A greenhouse can help you extend your growing season – especially in the colder months. It can also help you save space in your garden.
Whether you’re building one from scratch or buying a pre-made greenhouse, there are some important tips that can make the most of your greenhouse space.
1. Add Shelving
Shelving is a great way to add storage and organization to a greenhouse. It is a simple and inexpensive way to maximize the space in your greenhouse.
Greenhouse shelves are available in a variety of styles and materials. They are usually made from metal, but you can also find shelves that are made from wood or plastic.
These shelves are a great way to store and organize your plants, tools, and supplies. They also help keep your greenhouse neat and tidy.
Shelving for a small greenhouse should be slatted so that it allows light to pass through the unit and air to circulate. However, you should be aware that if you have plants on the lower shelves, shadows can interfere with plant growth.
2. Create a Seating Area
Creating a seating area in a small greenhouse can make it feel like a more formal space. A potting bench and a few spots to sit will give you a comfortable spot to work, or simply enjoy your surroundings as you gaze at the plants.
A potting bench can also double as a place to put on a show, displaying your plants in style and adding some flair to the overall look of the space. Some designs even feature mirrored back panels, making them perfect for the occasion.
Boundaries are another must-have element for a well-designed seating area. These can be any number of options, including built elements such as trellises and screens, or natural ones, such as trees and shrubs.
3. Add a Watering System
Whether you’re a beginner or have been gardening for years, adding a watering system to your small greenhouse can be one of the most effective ways to keep your plants healthy and happy. You’ll save time and energy by eliminating the need to haul in water and hand irrigate each day.
There are many different types of irrigation systems available, including overhead and drip systems. You’ll need to decide which type best suits your needs, as well as your budget.
Overhead watering is more convenient than drip irrigation and can be a good choice for plants that need a steady supply of water, such as orchids. It’s also less wasteful than drip watering, which can be more time-consuming and expensive.
Automated watering systems are also a great option for greenhouses, as they allow you to control when and how much water is delivered to your plants. They can also be programmed to monitor soil moisture levels and adjust your irrigation schedule accordingly.
4. Add a Heat Source
If you’re growing plants that need a little more heat than what your space provides, you can add a heat source to help regulate the temperature inside your greenhouse. This will keep the plants warm and healthy during the winter season and also prevent them from drying out and dying.
Some people choose to install radiant heaters, which use solar energy to heat the greenhouse. These heaters can be very cost-effective and do not cause the greenhouse to dry out.
Some other ways to add heat include using thermal mass, such as water. This can be achieved by constructing single or multiple reservoirs, such as a sink filled with brick or concrete.
5. Add a Vent
Ventilation is one of the most important components to maintaining a healthy greenhouse. Without ventilation, a greenhouse can become too hot and many plants will wilt or die.
Small greenhouses should have at least a percentage of their roof ventilated to provide regular cooling changes, usually around one square meter of ridge ventilation for every five square metres (20%) of floor area. Side vents (louvres) also assist air movement, but may not be as effective as roof ventilation.
Exhaust fans can be used to push stale, warm air out of the greenhouse, encouraging fresh air to flow in. A heat-detecting automatic vent opener is an excellent option for managing your ventilation system.