October 27, 2011

How to Use Indoor Greenhouses to Grow Year Round

How to Use Indoor Greenhouses to Grow Year Round

Indoor greenhouses are used by my many dedicated gardeners to keep the flowers and/or vegetables coming year round.
  • If you have spent even a little time trying to keep up with large flowerbeds or vegetable gardens you probably already know that there are some seasons of the year when all the beauty fades away and there isn't much to look at.
  • Small greenhouses designed to work indoors can solve this problem.

How to Seed Germination Advice

You can save a lot of money if you buy seeds rather than plants.
  • This is a basic rule of gardening that everyone learns right away when taking up the hobby. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to germinate seeds properly.
  • If you have ever tried to do it in a Ziploc bag or on your windowsill you have probably watched more seedlings die than flourish into mature plants.

The problem isn't your not-so-green thumb.
  • It is the environmental conditions inside your home.
  • Most seeds need a particular humidity level, temperature, moistness, and level of light to successfully grow into a plant you can put out in the flowerbed or garden.
  • You can't control for all of those factors when you just set the seeds up on your windowsill.

That is, you can't control for those factors unless you have an indoor greenhouse on hand.
  • There are some very basic models designed to sit on the windowsill so proper amounts of light are received by the seeds and later the seedlings.
  • Indoor greenhouse kits control the humidity so the seeds and seedlings stay moist for longer periods of time.
  • Some may even come with a heating element to control the temperature.
  • The heating element may not be necessary if you have newer windows, but with old windows that allow a draft in the wintertime you would be better off with a heating element.

You can also find some larger sized indoor greenhouses that would be better for growing beyond the seedling stages.
  • Some people also use the windowsill greenhouses to get their seeds started, then they transfer them to their homemade DIY greenhouse kits so they can grow up taller.

Growing Indoor Plants

Indoor greenhouses can also be used to grow plants that you just want to look at indoors. It doesn't always have to be about beautifying the outdoors! You can use these greenhouses to beautify the inside of your home as well.

Winterizing Fragile Plants

Indoor greenhouses may also help with fragile plants that are not hardy enough to survive winters where you live. You can keep these plants in pots and bring them indoors for placement in the greenhouse during the coldest months. When it is safe for the plants you can move them back outdoors where they really want to be.
  • This may not work for all plants and you will have to place your greenhouse in a location where adequate amounts of sunlight will be received.
  • If conditions can be kept just right your fragile plants may survive the winter and go on to beautify your yard another year.

Indoor greenhouses are inexpensive and can be tons of fun to play around with.
  • Professional greenhouse gardeners use them to keep their blooms going year round and novices use them to get better results with finicky seeds.
  • They can solve many problems gardeners come up against and can be used for many different purposes.

Brought to you by: Backyard Greenhouse Reviews

July 19, 2011

Greenhouse Plans

If a person is excited about starting a greenhouse project, they have a choice between buying greenhouse kits that come with plans, or they can search the Internet to find a wide variety of greenhouse construction plans.

On the one hand, if they buy a kit, the plans are pretty foolproof, as all the materials are cut and measured, and ready for construction. On the other hand, if a person decides to go with greenhouse plans that will require them to find their own supplies, they might have a little bit of work ahead of them initially. However, some people enjoy this process, particularly those who are hard-core do-it-yourselfers. How to Build a Greenhouse at HomeThere are some very common models that not only will be relatively easy to construct based on the plans available, but are also inexpensive.
  • One should know that if they want to find these plans to learn how to build a greenhouse at home, they are usually free on the Internet.
  • If a person doesn't want to do it themselves, and don't want to have to find the materials on their own, than they can simply do an Internet search to find a kit that includes the plans and all the materials that will be needed.

One should note that when they consider building a greenhouse, there are other types of designs and materials besides those that first come to mind.

Most people think of a greenhouse as being made out of glass or hard plastic.
  • While this is true in a lot of cases, there are other types of materials that can be called for in diverse how to build a greenhouse plans, which could include building small greenhouses, hobby greenhouses, commercial greenhouses, glass greenhouses, lean-to greenhouses, and much more!

For example, many people might not know this, but one can construct a greenhouse made out of wood.
  • A wooden greenhouse tends to look like a box.
  • They can be sloped, or they can be flat. This will require various cuts of wood along with glass.
  • A sloped greenhouse is usually built along the side of the house, and the side of the house this is built on will be dependent on what is being grown, and of course, the environment outside. This is a great starter greenhouse for either the new gardener, or for children.
Building A Wooden Greenhouse FrameGreenhouse Plans

There are greenhouses that can simply be made out of film and racks.

