Greenhouse Gardening Ideas

Greenhouses offer gardeners the chance to grow everything from tomatoes to orchids in even the most frigid winter areas. Used as home-based businesses and implemented for personal use only, greenhouses are even used to breed certain species of fish and aquatic plants. They fill up quickly so good organization is key to successful greenhouse gardening.

Breed Tropical Fish and Plants

Those who successfully keep aquarium plants can vouch for how quickly their tanks fill up with excess foliage. Luckily, many aquatic species are readily propagated from cuttings and division. Instead of throwing viable cuttings away, you can grow them out for profit. Aquatic plants will grow year round if give enough light, food and heat. Planting fast growing, popular species such as dwarf baby's tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides) java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) and glosso (Glossostigma elatinoides) will help increase the chances of people purchasing your plants. Plants not sold make excellent additions to compost. For the more adventurous breeding tropical fish is another way to profit from a greenhouse. Small kiddy pools, trash cans, bowls and nearly any watertight, fish safe container can be used to breed fish. Children's pools offer a large surface and bottom area suited for growing plants with fish. Some fish species to try include guppies (Poecilia reticulata,) zebra danios (Danio rerio) and bettas (Betta splendens.)

Medicinal Greenhouse Garden

Using your greenhouse to grow herbs and other medicinal plants ensures that only the most natural and freshest plants go into your foods, soaps and other homemade beauty and healing items. Growing your own medicinal is the only way to be sure you have the purest stuff available. Many useful medicinal are cold hardy, but go dormant in the winter losing their leaves and stems. Growing these plants in a greenhouse means the possibility of harvesting them all winter long. Try growing soapwort (Saponaria officinalis,) catnip (Nepeta cataria) and shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) as natural substitutes for soap and conditioner. Each of these herbs boasts cleansing or conditioning properties. Mint, lemon grass and citrus are common uplifting additives in ointments, drinks and cosmetics. Other plants to try include bee balm (Monarda didyma,) hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus,) blueberries (Vaccinium uliginosum,) cinnamon basil (Ocimum basilicum) and cattails (Typha latifolia.) It is wise to research all plants before using them on you, loved ones or pets.

Perfume Garden

Much like a medicinal garden a perfume garden is planted for its ability to uplift and heal with scent. The essential oils are extracted from the flowers by using clean lard, vodka and time. Each plant and species differs greatly in how much essential oil it contains. Sticking with plants that produce copious amounts of scented oils will help you get more "bang for your buck". Plants such as honeysuckle (Lonicera,) gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides oraugusta) and jasmine (Jasminum officinale) are heavy laden with fragrant blossoms. Though roses are a popular scent it takes many blossoms (not to mention lots of room for the plants) to make enough oil to use or sell. Oils are extracted from more than just blossoms. Fragrant herbs and spices all contain essential oil, experimenting with different species and how much of each to use in a fragrance is the best way to judge a plants usefulness.

Keywords: uses for greenhouses, greenhouse growing ideas, greenhouses for profit

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on Suite101.com and Demand Studios.