Greenhouse gardening is a great way to grow a wide variety of plants and vegetables across the seasons in your own garden.
The three things plants need to thrive are light, warmth, and moisture – but getting the balance right year-round in your greenhouse takes a lot of trial and error. Here, we take a look at how you can improve the environment for your greenhouse plants. Whether you are a seasoned in greenhouse gardening or are just getting started, consider the following three tips to increase both the quality and quantity of your greenhouse crop!
1. Light Control
Access to light is the most important factor in the success of your greenhouse harvest. While greenhouses naturally capture light, there are ways to enhance and regulate light for optimum growth.
- LED Lighting: LED grow lights are a popular solution to enhance the levels of light in greenhouses and ensure that plants get the amount of light that they need. LED grow lights come in many different sizes, making them perfect for any sized project. LED lighting is particularly useful to supplement natural light in the winter months when there are shorter hours of sunlight.
- Reflectors: Reflectors come in many forms, and are an easy option to improve lighting without installing artificial lights. Reflective films, for example, can be applied to the roof of walls of your greenhouse. They reflect light onto your plants, and help ensure that light is distributed evenly throughout the greenhouse.
2. Temperature Control
Like light, temperature is naturally enhanced in greenhouse gardening – but sometimes this can lead to overheating in the summer, and too little heat in the winter. Try these solutions to achieve a balance.
- Shading Paint: Using shading paint is an easy way to prevent your greenhouse from overheating. All you need to do is paint the product onto the outside of the greenhouse glass, using either a brush or sprayer (depending on the size of your greenhouse). An added bonus is that the shading paint will also protect your glass from damage, and it is easy to remove.
- Greenhouse Fans: Using electric fans in your greenhouse will improve air circulation and therefore keep the temperature down. Take a look at what's available – some fans come with dual settings to keep the greenhouse cool in summer but warm in winter.
- Hygrometer and Thermometer Monitoring: Monitoring systems are a must for all greenhouses. Thermometers monitor the temperature in your greenhouse while hygrometers measure humidity. By keeping track of both, you can make adjustments accordingly.
3. Watering Systems
There are a variety of water systems to keep your greenhouse plants hydrated and healthy, and the best option for you will depend on the size and scope of your greenhouse project.
- Overhead Sprinklers: Installing overhead sprinklers is a great way to save time while being sure that your plants are receiving the moisture they need. Just make sure that all of your plants can tolerate wet leaves and foliage, as water will cover the plants, not just the soil.
- Dripping: Dripping systems, or self-watering systems, work by releasing small amounts of water over time to stop the soil drying out. This is an eco-friendly option, as it uses less h20 than heavy watering. It is suitable for projects of any size.
- Automated Systems: Automated irrigation systems work in a similar way to sprinklers or dripping systems, but they are completely automatic. They use timers in place of manual activation, meaning that you don't need to be present. Automated systems are useful if you are away a lot but don't want your plants to suffer, or if you've got a large greenhouse that makes manual systems too time consuming.
With proper consideration of the ways you control light, temperature, and water in your greenhouse, you'll be well on your way to a successful greenhouse harvest no matter the season. Happy gardening!