Health and Wellness

4 Essential Items for Starting a Greenhouse

Written by: Mckenzie Jones

A greenhouse provides an environment of light and warmth for growing plants indoors. From insect sprays to the proper flooring, there is a long list of items that will help make your greenhouse plants flourish. Here are four of the basic things you need to get started.

A Selection of Pots and What to Put in Them

You will need several different sized pots for your plants. If you are starting from seeds, you can get seed-starting trays that have transparent covers to help maintain the humidity level and temperature for the best environment to promote germination.

It’s important to have several different sizes of pots on hand at all times. This will allow you to transplant at the proper time from a seed tray or from a small pot to a large one. You can get plastic or terracotta pots. If you choose biodegradable pots, you will need to store them in water-tight containers.

The growing medium is another item that needs to be stored to keep out insect eggs and pathogens. You can get large plastic tubs to store your growing medium whether it is purchased or home-blended.

A Potting Bench for a Workspace

Shelves or staging units are essential for maximizing space inside your greenhouse and keeping your plants off the ground. As a beginner, you may not realize you need a potting bench that is only used as a workspace and not a storing shelf.

If your shelves and benches are wood, you should paint them with a semi-gloss paint to help protect against mold and make them much easier to keep clean. You can choose a variety of shelves from small narrow shelves that are higher for lighter objects such as labels, markers, and tools. Lower shelves are for holding heavier objects, but very large pots will go on the floor.

When installing shelves, choose a place along one side for a potting bench. It will be at a comfortable height for you to work standing or sitting and have a sink and an area for you to write notes or labels. Having a designated space will make potting, transplanting, and repotting quicker and easier.

Monitoring Temperature and Ventilation

Before you start putting plants inside your new greenhouse, be sure to install a reliable thermometer first. The temperature inside needs to be consistent, and a digital thermometer is your best option.

You can even get a smart thermometer that uses an app on your smartphone to inform you of the temperature inside your greenhouse at regular intervals.

If you live in a hot climate, overheating is a major possibility in the summer. You can get a shade cloth that is specifically designed to keep greenhouses cool. There are several different kinds of coverings that diffuse light to reduce heat and help keep the inside the temperature you want.

Ventilation is another crucial part of maintaining a healthy temperature. If you are on the premises, hand-crank vents are useful, but if you are away from the greenhouse for long periods, you may consider electric hydraulic vents that are temperature sensitive. They will automatically open and close as the temperature inside fluctuates.

Keep the Plants and Tools Clean

Pests can seriously damage your plants, and the first defense against pests is cleanliness. A clean and tidy greenhouse is the first step, and to achieve this, keeping a cleaning kit handy is recommended. This kit will contain a disinfectant spray, a bleach solution made of one-unit bleach to nine units of water, and insecticidal soaps. Make sure your microfiber cloths are also washed regularly.

It’s important to have these items handy to stop mold or other infestations in their tracks. If you see an infected plant, remove it from the greenhouse immediately.

Waste bins are another feature you may overlook. After all, you have waste bins just outside. When they are placed in various sites around the greenhouse, they help you collect waste on-the-spot and reduce cleanup time later.

There is a lot more you can do when first setting up a greenhouse such as adding lights and heaters, irrigation, and installing the ideal flooring. These features may change according to the type of plants you are growing, but all greenhouses need the four items above.

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