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The Magic of Greenhouse Gardening: Grow What You Want, When You Want

Have you ever considered greenhouse gardening?

Glashaus - green house

A backyard hobby greenhouse

Growing plants in a greenhouse can expand your gardening horizons far beyond the limits of your geographical bounds. With a backyard greenhouse, the growing season lasts year-round.

Is it mid-winter in your backyard, with snow piled deep on the ground and an arctic nip in the air? Not in your greenhouse, where it’s a delightful, sunny 72.

Are you months away from enjoying homegrown, summer savory tomatoes? Not if you have a backyard greenhouse. You could be serving your very own homegrown summer veggies with Christmas dinner – picked Christmas morning.

Greenhouse gardening will give you the freedom to grow almost anything you want, anytime you want, without waiting for a by-your-leave from Mother Nature. No need to while away another winter wistfully daydreaming about next season’s brief gardening window.

Isn’t Greenhouse Gardening a Frighteningly Expensive Pastime?

To be sure, you can spend lots of money on a garden greenhouse if that’s what you want to do. There are many beautifully elegant backyard greenhouses that would complement the finest of mansions in appearance and aesthetics.

But there are also some surprisingly cheap greenhouse kits that you can purchase and assemble to create your own fully functional greenhouse. Or you can build your own greenhouse from scratch, and really save some money.

Thanks to modern greenhouse technology and space-age materials, virtually anyone who wants a greenhouse can have one, no matter how humble or majestic it might be.

What Can You Grow in a Greenhouse?

What do you want to grow?

That’s the more appropriate question, because you could grow almost anything you want in your greenhouse. Sure, there are exceptions. Not every plant on Earth is a candidate for greenhouse growing. But when you’re deciding what to grow in your greenhouse, you’ll find that there really aren’t many limitations.

And for the most part, the limitations you face will be of your own choosing.

If you decide not to heat your greenhouse during winter, for example, the list of plants that will be candidates for your greenhouse will be shorter. Or if you prefer not to use artificial lighting to extend the day length during the short, dreary days of winter, that will be a limiting factor.

But the magic of a greenhouse is that you can create almost any environment you choose. And with that power you can make your greenhouse a happy home for most any type of plant, whether ornamental or edible.

You Can Grow Food of Unriveled Quality in a Greenhouse

I’ve been involved in greenhouse gardening on a commercial scale for many years. My primary crop has been greenhouse tomatoes. But though I’m always delighted, I’m no longer surprised when a customer tells me that my tomatoes are the best that he or she has ever eaten.

I’ve heard that many times.

And they don’t say: “Your tomatoes are the best I’ve had except for summertime tomatoes.” Nor do they say: “Your tomatoes are the best I’ve had except for the homegrown tomatoes I grow in my own garden.” They just say: “Your tomatoes are the best I’ve ever had!”

I

Plump, perfect greenhouse tomatoes.

We grow our tomatoes in a controlled environment, where the pampered plants receive exactly what they need to produce perfect tomatoes. That’s the advantage of greenhouse growing. And it applies to everything you’ll grow in your greenhouse, not just tomatoes. (But trust me – you’re going to love your greenhouse tomatoes should you choose to grow them.)

By the way, the sheltered environment of your greenhouse will allow you to grow the most cosmetically perfect plants and produce you’ve ever seen. Think about it. Your plants won’t be:

  • rained on
  • wind-blown
  • dust-stormed
  • hail-battered
  • frost-bitten
  • sun-scorched

The result will be exotically lush plants producing food that is off-the-charts delicious and nutritious – and beautiful to boot.

And if you hate using pesticides, consider this: My greenhouse tomatoes that I was so shamelessly bragging on a few paragraphs up? They are grown without any form of pesticide. We can control insect pests in our greenhouse without ever spraying insecticides, and we can control fungal diseases without ever spraying fungicides.

From season’s beginning to season’s end, not a single drop of pesticide enters the doors of our greenhouse.

Greenhouse Gardening Puts You in Control

If you’ve been gardening for a while, you’re accustomed to nature dictating the terms of your relationship. Try planting too early in the season or grasping for a few extra precious days late in the season, and nature is liable to slap you down hard. It’s happened to all of us.

But in your backyard greenhouse, you’ll set the terms.

  • First frost date – last frost date? Meaningless.
  • Shortest day of the year? So what?

In your small greenhouse, the temperature can be what you want it to be. The day length can be whatever you need it to be. What you’ll be able to grow will be dictated by what you want to grow. If you’re accustomed to playing by nature’s rules, you’ll find that greenhouse gardening offers an exhilarating sense of freedom – and lots of gardening fun.

A Garden of Eden?

A small greenhouse full of butterhead lettuce

A small greenhouse full of butterhead lettuce

My greenhouse might not quite be a Garden of Eden. But it’s easy to believe otherwise when I step inside on a bitter-cold winter’s day.

I can remove my coat, and comfortably work among my plants in shirtsleeves. Though winter rages outside, it’s magically held at bay by only a few thousands of an inch thickness of plastic.

As I work, my breath provides a bit of extra carbon dioxide for my plants, and they enrich the atmosphere with oxygen for me. And we all enjoy the virtual springtime oasis created by the snug and cozy greenhouse.

No, it’s not the Garden of Eden. But it’s surely not far off.

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Are YOU Interested in Greenhouse Gardening?
Learn more about the fun and fascinating world of greenhouse gardening at the author’s website.

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