A greenhouse is a perfect way to keep flowers and vegetables growing through the winter months. It has a number of other fun uses too. In this quick introduction, we tell you the basics of how to set up a greenhouse, as well as some of the many reasons why it’s a great idea.
Designing Your Greenhouse
The most important consideration with a greenhouse is temperature. You need to make sure that your greenhouse makes the most of the available sunlight during the winter months and retains as much of the heat as possible when there is no direct sunlight. The daily temperature range should be between 45 and 90 °F. So, you need a way to regulate the heat through the course of the season. The problem is that greenhouses are not that good at retaining the heat that is built up in them during the day, so you will need to supplement the heat. Natural gas or propane heaters like the Southern Burner heaters are great for this purpose. They are also equipped with thermostats, enabling you to regulate the greenhouse’s interior temperature. Seek advice from experts on how big a heater to use for your particular greenhouse size.
Greenhouses come in two popular shapes, namely hoop and gable. The hoop shape is better as it sheds snow more easily. As far as the interior goes, you can make a floor out of a combination of pea gravel and made-for-purpose greenhouse flooring. The combination allows for good drainage and prevents the growth of weeds.
In climates such as we have here in the northeast United States, it is best to orientate your greenhouse towards the east or southeast, to ensure that it catches the morning sun.
So, Why Should You Use a Greenhouse in Winter?
Well, quite simply, it enables you to grow plants – whether flowers or vegetables – throughout the year. The cold months don’t need to hold you back, as long as you know that the growing times will differ in winter. Which means you will harvest at different times and plants will take longer to bloom.
Winter greenhouses have other uses too. They can help support wildlife, like butterflies and birds. If you build a big enough one, you can install a hot tub in it, making a warm outdoor oasis for the winter. You can even make it a sunroom or entertainment area.
So, for a variety of reasons, greenhouses can be a great addition to a winter garden.
Fox Hollow Landscaping & Design can help you design the perfect greenhouse as part of a stunning winter or summer garden. Contact us for unparalleled landscaping, hardscaping and winter servicing throughout northern New Jersey.