordable and sustainable way to grow the foods you depend on daily; with growing seasons that never cease, building or buying a greenhouse of your own can allow you to enjoy fresh greens in the dead of winter and indulge in fruits months before your neighbors’ backyard bushes spring to life. Let’s take a look at your options and check out some helpful greenhouse growing tips.
Depending on your budget, your greenhouse can come in many sizes and materials. The most recognizable form of glazing (defined as the covering around your greenhouse frame responsible for letting sunlight in and keeping the elements out) is glass; it is the most efficient in terms of heat retention and sunlight exposure, but it’s also the most expensive option. You can also opt for plastic sheeting if you’re looking to cut costs, but keep in mind that it will deteriorate quickly.
If money is no option, invest in a wooden greenhouse. They’re essentially wooden sheds with glass in place of the panels, but this combination of materials allows for the most visually appealing setup; since wooden sheds last between 15 and 20 years, you won’t need to worry about repairing or replacing your wooden greenhouse for a good while. Most lawns require one inch of water each week, but a greenhouse is designed to keep moisture in, making this water use much lower — especially if you’re growing unique plants.
Now for the fun part: choosing what you want to grow! You’re free to pick whatever fruits and veggies you like most, but the following list will give you a little help when it comes to when you should start planting.
Greenhouses are susceptible to a number of risks, from mold and mildew to insect infestations. If you’re unable to protect your plants from these devastating factors, you could end up losing your crops at an alarming rate. The prevention of mold and mildew comes down to ventilation; since they develop from humidity, and there’s no way you can not water your plants, ensuring proper airflow is essential. Including an oscillating fan will keep air moving through the greenhouse and, in turn, can prevent many disease problems. As for pests, cleanliness is key; ensure your greenhouse tools are well-taken care of, and check any new plants for signs of bugs or disease. You can also bring in “good” bugs — such as ladybugs, green lacewings, whitefly parasites, and spider mite predators — to get rid of the bad ones.
As long as you’re paying attention to the temperature in your greenhouse, watering your plants daily (groundwater accounts for 95% of nation’s freshwater resources, you don’t need anything fancy or filtered), and frequently checking for signs of problems, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies year-round.