Tagged: greenhouse environment

greenhouse gardening basics

Greenhouse Gardening Basics

Greenhouse Gardening – The Basics

A few basic items that we recommend you start off with and some words of encouragement!

 

The time has finally come. After all the hours of researching, sifting through greenhouse blogs and forums, having those off and on feelings about making the decision and debating whether or not you have the time and energy to even use one; You have purchased your own greenhouse! And frankly it should be one of the best decisions you made! Greenhouse’s not only give you a space to grow and overwinter plants but the enrichment gardening brings to people’s lives is incredible. And let’s not down play the fact that you will save a few bucks too! But once you have made it through the pain and hectic-ness of finding your perfect greenhouse, building the foundation, greenhouse assembly and the spendy electrician… where do you start? Greenhouse gardening is not as scary as it looks. The greenhouse itself will do a lot of the work for you. Light, air circulation, heat and controls are provided for you. Sunglo’s packages include lighting, ventilation system (for air circulation), heater, controls, etc. – To make life easier on you. Once these have been electrically hooked up you can focus on the fun stuff!

I am a beginner gardener myself and I started off with a small lean-to greenhouse but had no idea where to start! Luckily I had some help and now can say I have an ity bity tiny amount of experience under my belt!

If you own a Sunglo greenhouse you should either have the built in benches and shelves or purchased your own bench system. Obviously this design depends on the type of plants and amount of plants you intend to grow. But adequate space for pots and thingy majigs will make life easier.

 

Here is a list of items I suggest you purchase to start off-

  1. A large bag of soil – Go with a brand that will feed the plants for 90+ days and is suitable for indoor/outdoor gardening. (If you have good compost in your garden already, a special fine seed starter soil without the nutrients might be best.)

 

  1. Seeds! – Choose 3-5 packets to start with and make sure they are appropriate for the season. I would suggest some flowers and tomatoes. Also, read the back of the packet. Seed packets have a great deal of info on the back and the difference between needing full sun and partial shade etc. may sway your decisions.

 

  1. Plants – You want your greenhouse to feel like a garden, so choose a few pretty, green, grown plants to stick in the corners or pull them from the plants you already own. I like cacti and succulents. They are easy to care for and look great! Don’t forget to grab a few pretty pots to transfer them into. The book “The Greenhouse Expert” by Dr. D.G. Hessayon is very useful and provides detailed information on greenhouse plants. I would pick up this book immediately!

 

  1. Little things – Grab a few seed trays (You know the black trays with 50+ squares), you’ll want a small and a large water can, a few 5 gallon buckets for plant scraps, a small circulation fan (unless you have one from Sunglo already), work gloves (get 2 pairs JIC!), hand trowel (small garden shovel), and take a look through all the goodies in your local nursery or garden store. There are always fun things you can pick up!

 

It really depends on the plants you will be growing to determine what kinds of accessories you will want. Eventually you might want to upgrade your atmospheric controls or install some extra shelving. Greenhouses are so fun and customizable. Follow your heart! And remember you can always change things around. Nothing is permanent.

 

The main things to remember are light, temperature and water. As long as you give your plants adequate light, keep the desired temperature and water your plants to their specific needs you should have no problems! – OK you might run into a few along the way! I won’t lie to you! But those things are for later on. Enjoy your greenhouse! Experiment with different plants and flowers. Find your passion and relax in your own paradise! That is what a greenhouse is all about. Fulfilling your passion and creating your own oasis.

 

Need help? You can always contact us at Sunglo for any questions about your greenhouse or growing. And Visit us on Facebook to see what other customers have done to their greenhouses and what they have growing!

1500 Lean-To Series (5’1.5″ Width) Sunglo DIY Greenhouse

 

Summer Climate Control

Greenhouse Ventilation Fans

Having an extremely well insulated greenhouse can save you a fortune in the winter, but in the summer all that trapped heat can make for undesirable growing conditions. I was out in our demo model doing some irrigation upgrades this morning. It was at first a normal cloudy Seattle day, but as soon as the sun came out from behind the clouds the temperature shot right up. Thankfully, the thermostat kicked the Schaefer brand fan and shutter on and cooled the greenhouse down before things got uncomfortable. Greenhouse ventilation fans.

greenhouse ventilation fans

This got me to thinking about how great it is to have an active greenhouse ventilation system as opposed to a passive roof vent. The 12 inch 800 cubic feet per minute (CFM) fans that come standard with our 1000 series greenhouses easily exchange every bit of air (663 cubic feet to be exact) very rapidly. This means that by the time I noticed the sweat beginning to bead on my brow the ventilation system was already at work keeping me and my precious tomatoes cool. The other great thing about the ventilation system is that the intake shutter allows fresh carbon and oxygen rich air to enter the greenhouse. Combined with a horizontal air flow (HAF) fan, this system insures that plants are not forced to put up with stagnant “dead zones” or hot spots. A dead zone is a thin layer of air surrounding the leaf that quickly becomes devoid of carbon dioxide if not constantly replaced. While a passive roof vent will allow hot air to escape it does little to allow fresh air into the greenhouse.
Summer has gotten off to a slow start this year in Seattle, but if the weather continues to stay warm we will be putting on our shade cloth soon.

Greenhouse ventilation fans - Shade cloth

Up until now we have been able to let our Solanaceous babies soak up all the sun they can get, but the great thing about the shade cloth is that it helps to minimize the cost of cooling our greenhouse. Once installed it helps to avoid spikes in temperature and keeps the fan running less. Another thing that some of our customers have done is install a mist cooling system. For orchid enthusiasts this option works really well to keep temperatures down while maintaining a high humidity. In extremely warm climates our customers have found that attaching a swamp cooler to their intake vent works very well. These work by drawing air through a material saturated with cool water. As the air passes through the material it evaporates the water. The kinetic energy required for this evaporation is taken from the air itself resulting in cool, moist air. Working with a customer to replace his discontinued swamp cooler, I was surprised to find that HomeDepot.com has many available at affordable prices.

The ability to create a favorable environment for our precious specimens all year round is the true benefit of owning a greenhouse and for most of our customers the ventilation and shade cloth are more than adequate in the summer. For our customers who fight the heat more than the cold of winter please contact us about adding some automatic vent openers and many other options available to keep your greenhouse cool and comfy. Sunglo offers Schaefer Ventilation products; the best greenhouse ventilation on the market today.

Learn more about greenhouse ventilation here.Greenhouse ventilation fans.