Putting together a yard or garden is a joy for anyone with a green thumb and gives people a chance to grow and nourish plants, fruit trees and vegetables. For people in northern growing zones, though, low temperatures and harsh winter storms can put an end to the summer garden and even make some plants impossible. Gardeners in these zones use greenhouses to control the growing environment and grow a larger range of plants.
Northern Growing Zones
Northern growing zones may drop to temperatures of less than -30 degrees Fahrenheit, with accompanying snow, sleet and frozen ground. Zones 1 to 6 and even 7 have temperatures that kill many growing plants.
Greenhouse Plants - Winter
Greenhouses give northern gardeners a valuable option during winter, when dropping temperatures would normally kill many summer garden plants. Move plants into the greenhouse for winter to control both temperature and watering, to maintain cold-sensitive plants.
Greenhouse Plants - Summer
Even during the summer, some northern locations maintain temperatures that are too cold for warm-weather plants like tomatoes, citrus tress, orchids and lilies. In these cases, northern gardeners use the greenhouse year round, though they may open it up to allow for more air and sun in the summer.
Greenhouse growing requires some careful planning and considerations. Running heaters and fans may keep the plants warm, but also dries them out, so increase our waterings as necessary. Conversely, watch both the greenhouse and plants for fungus or mildew growth in this moist, enclosed situation.
Even with heating and sealed doors and windows, some northern greenhouses require additional warmth and insulation. Use a black oil drum full of water to trap and release the sun's warmth inside the greenhouse, and tape or glue bubble wrap to the greenhouse's windows to increase insulation by hand.