How to Use a Greenhouse to Raise Plants

Overview

A greenhouse is a translucent shed that used the sun's rays to heat and protect temperate plants during winter. Anything can be sprouted and raised in the greenhouse including trees, vegetables, fruits and flowers. The most popular plants for greenhouse growing include tomatoes, eggplants and orchids.

Step 1

Select a location. Ideal locations for greenhouses have full sun exposure, well draining soil, shelter from harsh winds and are on a level surface.

Step 2

Test the soil. Ideal greenhouse soil should have a pH between 6 and 8 and not be lacking any nutrients. For a full soil readout contact your county extension office and obtain a sample kit. For a less accurate, but still useful result that is specific to the soil's pH, soil test kits can be obtained from gardening centers.

Step 3

Create the beds. Raised beds protect the plants further from any deep freezing drafts. Build the raised flower beds by forming a rectangle with some unfinished, non-pressure treated wood planks and nail the edges together using a hammer and nails. Fill the beds with a pH neutral garden soil.

Step 4

Hang a minimum-maximum thermometer in the greenhouse for temperature monitoring. The temperature in your greenhouse should never rise above 80 degrees, or the plants will begin wilting and dying.

Step 5

Plant you beds. Read the directions on your seed packets and sow the seeds as directed. Keep the soil moist while the seeds are germinating. Remember that you do not need to fill all the beds immediately. A greenhouse provides extended growing through late fall into early spring.

Step 6

Create a daily routine for plant care. An example routine may include starting the day by midmorning and check the temperature of the greenhouse, opening any doors and vents as necessary to maintain a sufficient temperature, dampening the plants midmorning and check for weeds and pests, returning in the early afternoon and check the temperature again and watering the plants and closing up the greenhouse in the late afternoon.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Wood planks
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Garden soil
  • Minimum-maximum thermometer
  • Seeds

References

  • Shelter-System: Gardening Manual
  • "Greenhouse Gardener's Companion, Revised: Growing Food and Flowers in Your Greenhouse or Sunspace"; Shane Smith and Marjorie Leggitt; 2000.
Keywords: greenhouse, plant care, greenhouse growing

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.