Growing vegetables year-round in a greenhouse is a great way to ensure a steady supply of fresh produce regardless of the season.
What is a Greenhouse and How to Build One
A greenhouse is a structure designed to provide a controlled environment for plants to grow. It’s typically made of glass or plastic walls and roofs, which allow sunlight to enter and trap heat inside.
A greenhouse is ideal for growing plants year-round, as it protects them from harsh weather conditions such as frost, wind, and excessive rain. When properly climate controlled, they work year-round.
Mine doesn’t have heat or great ventilation, so I can only use it certain months. Otherwise, my plants would fry in the Texas heat and freeze in the winter (ask me how I know.. smh)
Here are the steps to build a basic greenhouse:
Choose a location:
Find a level spot with good drainage, full sun exposure, and easy access to water and electricity. The electricity is one of my issues. the nearest place for electricity blows the breakers. I am thinking I’ll need to add some electrical to use.
Determine the size:
Decide on the size of the greenhouse based on your needs and available space. I’ve had giant ones and small ones. I prefer the one I have now because it’s a good size and it won’t blow away… those tunnel ones with the plastic material covering jsut don’t hold up in our Texas wind.
The one I have now is metal with polycarbonate panels – so when we have hail or bad winds, and they blow out (even after caulking them all in…) I can replace any damaged panels instead of the entire thing.
Choose the materials:
The most common materials for a greenhouse are wood, PVC, metal, or aluminum frames with glass or polycarbonate panels.
Build the foundation:
Dig a trench around the perimeter and lay a foundation of gravel or concrete blocks. I used pavers and they work great for my needs.
Assemble the frame:
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the frame of the greenhouse.
Install the panels:
Attach the glass or polycarbonate panels to the frame, leaving space for doors and windows.
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Install the doors and windows:
Install the doors and windows to provide ventilation and access to the greenhouse. When you’re looking to purchase one – I can tell you that I prefer one with an actual door as opposed to a zippered door. If the zipper breaks – you’re done…
Install the heating and ventilation systems:
Depending on the climate, you may need to install heating and ventilation systems to regulate the temperature and humidity inside the greenhouse.
Mine came with 2 windows in the roof on the same side – I don’t think they quite understood ventilation when they created it. I have seen some with ventilation grates on wither end, I’m thinking I might trey and add some of those eventually.
Add shelving and benches:
Install shelving and benches to maximize growing space and organization. You’ll love a place to sit once you get it up and working. So consider fitting a chair or a bench in it.
I bought 2 6′ folding tables and they fit perfectly in mine and make things so much easier than having no shelves.
Add plants and start growing:
Once the greenhouse is complete, add your plants and start growing! If it’s large enough you could actual put a compost pile one one side and make compost and help heat the greenhouse at the same time.
Grow Vegetables Year-Round In A Greenhouse
Choose the right location:
The location of your greenhouse is important for successful vegetable growing.
Look for a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and is protected from strong winds. The site should also have good drainage and easy access to water and electricity.
Choose the right greenhouse:
There are many types of greenhouses available, but you need to choose one that is suitable for year-round vegetable growing.
A greenhouse with good insulation, a sturdy frame, and a ventilation system will help you maintain a stable growing environment.
Control the temperature:
Temperature control is crucial for successful year-round vegetable growing.
Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the greenhouse and use heaters or fans to regulate the temperature as needed.
Choose the right vegetables:
Some vegetables are better suited for year-round greenhouse growing than others.
Consider growing vegetables like:
which grow well in cooler temperatures.
Provide adequate lighting:
In the winter months, the daylight hours are shorter, so you may need to supplement the natural light with artificial lighting to help your vegetables.
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A greenhouse provides a controlled environment that protects plants from harsh weather conditions and allows them to thrive even in colder temperatures.
- Choose a location that is sheltered from strong winds and has good drainage.
- Invest in a greenhouse with good insulation, a sturdy frame, and a ventilation system.
- Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the greenhouse and regulate it with heaters or fans as needed.
- Focus on growing vegetables that are suitable for cooler temperatures such as lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, radishes, and herbs.
- Supplement natural light with artificial lighting in the winter months.
- Provide adequate water and nutrients for your plants.
- Keep pests and diseases under control with regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Consider using raised beds or hydroponic systems to maximize growing space and efficiency.