A plan for this type of greenhouse might seem too simplistic to actually work, but believe it or not, it does!

  • A person would simply have to look at the plans to see that once the structure has been completed, they can take on little growing projects in this type of a greenhouse.
Small Greenhouse Plans

There are even greenhouses, and plans for greenhouses that can built right into the earth. These are called dug out green houses.

As the name states, a hole is dug into the earth that is sufficient for plant growth. This would be covered with film. The plans would list the materials needed and instruct the grower on how to construct the greenhouse. This information is also available online.
Hobby Greenhouse Plans

There are so many options for greenhouse plans that the grower would not have time to go over them all.
However, it is comforting to know there are many options when a person wants to pursue building a greenhouse, the most important part is having the best and easiest to follow plans possible.

May 20, 2011

How to Build Lean to Greenhouses FAQ

Facts and Questions on How to Build Lean To Greenhouses

Are you interested in building a greenhouse?

If so, then you should definitely consider a lean-to greenhouse!

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to build lean to style greenhouses:

1. What are lean-to greenhouses?

A lean-to greenhouse is connected to a bigger structure.
  • The larger structure includes structures such as houses and garages.
  • Such greenhouses can be either temporary or permanent, depending on their function.
  • A grey area exists when classifying "bookshelf greenhouses."
  • They're sometimes classified as lean-to greenhouses, although people don't always secure them to a larger structure.
How to Build Lean to Greenhouses FAQ

2. How large are lean-to greenhouses?

It depends. Some are small enough to fit onto a deck or patio. Other greenhouses are large enough to function as sun rooms, allowing people to enjoy nature while staying indoors.

One of the key benefits of mini lean-to greenhouses over other mini greenhouses is that they absorb heat from the adjacent structure, making them much more energy-efficient.
  • This provides more insulation for your plants, and is particularly beneficial if you want to grow dainty flowers in a brutally cold climate.
  • On the other hand, keep in mind that while smaller greenhouses are easier to set up, they require more maintenance than larger ones.

Gardman Lean to Greenhouses

3. Which materials are lean-to greenhouses constructed of?

Aluminum and wood are the most common ones for lean to greenhouse kits, although the majority are made of the former material.
  • The main benefits of aluminum are the lower price and required maintenance.
  • For many greenhouse enthusiasts, maintaining the greenhouse itself requires a ton of time and effort.

So should you automatically choose aluminum over wood?
  • Before you do that, you should also consider the durability of hardwoods used to construct greenhouses.
  • Treated quality wood is certainly a viable alternative to a aluminum lean to greenhouse. The key is to choose the right variety of hardwood.
Lean to Greenhouse Plans

4. What are the pros and cons of full-size greenhouses?

Full-size lean-to greenhouses certainly provide some benefits.

For example, they're significantly steadier than their small counterparts.
  • Also, the ample space creates a greater capacity for your greenhouse, and more options in terms of the plants' arrangement.
  • Finally, ease-of-access is another benefit of full-size greenhouses, as one on the greenhouse's sides is attached to the house.

Still, full-size greenhouses aren't without their drawbacks.
  • Since they're essentially add-on rooms to a house, they're quite pricey. If you're on a shoestring budget, then that factor could require you to choose a mini lean-to greenhouse instead.
  • Secondly, the larger size of the greenhouses means that they'll require more maintenance. So if you're short on time, then a mini lean-to model might be a better option.

5. What types of vents do lean-to greenhouses have?

Proper ventilation is important in any greenhouse, ensuring that the right temperature and humidity are maintained in the greenhouse, it's vital you learn how to manage greenhouse humidity. The vents of a lean-to greenhouse can be either automatic, or manual.
  • Automatic vents open whenever a fan is switched on, and close when the fan is switched off.
  • Although automatic vents are certainly convenient, manual versions can also be a practical option for lean to greenhouses.
  • That's particularly true if you're putting up your first lean to greenhouse, or you're on a tight budget. Facts and Questions on How to Build Lean to Greenhouses

External Recommended Resources on How to Build A Greenhouse:

