Greenhouses have existed for nearly 2000 years, becoming an essential feature of gardens around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Greenhouses allow you to monitor the temperature, moisture and light levels which your plants are exposed to, as well as protecting them from the worst of the elements. Ultimately, greenhouses increase both what you can grow, and how well you can grow it.
Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes, and can offer different benefits to different people. For some, a small, tucked away aluminium greenhouse provides a simple way to grow weather-sensitive plants, while for others, a greenhouse can incorporate concrete foundations, brick walls and a number of technologies to maintain the right indoor climate. If at first, building a greenhouse seems daunting, you’ll find that many companies will install them for you, making the task a whole lot easier. Here are some of the key benefits you can expect from a garden or allotment greenhouse.
PROTECTION FROM EXTREME WEATHER
Rain can’t get into a greenhouse, meaning no waterlogged soil and battered foliage. It’s also nice to be able to garden in a downpour without getting soaked! Secondly, greenhouses protect plants from the wind, which can otherwise weaken, dehydrate and even kill them. Bear in mind that greenhouses can overheat in the hottest summer months, so it’s a good idea to invest in some form of ventilation. Often the best choice is to use automatic vents which will open when it’s too hot.
This is a fairly obvious, but very beneficial feature of greenhouses; pests find it a lot harder to get into a greenhouse than they do an exposed garden. You’ll also often find that pests thrive after periods of extreme weather, which greenhouses don’t fall victim to. In particular, many fungal and bacterial diseases can spread in waterlogged soil, which can be prevented by using a greenhouse. Of course, larger pests like rabbits and birds will be unable to get into a greenhouse, again protecting your plants.
FAVOURABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR PLANT GROWTH
A warm and humid condition can be created inside a greenhouse, providing a higher quantity of available solar radiation which is perfect for many vegetables. You just have to step inside a greenhouse to know how warm they can become, and the high moisture levels in the artificial atmosphere can also be very good for plant growth.
WIDER RANGE OF AVAILABLE PLANTS
By controlling temperature, light and moisture levels, you may find yourself growing plants in a greenhouse that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. As well as being able to grow a wider variety of plants, you’ll find that plant yields, quality and uniformity are likely to be greater within a greenhouse. Finally, you don’t need to worry about where you place plants in relation to each other within a greenhouse, as each will have their own pot, meaning that they will not encroach on each other’s soil.
LONGER GROWING SEASON
As they offer a monitored, steady environment, greenhouses allow plants to be grown at different times of the year than they could be outdoors. You can spread out planting so that you are fed for longer periods of the year, and will find yourself working outside of traditional seasonal limitations with the use of a greenhouse. Additionally, areas which could have been previously unusable - for example where the soil is unfit for growing - can be brought to life with a greenhouse.
All of the benefits that greenhouses offer to a garden can be equally attainable when placing one in an allotment. You’ll find that plots can be fairly exposed to the weather, and a greenhouse can provide that all-needed protection your young plants, as well as creating a nurturing indoor environment. Be aware that most allotment owners won’t let you build concrete bases and brick structures on your plot, so aluminium or simple wooden greenhouses are the best choice. Pick a flat piece of ground which isn’t prone to frost or shading and get building, you’ll be seeing the benefits in no time!
While at first, installing a greenhouse can seem like a big undertaking, the huge number of benefits that they can offer will make you wonder how you ever coped without one. From protecting plants from pests, to extending their growing seasons, providing bigger yields and increasing the quality of your produce, greenhouses are an excellent addition to any grower’s armoury. So why not install one this summer?