10 good reasons why your garden needs a greenhouse
Are you considering buying or building a greenhouse in your garden, but not sure if it is worth it? Here is a list of reasons why your garden needs a greenhouse!
Reasons why your garden needs a greenhouse
Many people think that greenhouses are just for the most keen gardeners who spend hours in their gardens. But there are lots of benefits to having a greenhouse, even if gardening is just one of your hobbies.
If you wonder ‘do I really need a greenhouse?’, a few questions pop up:
- What exactly would I use it for?
- What are the pros and cons of using a greenhouse?
- Would I make the most of it?
- Should I get a glass greenhouse or a polytunnel?
- Where is the best space to locate it?
- Would it cost much money to buy or build? What is the return on my investment?
After researching these questions, it seems that a greenhouse will be an excellent addition to any vegetable gardens. If you particularly like to grow vegetables and flowers from seed, it would be useful for a range of reasons.
Here are ten good reasons to get a greenhouse for your garden:
1. Get a head start on growing from seeds
Growing in a greenhouse allows you to control the temperature and humidity for seeds to germinate and the seedlings to grow.
Growing plants from seeds is all about getting the timing right. Ideally, you will aim to have your seedlings ready to be transplanted into the garden when the weather and soil temperature are right.
If you are planning to plant out your seedlings in spring, for summer vegetable crops, you should start the seeds in a greenhouse 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost in your area.
2. Create a microclimate
Using a greenhouse lets you create a microclimate, as you can control the temperature and climate somewhat.
Plants generally love warm and humid environments, as it enhances their growth. A benefit of greenhouse growing is that you trap the heat and water vapour inside, so the warmth and humidity are maintained in the greenhouse.
3. Grow all year round
Growing plants in a greenhouse allows you to grow more crops for a longer season. Vegetables, fruit and flower seedlings can be started off earlier in the season, and their fruiting time can be extended longer into the cooler autumn months too.
Some vegetables grow well in the winter time, such as cabbages and broccoli, but summer salad crops do not thrive so well in the rain or frost. A greenhouse gives you optimum growing conditions all year round.
4. Grow an increased amount
The warmer soil temperature in a greenhouse will encourage more seeds to germinate, if you are growing from your plants seed. The seedlings will also be stronger and more likely to survive and thrive.
Plants produce a larger, healthier crop of vegetables and flowers when they are grown in a warmer temperature.
5. Overwinter and protect plants
Plants can be moved into the greenhouse to ‘overwinter’, rather than leaving them outside in temperatures that may possibly damage them. Plants in pots are particularly suitable for moving into the greenhouse over winter, this could be roses, palms, or other shrubs that may not handle a frost or heavy rain.
Growing plants in a greenhouse can provide protection from infestations of pests such as caterpillars and aphids.
6. Save money by growing your own vegetables
Growing your own vegetables from seed is much cheaper than buying seedlings, and usually way cheaper than buying vegetables at the shops.
If you grow vegetables all year round, you can reduce how much you have to spend on groceries.
With the growing space in a greenhouse, you will probably end up growing more seedlings than you need! You could swap seedlings with friends and neighbours, to get a wider variety of vegetable plants to grow. It’s a way to experiment with new plants, and have an increased yield of vegetables, without having to spend too much money.
7. Add a multiple purpose space to the garden
Buying or building a greenhouse adds a new spot in your garden to keep your garden related equipment.
As well as growing vegetables and flowers, it can be a space for propagating house plants (anyone who likes doing this knows how quickly propagated house plants can take over your home!).
Greenhouses can act as a garden shed too, where you can store your garden tools and equipment, and supplies like plant feed.
8. Grow something different like exotic plants
Have you ever wanted to grow exotic or tropical plants, but your location is in more of a temperate climate? With a greenhouse, you can try growing exotics like orchids, pineapples or bananas.
You will need to research the conditions that these plants need, as some may need extra heating to keep the temperature perfect for them. It would be fun to try something different from your usual tomatoes and zucchini though!
9. Get the health benefits of being in the garden in winter
In winter in many climates, it is not very appealing to get out into the garden. It can be too windy, rainy or even frost and snowy.
Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or the winter blues, which is a mood disorder caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter time.
Having a greenhouse in your garden provides a warm, dry and sheltered place where you can enjoy gardening no matter the weather. And get the well-being benefits of sun exposure without getting cold and wet.
10. Add a beautiful feature to your garden
A greenhouse can be a beautiful structural feature, as well as a functional space. There are many choices of design available, so you can find one that suits the style of your garden.
You could even build one, to fit in perfectly with your house style. And if you like to upcycle building materials, greenhouses are a fun project for the DIYer or handyperson.
A few more reasons why your garden needs a greenhouse
Become more self sufficient
Growing your own food is a great start towards becoming more self sufficient. If you can provide some of your food from your garden, you don’t need to rely on buying so much at the stores.
Preserving fruit and vegetables you have grown in your greenhouse can keep you in food all year round.
Growing your own vegetables reduces packaging waste
When you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden or greenhouse, you can avoid the packaging of store bought food. Food packaging is often made of plastic, which might be recyclable, but often isn’t actually recycled but ends up in landfill.
Popping out to the greenhouse to collect a bowl or basket of fresh vegetables does away with the need for food packaging. You may need to work out how to store home grown produce though, see the article below for tips.
If you can grow a few types of fruit and vegetables at home, you may end up with more than you need or can preserve. This is often the case with summer vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini – you can end up with way too many!
It’s easy to sell excess fruit and vegetables in local online groups, or at your gate with an honesty box system. There are even apps like My Honesty Box for people to sell and buy from roadside stalls now, which make it easier when so many of us don’t have much cash these days.
You could also sell at a Farmers Market or other local markets.
Safer greenhouse options are available now
Modern greenhouses come in a variety of materials now, not just the old style glass panes that were easily broken by rogue footballs, and wind blown tree branches.
There are polycarbonate options, or toughened glass options, which would give you peace of mind about the safety of a glass structure in a family garden.
Final thoughts on reasons why your garden needs a greenhouse
In conclusion, the initial investment in buying a greenhouse appear to pay off over the long run. The many benefits are appealing to me, as an avid gardener who wishes to become more self sufficient every growing season. Do you feel the same?