For those of you looking to expand your gardening hobby, or those of you that wish to grow fruits, vegetables, or flowers in a climate that typically makes growing difficult, greenhouse gardening may be the hobby for you. Greenhouse vegetable gardening is growing in popularity as greenhouses are now very economical, available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and can allow you to enjoy gardening in even the smallest of locations all year long.
What Is a Greenhouse?
A greenhouse is simply a structure with a glass, or perhaps a plastic roof, and also generally has glass or plastic walls as well. When located in a sunlit location the solar radiation heats the structure and the air warmed in this manner is retained in the building. The glass used works as a selective transmission medium for different spectral frequencies, which has the effect of trapping the energy within, which in effect heats both the plants and the ground inside. Greenhouses thus work by trapping electromagnetic radiation and preventing convection. These types of structures are often referred to as cold frames.
Common Greenhouse Uses for the Gardening Enthusiast
If you live in an area that supports summer gardening with fruits and vegetables, a greenhouse offers you a way to get a jumpstart on your spring growing. By starting your seeds or seedlings while it's still cold outside you can later transplant these already growing plants when the weather permits. This, therefore, allows you to begin harvesting your produce or enjoying your flowers much earlier in the season than otherwise would be allowable.
Also, depending on how much sunlight you typically receive in winter months you can continue to grow produce and flowers throughout the winter. This provides a year-round source of selected produce such as tomatoes. In addition, a full blooming flower garden is quite a beautiful treat and spirit lifter in the dead of winter.
Types of Hobby Greenhouses
Greenhouses come in a vast variety of shapes and sizes and are available in mental frames, wood frames and plastic frames. There are also a vast number of accessories and supplies that can be purchased along with the greenhouse. Basically your only limitation will be the amount of space that can be allocated for your greenhouse and how much you want to spend.
A good place for beginners to start is an attached greenhouse. This structure literally attaches to your home, garage or perhaps a shed via an outside wall. The advantage of this type of structure is the ability to get to the greenhouse anytime of the day or night without having to go outside, as well as the ability to share some of the heat and electricity from your house or garage. The main problem with an attached greenhouse is often the ability to place it on a wall that gets the right amount of sunlight needed to grow your plants.
Whatever type you ultimately decide on, one thing is certain; when you begin to understand what greenhouse vegetable gardening (or flower gardening) can provide in terms of personal satisfaction, relaxation and emotional fulfillment, you will look forward to your special time each day that you spend in this little corner of your world and it will become a treasure that can last you a lifetime.
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