Can You Grow Vegetables All Year Round In A Greenhouse? Your year-round vegetable garden layout will be less constrained by the changing seasons and weather if you have a greenhouse. Because you can control the temperature and humidity inside a greenhouse, you can keep summer-like conditions and enjoy a tropical garden all year. Planting and caring for fruits and vegetables inside a greenhouse, regardless of method, necessitates a few alterations to your watering, fertilising, and planting regimen, especially if you will be producing food in containers.
Can You Grow Vegetables All Year Round In A Greenhouse
1. Making the Most of Your Greenhouse
It’s critical to understand that basic greenhouses have some restrictions. For example, the poor winter sunshine and early sunsets that pass through the greenhouse walls signal to plants that the growing season has come to an end, and freezing temperatures can still creep into the greenhouse and harm sensitive foliage and flowers. You may not be able to harvest hot-weather fruits and vegetables all year unless you invest in supplementary heating and lighting to establish a tropical greenhouse.
Another critical element to consider is the scarcity of natural pollinators. Insects that normally transmit pollen from blossom to flower will disappear in the winter, and they may have difficulty getting into your greenhouse if you never open it. Learn about the pollination needs of the fruits and vegetables you intend to cultivate. It may be as simple as setting up an oscillating fan to mimic wind, or it may be necessary to spread pollen by hand with cotton buds.
Finally, when you plan your year-round vegetable garden, consider how to make the most of your greenhouse space. Set up a trellis system for vines and plant vegetables in containers that may rest on solid shelving units within the greenhouse. You might also be interested in hanging upside-down pots in the centre of your greenhouse. Keep in mind that using containers necessitates more regular watering and fertilising because the soil dries out faster and nutrients seep out with each soaking.
2. Planning Your Year-Round Garden Can You Grow Vegetables All Year Round In A Greenhouse
Unless you want to instal a heating system in your greenhouse to preserve summer-like conditions in the winter, it’s best to stick to seasonal planting dates. Vegetables that thrive in chilly weather, according to Burpee and Practical Self Reliance, include:
- Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica), cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata), cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis), kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica), and Brussels sprouts are all members of the Brassica family (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera).
- Onions (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), green onions (Allium fistulosum), leeks (Allium porrum), and chives are all members of the Allium family (Allium schoenoprasum).
- Green salads, such as lettuce (Lactuca sativa), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), and arugula (Eruca vesicaria ssp. Sativa).
- Carrots (Daucus carota subsp. sativus), parsnips (Pastinaca sativa), beets (Beta vulgaris), radishes (Raphanus sativus), and potatoes are examples of root vegetables (Solanum tuberosum).
Salads and fresh vegetables can be enjoyed starting in late fall and continuing through winter and into spring by sheltering these items from frost and providing artificial lighting. More sunlight and warmer temperatures will naturally render your greenhouse uninhabitable to these cold-weather vegetables by the time spring arrives. It’s time to swap them out with summer plants like tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum), zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), bell peppers (Capsicum annum), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus). Vegetables that require a lot of areas, such as corn (Zea mays), winter squash (Cucurbita maxima), and melons, may not do well in greenhouses (Cucumis melo).
3. Use a Greenhouse for Seed Starting
You can also utilise your greenhouse to germinate seedlings before planting them outside. While you wait for the last frost to pass, your seedlings can be comfy and warm inside the greenhouse, ready to transplant as soon as the weather permits. Once the seedlings have been transferred, direct sow another round of seeds in your garden for a staggered harvest.
However, not all fruits and vegetables enjoy being transplanted. Some plants have sensitive roots or struggle to adjust to the temperature, humidity, and wind fluctuations that occur between the greenhouse and the garden. By the time these delicate seedlings recover and begin to grow strong, their direct-sown counterparts may have caught up to them, rendering the transplant effort pointless. The University of California, for example, suggests direct-sowing all root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, and so on), as well as cucumbers, melons, corn, peas (Pisum sativum), and beans.
However, by following a “hardening off” process, utilising biodegradable seed starting pots that allow the roots to remain undisturbed, and giving the transplants a little additional pampering if necessary, you can generate healthy seedlings. Tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens, and cabbages are also wonderful choices for novices because they transfer easily.
4. Creating a Tropical Greenhouse Can You Grow Vegetables All Year Round In A Greenhouse
If you want a true “hot house” or tropical greenhouse that keeps warm regardless of the outside temperature, you’ll need to do a little more setup and be willing to pay the monthly utility bills that will undoubtedly accumulate. However, the result will be well worth it when you harvest tasty tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruits during the off-season.
The specifics of your greenhouse will vary depending on your demands and budget, but glass is a common building material for tropical greenhouses due to its ability to let in lots of light while still being visually appealing. Greenhouses, according to the University of Georgia, should also feature fans or windows that can be conveniently opened for air when needed. You’ll also need a lot of grow lights in your tropical greenhouse.
In winter, the further north you are from the equator, the less sunlight you will receive. Tropical and summer plants require as much sunlight as possible, therefore grow lights will help to compensate and keep them growing throughout the shortest days of the year. It will require specialised heaters and a fogger in the winter to maintain acceptable humidity levels, but fans or a cooling system may be required in the summer. Your tropical greenhouse will also need to be well-insulated to avoid wasting your heating and cooling efforts.
You’ll also need a lot of grow lights in your tropical greenhouse. In winter, the further north you are from the equator, the less sunlight you will receive. Tropical and summer plants require as much sunlight as possible, therefore grow lights will help to compensate and keep them growing throughout the shortest days of the year.
5. Planting Schedule for Year-Round Harvest
Because most vegetables are annual, plan your planting schedule carefully to provide a year-round crop in a tropical greenhouse. The number of seeds you sow during each interval will be determined by the amount of available space. The following is Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ recommended sowing schedule:
- Radishes: once a week
- Spinach: once a week
- Lettuce: once a week for young greens, once every ten days for full-size.
- Peas: once every ten days
- Bush beans: once every ten days
- Every two weeks for beets
- Every three weeks, carrots
- Every three weeks for cucumbers
- Every three weeks for melons
- Every 30 days, summer squash
Tomatoes will continue to produce as long as they are indeterminate, and peppers will continue to grow as they are perennials rather than annuals. Tomatoes and peppers can be propagated from cuttings, and carrots, onions, celery, and lettuce can be propagated from crowns. If potato plants are repeatedly buried in deeper and deeper fertile soil, they will continue to grow tubers.
In short, there are numerous ways that might assist you in enjoying a year-round vegetable crop in a greenhouse. All you need to do is make sure your setup and sowing schedule are correct.
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