Greenhouses are popular with both amateur and avid gardeners, any professional greenhouse grower knows that some greenhouse accessories and add on systems, are extremely vital to achieving maximum year round growing environments.
Not only do these glasshouses give you the chance to grow some of your favorite plants, fruits and vegetables, they also enable you to grow them all year-round too. However, purchasing a greenhouse structure is just the start of it, as there are plenty of things you will also have to consider buying. These are eleven of the most essential accessories available for your greenhouse.
There are normally two types of heating systems when it comes to greenhouses, a central system and a unit system. Which one you need will depend on a variety of things, including what sort of plants you are planning to grow and the size of the greenhouse itself. Each heating system has unique benefits, as well as disadvantages so it is important you properly research which one would most suit your particular gardening needs.
In order to maintain a proper greenhouse environment, you should invest in a ventilation system. You can choose from an automatic or manual system. Automatic systems offer convenience because an automatic timer will open the vents of a greenhouse when a certain temperature is reached. In some cases, a fan may also be activated. Manual systems rely on a person opening them by hand and are generally good for using only in very basic greenhouses. A good ventilation system will also reduce the appearance of mildew and mold.
No greenhouse plants would be complete without a supply of plant fertilizer to aid healthy growth. While standard fertilizers are relatively inexpensive, the more expensive organic fertilizers are gaining in popularity. Not only are the organic options good for the plants, they help protect the surrounding environment too.
Every gardener is aware of the need to protect their plants from both walking and flying pests. Therefore, no greenhouse is complete without a decent pest control system. As well as the standard pesticides, there are several eco-friendly versions for those worried about inadvertently damaging their plants or the environment. A simple mesh will help to keep out flies and other small bugs.
Water wands release tiny droplets of water in a fine mist directly over the plants. These wands work on a timer, so you will have peace of mind regarding your plant’s water supply. Drip systems are often larger and supply a greater quantity of water. A drip system also uses a timer and is ideal for a large area watering.
If you have an active water system you will also need to implement an irrigation system to get rid of excess and waste water from the greenhouse. Virtually all systems work in a similar fashion with only size to differentiate them. They all work by carrying excess water away from the plants and into a designated area, which is usually the soil in your garden.
Growing racks are great space savers for smaller greenhouses. They are designed to protect plants from harsh weather conditions and accidental knocks. For smaller structures, greenhouse shelving units are often used as either a two-tier freestanding unit, three-tier freestanding unit, or a four-tier freestanding unit. These units are easy to assemble and the shelving is essential for keeping a greenhouse tidy and organized.
Lighting units provide basic light for when you need to work in your greenhouse when there is little natural sunlight. The units should be waterproof and feature a safety trip-switch that will automatically stop the flow of electricity if the unit is compromised by bad weather, water or anything else. Greenhouse lighting is essential for winter gardening, when hours of daylight are drastically reduced.
A thermometer may be a small accessory, but it is definitely one of the most important when it comes to greenhouse gardening. Because certain plants grow best in certain temperatures, a thermometer will help ensure the proper temperature is achieved and if the temperature drops below a safe limit. Plants do not fare well in cold weather and frost can kill them quickly, so a thermometer helps ensure your greenhouse temperature is regulated.
Everyone knows that plants need sunlight to grow however, not everyone knows that too much sunlight can be detrimental to their growth. Cloth shades fit on the windows and can be pulled down when the sunlight is strong, to give the plants some shade. The shades will also help prevent the inside temperature from becoming uncomfortable.
Special micro-fiber cloths and demister spray are essential cleaning items for a greenhouse. Used together they help eliminate condensation on greenhouse windows, which reduces the chances of mold and mildew.
This is simply, a list of the most important accessories one might need, for optimal growing circumstances. Every structure is different; due to the fact that it will be located within a unique climate, serve a different purpose, be used for growing different types of plants and be constructed with different materials. For most people, an excellent greenhouse garden can be achieved with just heaters for winter, shade cloth for the warmer months, manual or automatically opening ventilation window units, lights and a misting system.
Marion Catubig is a Garden & Greenhouse contributing editor and the owner of GreenhouseHut.com a company that sells hobby greenhouses and other gardening supplies.