If you’re passionate about growing your own food, you would do well with building your own greenhouse. Seasons won’t be such an issue with your garden, as you can grow vegetables all year round. Pumped up with this idea? Consider these basics in setting up your greenhouse.
Do you want a greenhouse with wooden or metal frames? Made of glass or polycarbonate? Each option has different pros and cons. Wood has a nice timeless look, but it’s not as durable as metal frames. You’ll have to repair and treat it after several years to prevent it from rotting.
Glass has been the more traditional greenhouse material. With this, you can expect the interior to heat up and cool down quickly. Polycarbonate greenhouse panels in NZ, on the other hand, diffuse light so the temperature won’t rise speedily. These are also more adept at retaining heat inside the structure especially when you’re using double-walled polycarbonate.
Choose a good site in your yard for the greenhouse, keeping in mind the size of your garden. This structure would need lots of light, so ideally, choose an area where there’s direct sunlight, especially during winter months. There shouldn’t be trees or structure anywhere near that could potentially cast a shadow over your structure.
Also, you need to consider if you want to keep the greenhouse visible to guests and showcase your garden or you want an area where you can work in private, out of people’s prying eyes.
Ventilation, Cooling and Heating
You’ll need to install shutters to facilitate proper ventilation as well as cooling and heating systems to maintain the right temperature in the greenhouse. Choose fans and shutters that are appropriate for the size of your structure. As for heating, you can use convection tubing, natural gas, oil heaters, propane or hot water heaters.
Consider also the internal layout of the greenhouse. Decide early on where plots of different crops go. To maximise the space, you can have shelves inside where you can store your tools and put the germinated seeds. Additionally, consider where you’ll position the vents, heaters and the cooling system so that the temperature remains consistent inside the greenhouse.
What to grow
This is where the real fun begins. You can go for crops that are short in supply due to their seasonality. Also, plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil and other herbs thrive well inside a greenhouse. You can also germinate seeds for these crops.
If you don’t have heaters or temperature controller inside, you can opt for plants that do well in cool weather like carrots, lettuce and broccoli. You can also rotate crops depending on the season.
A greenhouse allows you to indulge yourself and pursue gardening with enthusiasm regardless of the season. You can have your favourite crops even if the market is short on supply. And most of all, you’ll be eating healthy, pesticide-free, and fresh produce since you’ve grown them yourself. And there’s no greater feeling than enjoying the fruits of your gardening chops.