Sargam is back with this great greenhouse guide for beginners!
I always dreamt of owning a greenhouse; its clear walls speckled with deep green foliage; I finally got the chance to build a greenhouse in the Fall of 2020. Being a lover of all things DIY, my husband and I got to work on our standard 10×12 greenhouse kit from our local home improvement store. I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way in this greenhouse guide for beginners.
Made from aluminum and corrugated acrylic, standard greenhouse kits can help extend the life of seasonal veggie plants and prolong the outdoor time for tender tropicals.
While this greenhouse kit itself won’t get a five-star review from me, the support groups on Facebook will. These groups were instrumental in helping us strengthen the structure of the otherwise flimsy frame.
I am proud to announce our greenhouse has officially survived for more than a year; fingers crossed, knock-on-wood, we hope it stays that way for the seasons to come. If you are planning on buying a DIY greenhouse and need some help, let us know in the comments below, and we will connect you with the right groups to guide you on the structural setup.
Today we are going to talk about caring for plants in a greenhouse. Many of us own sunrooms or bedrooms that have large south-facing windows, and a lot of the tips I am about to share will apply to those rooms as well.
While an adequately insulated greenhouse with sufficient heat should keep the temperature moderate for the plants while allowing them to soak in the sunlight, oftentimes, pests are to blame for failed greenhouse projects.
Of course, treatment plans vary based on the types of plants in your greenhouse. I have a set routine consisting of water or soil soluble insect control, foliar spray, and greenhouse treatments. This treatment plan is for non-consumable plants only.
Granular Systemic Bug Control
Since we don’t have to worry about harming bees or other beneficial insects inside the greenhouse, I use systemic insect control for my potted tropicals.
Bonide offers a granular systemic that can be mixed into the soil and watered in. I have found this product to be particularly impressive.
I allow each plant 4-6 weeks after systemic treatments before re-treating.
Grow Tip: Avoid overwatering plants post-treatment to prolong results.
I spray my plants with a mix of water and a combination of foliar sprays.
Some of my favorites are Bonide water-soluble insect spray, Bonide ready-to-use Mite-x spray, and Captain Jack’s dead bug brew.
Grow Tip: Try to give plants a thorough washing and allow them to dry before foliar treatment to maximize results.
I fog the greenhouse two times in the winter with bug bombs.
I spray the walls with a mild neem oil and water mixture and dust floor surfaces with Diatomaceous earth, ensuring to get it into corners.
While I understand this might seem like overkill, trust me, nothing is worse than a mite or mealybug infestation inside the greenhouse.
Grow Tip: Sealing gaps with silicone is critical in maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing pest infestations.
Apart from pest control treatments, other factors that affect plant health are overwatering and underwatering.
Watering schedules have to be tailored to fit each plant’s thirst needs. Some flowering plants like Hibiscus prefer regular and thorough watering, while tropical foliage plants like the Monstera deliciosa need less frequent
The best way is to arrange them in groups of plants that require a specific amount of water.
Too little water can stress the plant out, causing it to become prone to infestations or drop leaves and buds.
Too much water, and you could end up with fungus in the soil or root rot.
Grow Tip: If you notice a yellow fungus building inside the pot, carefully remove the infected portion of the soil, mix apple cider vinegar and water or a few drops of dish soap, a few drops of neem oil and water, spray onto the soil.
Maintain optimal humidity by mounting a humidity measure onto the wall, regularly misting the greenhouse, and running humidifiers round the clock. Also, ensure some ventilation by installing a small fan.
Greenhouse projects are much easier now than a few years back; with all the support groups, forums, YouTube tutorials, and supplies to provide for eccentric upgrades, DIY greenhouse projects have picked up all over the country. I hope this greenhouse guide for beginners helps you get up and going quickly. Let us know if you have or plan to have a greenhouse in the comments below.
By Sargam Merchant.
For Home & Travel Cafe by Linette.