Greenhouse gardening is one of those things that you either are passionate about or you’re completely indifferent towards. There are few gardeners who land in the middle.
I spent over 20 years growing plants in commercial greenhouses for my nursery – managing about 20,000 square feet under plastic producing 600 varieties of unusual annuals and 1800 varieties of perennials. When I shut down the nursery to write full time, I kept the 1500 square foot propagation greenhouse (it was a solar greenhouse) as my play space and filled it with a mix of tender and semi-tender plants.
These pages are the results of my own experiences in this area and I’ll share what I know to help you with your own greenhouse adventures. I also wrote an ebook showing you how to solve the common problems and get your greenhouse working the way it should.
What Kind of Home Greenhouse Do You Want?
The Net is full of optimism about DIY PVC greenhouses so I’ve put together a basic drawing and thoughts on how you can really use this cheap greenhouse effectively. Note: This is based on real world experience and isn’t going to b.s. you in any way.
My first large greenhouse – 20×75 feet – was a Brace design solar greenhouse. It was a pit-style bottom with a solar top. I ran that for many years (mostly as a propagation greenhouse for the nursery) quite successfully. Here’s the good news and bad news about my pit style solar greenhouse.
I took some of the most common greenhouse growing questions I’ve received over the years and summarized them all here. Seven questions and answers about greenhouse basics It’s a good place to start.
High Tunnel Greenhouses
Building A Greenhouse
There are indeed some basics to take into account before you begin building a greenhouse. This article sums up the most basic lessons I’ve learned (some the hard way) over the years in my nursery.
The Mechanics of Running A Backyard Greenhouse
Cooling A Hobby Greenhouse
There are several things you’ll have to master in your greenhouse growing if you want to succeed. For example, you’ll have to cool your greenhouse during the summer. Here are the three ways you can do this.
And before you decide you don’t want to use fans (and spend the money on electricity) you may want to read this article about the five reasons you need greenhouse fans. If you don’t solve these problems with fans, you’ll have to solve them in other ways.
One of the things I used to do in my own greenhouse range was use shade cloth and I did work out a few things about installing it. If you’re cooling with fabric, you’ll want to take a peek at this article. Installation Tricks for Greenhouse Shade Cloth
One of the things new owners are surprised to find is how expensive the systems are that hold down the plastic. Here’s my inexpensive, do-it-yourself system for holding down plastic on the sides of greenhouses.
Heating A Backyard Greenhouse
Here are twelve energy saving tips for the backyard greenhouse that should help you save a considerable amount of money.
Here’s how to calculate how to heat your greenhouse – how many BTU’s you’ll need
Naturally, we want to grow something and many folks want veggies. Here are the five most important greenhouse vegetable gardening tips you’ll want to know.