  1. Tips for Building Smaller Greenhouses - http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/howto/greenhouse.html
  2. How to Plan and Build Greenhouses Properly - http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/greenhou/building.htm
  3. Greenhouse Facts Sheets - http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/fact-sheets/greenhouse-management-engineering
  4. Lean to Greenhouses Greenhouse Plans - http://lifestyle.ezinemark.com/greenhouse-plans-for-lean-to-greenhouses-7d2d98e88545.html
  5. Building a Greenhouse: Choosing Materials - http://www.diygreenhouseplans.info/tutorials/building-a-greenhouse-choosing-materials-2/

April 01, 2011

Hobby Greenhouse Buyers Guide

Simple Buyers Guide in Selecting Hobby Greenhouses

Today, truthful information on buying hobby greenhouses and greenhouse accessories can be difficult to find. Luckily, we created this buyers guide so that you never buy a bad hobby greenhouse kit again!

Gardening is one of the top hobbies nowadays. More and more people are slowly realizing the value of keeping and growing plants. Apart from the fact that they can make a profit out of it, gardening is a very fruitful hobby.

Veteran gardeners will know the how creating greenhouses affects the growth and quality of their plants.

  • These structures can provide good environment to keep plants well and healthy.
  • Plants that are grown in greenhouses vary some of which include vegetables, fruits, tobacco plants, and flowers.
  • Learning what to know when shopping greenhouses it vital, is a vital, but easy thing. This article will explain everything to you, in a simple to remember way.

History of greenhouses

The idea of keeping plants in greenhouses started way back during the Roman times. The Roman emperor at that time was Tiberius.

  • He would always eat a cucumber-like vegetable, thus the Roman gardeners would always produce the plant wherever they travel.
  • They plant the crops in wheelbarrows so that they can easily place the plant under the sun during the morning, and take them inside the house at night to keep the vegetables warm.

Since then, the principle of protecting plants was carried on up to this age.

  • The first modern greenhouses were created during the 13th century in Italy.

Uses of greenhouses

One of the most important uses of a hobby greenhouse is that they allow gardeners to produce a wide variety of plants without worrying about the current season.

  • You can produce all vegetables all year round, provided that you have proper equipment in your hobby greenhouse.

Building quality hobby greenhouses can optimize plant growth, especially if you have invested in quality tools and equipment that you need.

  • Several of the important gardening tools that you should have include temperature controllers like heaters and coolers and good lighting and water supply.

How to keep your hobby greenhouse working?

As mentioned previously, you need to invest in quality gardening equipment. Ensure that you purchase the type of fertilizer that is suitable to be used for the plants that you are planning to place in your greenhouse.

Water and light supply are also very important.

  • During winter months, where the sun's appearance is very limited, you have to supply the needed heat by your plants.
  • You can regulate the temperature with the help of heaters inside your greenhouse.
  • On hot summer months, having misting sprays and controls is recommended so that your plants will not dry up. You have to keep moisture at good levels to be able to produce good variety of crops.

Tips in looking for the best hobby greenhouse

  • Good hobby greenhouses are not difficult to find, especially if you know where to buy them.

Here are several guidelines that can help you in your search:

1.) Look for the best hobby greenhouse plan that is easy to build and do not require special tools.

  • This will help you start with your building easily.
  • If the hobby greenhouse plan that you chose is very complicated, you will have to invest more time and effort to create it.

2.) Select a hobby greenhouse plan that is easy to understand.

  • If you are building one for the first time, get a plan that are perfect for first-time builders.

3.) Plans that include useful information on complete greenhouse systems will help you get the most out of your hobby greenhouse.

Gardening is made more enjoyable with hobby greenhouses. In no time, you will see how rewarding this particular hobby is.

March 02, 2011

What Are Cold Frame Greenhouses?

Cold frame greenhouses can be the ideal way for a regular person the have their own greenhouse, no matter where they live or budget.

A cold frame greenhouse is the most basic protection of your plants or garden.
  • Because they are made from a simple wood or PVC plastic frames with a clear thin material for the roof.
  • This doesn't necessarily mean they are cheap and won't hold up to the first change in the weather, these are made from a variety of materials that are meant to last.

While you can buy some cold frame green houses that are small enough to come fully assembled, larger models are best purchased as a kit.

  • While the DIY person can buy plans and create one on their own, many who want a greenhouse want to be able to get it up fast.
  • A kit comes with everything you need to build the greenhouse, and depending on the kit may come with lengths that are already cut, and the holes for the hardware already drilled.
  • It really depends on how large the greenhouse is, and how much you have to spend.

