There are plenty of reasons to choose a greenhouse for winter gardening. Since many areas of the world have a cold climate during the winter, avid gardeners use greenhouses to enjoy their hobby all year long. Greenhouse gardening is becoming more popular with the increasing popularity of “green” lifestyles and organic foods. Healthy eating is also made more accessible to colder climates with the use of a greenhouse.
Planting your winter vegetable garden during the winter, rather than in late summer, is an option with a greenhouse. Although many varieties of tropical plants require heat for the entire year, your greenhouse does not necessarily need to be heated. Just the shelter of the greenhouse can provide enough warmth for many varieties of flowers and vegetables.
Choosing a warm or cold greenhouse is the first decision you will make when beginning greenhouse gardening. A hot greenhouse is generally achieved by placing the greenhouse in an area that receives direct sunlight. You will need to monitor the internal temperature of the greenhouse to make sure that it doesn’t go higher than about 90 degrees. If you reach higher temperatures, the greenhouse will need ventilation. Partial shade is a good place to choose when setting up your greenhouse.
A cold greenhouse is mostly shaded. The shelter provided by the greenhouse will allow temperatures to remain above freezing in most cases. Monitoring the temperature of a cold greenhouse is equally important because low temperatures can result in plant loss. Space heaters can be used to warm a very cold greenhouse.
Ventilating your greenhouse and spacing your plants so that they have access to moving air will keep the plants healthy. You can purchase or build a greenhouse that has windows and doors to open for breezes.
You can plant almost any type of vegetable in your hot or cold greenhouse. Corn and pumpkins grow well on the floor of the greenhouse with very little effort from you. Remember to space the plants as directed on the seed or seedling packages. You can use regular potting soil or the soil below the greenhouse for most floor-plants. Tables or small benches add extra room to the greenhouse.
Keep potted plants spaced so that air can circulate. You can plant turnips, carrots and beets in flower boxes that are deep. These boxes will fit under most benches, so you will have even more space if you vary the vegetable selections.
Both in-ground and potted plants do well during the winter in a greenhouse. Kale and broccoli, onions and garlic and even most lettuce varieties will grow well. Remember to water your plants and protect them from extreme temperatures and you will have a wonderful winter vegetable garden in your greenhouse.