A greenhouse is an ideal way to grow plants, fruits and vegetables in a controlled environment, especially if your climate doesn't permit you to do so. With this in mind, greenhouses are very popular in regions where winters are very cold. Usually made of plastic or glass, greenhouses come in a variety of sizes and allow natural sunlight to filter through without the other elements such as cold air, wind, sleet or snow to touch the plants. This way, plants can grow year-round.
The location of your greenhouse is the most important aspect. You need a level area that is exposed to the maximum amount of winter sunlight available. Consider the change of the sun's angle in different seasons, nearby large objects that can cast shadows, such as trees and houses. The ideal place for a greenhouse is with the longest side facing south.
Greenhouses heat up easily and quickly, so it is important to have proper ventilation. Your greenhouse needs ventilation since the plants can only grow with air circulation. Keep your greenhouse plants evenly spread apart so the air flows evenly and consistently. Get rid of the excess heat by choosing a ventilation system that works best in your region, climate and greenhouse size/design. One of the simple methods to providing ventilation is to open up your greenhouse to increase air flow, or else hose down the floor of the greenhouse to cool it by evaporation.
Pests are a threat, even for plants in a greenhouse. Herbs that repel insects from borers to mosquitoes include cinnamon, cloves, garlic, neem leaf, bary leaf, chamomile, tansy, sage, peppermint, pennyroyal and lemongrass. Another natural insecticide is to let a gallon container of onions, garlic and water stand for a week. Spray this mixture on your plants.
For added plant growth, integrate crushed egg shells into the soil around the plants and add used coffee grounds for more acidity if desired.