One of the nice things about buying cold frame greenhouses in kits is that you can choose from many different options.

  1. You can have vents if you want, and some of the basic models come with solid doorframes, or zippered closures on the ends.
  2. You can also get mounting brackets for lighting panels, it just depends on the retailer.

There are some drawbacks to cold frame greenhouses.

  1. Some of the materials are non-rated buildings, and most are not able to deal with heavy snow or high wind areas of the country.
  2. For these either a more expensive kit is recommended.
  3. Another couple of things you may consider when you buy these greenhouses are that you should make sure you don't need a building permit, and call the cable and other utility companies to come and check for underground lines.

While you can put up cold frame greenhouses on any level surface, it is recommended that you put in an edge foundation or at the very least put the posts three feet into the ground. Ideally, if you are going to put the structure into the ground that the holes are filled with concrete.

There are many different companies that sell cold frame greenhouses online.

  • It is important that you visit these sites carefully because prices can vary greatly.
  • The first thing you want to do is measure the space you are going to need to cover, and then account for the height.

Go to some of these sites, look around for what kinds of different materials they offer, their pros and cons, and then choose the one that fits your needs and your budget the best.

  • If you really can't decide, then choose the one that offers free shipping, and the one that has a warranty on their products.
  • Whichever retailer you choose, make sure they offer a double layer of covering, with UV protection, so you don't have to change out the poly film as often.
  • The best place to buy cold frame greenhouses is from Mini Greenhouse Kits, their selection and prices are unbeaten by all, and they have the highest quality products on the market, guaranteed.

January 25, 2011

Cost-Efficient Tips on Heating the Greenhouse

One of the secrets of success in greenhouse gardening is to ensure that the appropriate level of heat is maintained the whole year-round within greenhouses.

  • Basically, heat provides for a good environment for plant growth especially for frost-sensitive plants. You can combine the benefits of a greenhouse heater with other eco-friendly options like water in milk jugs and incandescent lights.

Ensure Maximum Insulation
No matter how expensive your greenhouse heater is, it will still be ineffective in its job if and when the greenhouse structure itself is not fully insulated from the cold outside.

  • Thus, it is highly recommended that greenhouses must be fully insulated using either bubble wrap or common materials around the house such as egg cartons and dried plants from last summer's crops.

However, said insulation will also block out the light coming in from the outside especially during the winter so it is best to hang incandescent lights, too. These lights will also provide indirect heat, thus, serving a double purpose.

Find the Right Greenhouse Heater
The trick in purchasing the right greenhouse heater is to look at the BTU (a measurement of heat) requirements in relations to the size of your greenhouse, the climate where it is located and the types of plants being grown inside.

  • There are heater calculators available in the shops and in online sites so calculating BTU requirements should be easier.

Why the emphasis on the right type of greenhouse heater?

  • Well, simply because the heater that produces more BTUS than necessary will lead to overheating in the greenhouse that, in turn, can result in plant disease and death as well as great increases on your heating bill.

You can choose from several types of heaters in the market.

  • The energy bills are fairly similar in all types of heaters so it is often a choice based on the convenience of the unit.
  • There are natural gas and electric heaters as well as vented and non-vented heaters.

Generally speaking the non-vented heaters will suffice for the purpose, not to mention that it is less expensive, too.

  • However, certain plant types such as orchids and begonias require vented heaters so consider them, too.

Consider Non-Heater Options

There are other options in heating the greenhouse, which can save on the heating bill as well as extend the life of your store-bought greenhouse heater.

  • Plus, these are eco-friendly options, too.

Paint numerous ten-gallon buckets with black paint on one side and white paint on the other side.

  • Then fill them with water, put their lids on and position them in many places across the greenhouse.
  • Just make sure that the white sides face the center of the greenhouse.
  • The black sides will absorb the heat during the day from the outside while the white sides will disperse the accumulated heat during the night into the inside of the greenhouse.

Keep additional rabbits in cages within the greenhouse.

  • You will then be able to harvest their dropping for use as organic fertilizer while adding more heat during the night.
  • Just make sure not to do this during very hot or very cold weather as the poor rabbits will die.
  • Shop and buy greenhouse accessories that you can depend upon, then you will be all set!

With these tips, you can expect to see your heating bills taking a nosedive while your plants continue to bloom in the protective warmth of the greenhouse.