Find the right Greenhouse Plans for you!
With careful planning, anyone can find the right greenhouse plans and build their ideal greenhouse. The first step is deciding what you want to do with your greenhouse:
– Start seeds
– Extend the season
– Grow year round
This can help you decide what you want to build., and help you be more self reliant.
Seed starting can be done in a relatively small greenhouse, but the temperature must be maintained around 70°. Most warm season vegetable seeds sprout between 68°-80°. Warm season vegetables include:
– Summer squash
The goal of seed starting would require greenhouse plans that are small, and made of materials that do not transfer heat quickly, therefore maintaining a relatively constant temperature.
Extending the season, or starting plants in a greenhouse before spring, and continuing plant production into fall and winter, can be done with the right greenhouse plans. A season-extending greenhouse does not need to maintain a temperature as high as a seed-starting greenhouse. Seeds can be started indoors and the starters can then be planted or potted in the greenhouse beginning much earlier in the spring. A 20- or 30° difference between inside the greenhouse and out is enough to help plants thrive through the earliest spring days. The plants that will grow best in the early spring will be cool season vegetables such as
A greenhouse will move your spring into late winter, so you will have fresh vegetables weeks or even months before your outdoor garden would yield. Then, as spring blooms, you can have tomatoes and cucumbers early as well. You begin to harvest warm season vegetables as your neighbors are harvesting their cool season vegetables. You could have fresh tomatoes in April or May, and red, green, and yellow peppers by Memorial Day. Your summer lasts much longer in a well-ventilated greenhouse. You can begin planting your second round of cool season crops later, and harvest them into late fall and early winter. Season-extending greenhouse plans would call for good ventilation and as well as a highly insulating covering.
If you want to use your greenhouse year-round, you would need greenhouse plans that provide a heating solution, depending on where you live. If you live in the north, some kind of heating is required for year-round greenhouse growing. If you live in the south, you may not need any heating. Cool season plants need to maintain a temperature above 40°. To grow throughout the year, your greenhouse must remain between 40° and 90° on average.
There are many ways to passively heat your greenhouse, including passive solar using thermal mass such as water or rock. These are the least expensive ways, but may not provide the most heat.
Some greenhouse plans will allow you to build for each of these purposes all together in one setup.
The right greenhouse plans are the plans that will allow you to use your greenhouse the way that is best for you. Everyone can become more sustainable by building a backyard greenhouse that does not need to be expensive. Start with the end in mind, and work backwards.
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