Exercise your Green Thumb Building a Greenhouse!

Posted by Kevin Hughes on Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 1:23pm.

Promising Young Plants
Everyone at some time or another discovers the need for a place to call home. For Idahoans often that means digging in deep...to the dirt that is. There is something special about the relationship between mankind and cultivated land. There is a certain "Satisfaction" in watching seeds burst from the fertile soils and thrive... until one day the fresh vegetables and produce end up on the dinner table. So no matter if your looking for big acreage properties for a full-on farm or just a small garden plot in your own backyard- you'll find just the right property available through-out most Idaho communities.

It's not difficult to grow plants at home in Idaho, particularly if there is a greenhouse available. A backyard greenhouse can be built easily and inexpensively and can provide fresh fruit and vegetables as well as natural plant growth. This can be a great way to become a better gardener... but doesn't necessarily mean you have to have a clunky big structure cluttering your backyard. I
n many Idaho neighborhoods you can find small, efficient greenhouses that are functional and attractive. Living within a neighborhood these days doesn't have to mean sacrificing your love for gardening.

Building the Right Green House
If you do decide that you want your own back yard greenhouse, here are some great tips to give you a head start on the project: Choose a portable tent frame with a rather small structure size. This frame can be found at any hardware or outdoor activity store. Look for a frame with a maximum height of 6 feet and a width of 9 feet. This will provide the frame for a small sized portable greenhouse structure.

Determine the dimensions of the outside of the tent frame. These measurements will be used to determine the number of bed sheets needed to cover the frame. A flat king sheet is generally 102 by 108 inches in size. A tent frame that is 6 feet by 9 feet will need two king sized sheets to cover it.

Center one of the sheets over the top of the frame. It should cover most of the frame structure. Wrap part of the sheet around the frame and then use a stapler to secure the sheet into place over the frame. Wrap the second sheet around the remaining frame structure and secure it with staples. One section of the tent frame will remain open. Position the greenhouse next to a building for protection.

Place the necessary supporting tables inside the greenhouse. Small stools and tables will work best. Determine which plants will be grown. The following vegetables grow well in a greenhouse: cucumbers, lettuces, carrots and peppers. For other plants and fruits, look for items that do well in the same environment as the vegetables in the list.

Planting 

Fill seed trays with soil. Plant the seeds in seed trays by pressing them about ¼ inch into the soil. Cover the top of
Green and Growing
 the seeds with more soil. Place the trays on the tables and stools. Place a thermometer in the greenhouse to be able to determine the temperature levels. If possible, place grow lights in the greenhouse.

Water and fertilize the plants, fruits and vegetables as instructed on the seed packages. Once the seeds have grown to twice their size, replant them in larger pots. Continue the watering and fertilizing schedule until the plants have reached full growth.

There are many local organizations clubs and groups that get together to swap tricks and also to share in the fruits of labor. In fact the University of Idaho has an extension dedicated to Idaho Landscaping and Gardening so you can always stay on top of gardening news.

 

Kevin Hughes

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