Greenhouse gardening opens up a whole new world of techniques for eager gardeners, even allowing those in colder or unpredictable climates to extend their growing season into all or most of the year. When your shiny new greenhouse finally arrives, you’re going to need greenhouse gardening supplies. Read on to discover the most common supplies for a greenhouse.
Hobby Greenhouse Necessities
Installing the greenhouse is only the first step on your indoor growing adventure. There are many other things to consider, like lighting, temperature and humidity control, watering, sanitation and even the type of benches you’d prefer. Storage bins can help protect delicate soil mixes from invading pests and disease. Below, you’ll find a general greenhouse supply list, broken into the major types of items every greenhouse needs eventually.
Basics – Your list of items for greenhouse gardening has to include pots, containers for mixed growing mediums, hand trowels and seedling flats. Some greenhouse hobbyists prefer to use biodegradable pots and, if you do as well, make sure to store them in a water-tight container. Growing mediums can be mixed in buckets with lids in small greenhouses or stored in large plastic tubs with lids in larger greenhouses – these containers protect your home-blended mediums from insect eggs and pathogens.
Benches – Benches are nice, but shelves will do in a pinch. At the end of the day, you just need something that will get your plants up off the ground. Make sure to paint any wooden surfaces with a semi-gloss paint to protect against mold and make cleaning a snap.
Sanitation – Sanitation in a greenhouse is vital. There’s nothing more frustrating than fungus, bacteria or bugs that infiltrate a greenhouse, causing chaos and ruining a whole season of plants. Bleach and disinfectant spray are as vital as sinks and large washing tubs in keeping your greenhouse pest-free.
Irrigation and Drainage – Your greenhouse plants need water. Large greenhouses often employ drip irrigation, but a smaller setup may be able to be fully watered by hand with a watering can. Avoid watering plants directly with a hose-sprayer, since this can encourage and spread mold spores. Drainage is also vital, so make sure your benches are slightly slanted to keep the water shedding, or designed with lots of holes or slats to allow water to drip through.
Ventilation – Ventilation in your greenhouse is important. Install a vent or two to help release built-up heat and humidity in the summer. This will help keep plants healthy and looking their best.
Lighting – Many greenhouses need artificial lighting to properly light the plants inside. If your greenhouse isn’t naturally lit most days, or your plants need longer days than are generally available at your location, fluorescent lights can get the job done if you raise them as the plants grow. Greenhouse lights are available, but may be cost-prohibitive for small greenhouses.
Shades – Shade-loving plants appreciate artificial shade as the summer’s bright sun begins to appear on the horizon. Shade cloths are also helpful for keeping the hottest rays of the day out of your building.
Climate Control – A small heater or evaporative cooler may be necessary if you intend to use your greenhouse year round. Greenhouse heaters can be relatively inexpensive for small spaces, and fans will sometimes do for cooling greenhouses in mild climates if you install them so they move hot air out of the building. Always use thermometers and hygrometers with a climate control system for precise control.
Now that you know about the basic hobby greenhouse necessities, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the gardening season all year long.