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How to Use a Small Greenhouse

Tip

Keep a calendar to track germination and production.

Keep a notebook detailing experiments with pollination, growth rates, and other details.

Small greenhouses can be just as productive and useful as large ones. Greenhouses are used for starting seeds, wintering plants, extending growing season, or creating your own specialized variety of plants. Small greenhouses require more intense care because plants will be grown in closer proximity. There is no need for an intricate watering or lighting system in a small greenhouse. Careful planning will provide you with enough space to start both indoor and outdoor plants.

Install shelves perpendicularly along the walls of the greenhouse with eighteen inches between each shelving unit. Place the potting bench in the center of the greenhouse so that you have easy access to all the shelves. Set up grow lights over the top shelves and install beneath shelves for lower levels. Set up worm compost bin underneath the potting bench.

Install a hose reel and wind a hose around it. Attach a spray nozzle to the hose and set it for a gentle spray or mist. A watering can is sufficient for watering germinating seeds and recently potted plants. Mix potting soil and compost at a ratio of 1:1. Fill the seed trays with the soil mixture. Plant seeds and label each seed tray with the names of the seeds and the date that they were planted.

Group seed trays so that plants with similar light and water requirements are placed together. Leave the top and bottom shelves available for seedlings, plant cuttings, and transplants that have more light requirements than germinating seeds.

Prevent the spread of disease by removing dead leaves and stems immediately. Small greenhouses are prone to quick spreading of disease. Add dead plant parts and kitchen scraps to the worm compost bin. Worm casings provide a ready supply of well balanced organic fertilizer.

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