the organic gardening&farming;
Organic Greenhouse Gardening
A greenhouse is a very useful addition to any garden. The major advantage of owning one is that it enables you to sow and harvest crops months earlier than would otherwise be possible in temperate or cold areas. The growing season is therefore considerably extended, which makes it possible to increase annual yields substantially. Indeed, with careful planning, certain crops can be harvested continuously, and many frost-tender plants can be “overwintered” – kept in the greenhouse during the winter months to protect them from the cold. A greenhouse therefore turns the cultivation of plants into a year-round activity.
The warmth and light provided by the greenhouse also make it possible for you to raise a great many plants from seed. Their growth will be much stronger and healthier than any you manage to raise on a very sunny windowsill in the house, where no more than fifty per cent of available light will actually reach the plants. By starting off young plants in the best possible environment, you can ensure that the seedlings are in peak condition when you plant them outside. Growing from seed allows you to choose any crop or variety you wish, rather than relying solely on the range of comparatively expensive young plants offered by a nursery. Provided you buy seed that has not been “dressed” with a fungicide, you can also be certain that your crops are completely untainted by chemicals.
A further benefit of greenhouse gardening is the opportunity of cultivating tender plants that can normally be grown outside only in sub-tropical or tropical conditions. This applies to many vegetable and fruit crops as well as exotic decorative plants. Even if you garden in a warm climate, the relatively high temperature provided by a greenhouse increases the range of plants you can grow. In addition, the quality and yield of some crops, such as tomatoes and eggplants, which can be grown outside in temperate climates, will improve if they are cultivated in the greenhouse where they are protected from adverse weather conditions.
Always allow for a greenhouse in your plan if you possibly can. The increased choice, quality and quantity of the plants you can grow in a greenhouse more than repays the initial cost and the space taken up could not be put to better use. Bear in mind that it needs a sunny position and try to site it fairly close to the house, to make the connection of heating, water and electricity supplies easier and more economical.