More and more people are exploring the options of growing their own produce using a greenhouse.
Not only can it give you much healthier and flavorful vegetables for your table, gardening is good for you.
It can reduce the level of the stress hormone Cortisol. Growing your own food can give you a healthy workout, keeping you moving and stretching.
Studies have shown that direct contact with dirt and plants can help to boost your immune system.
It is a peaceful occupation that strengthens both mind and body.
There are many other advantages to growing plants in a greenhouse, and we have listed three of them below.
Growing plants in a greenhouse will give you a longer growing season.
Depending on what climate you live in, you might not be able to grow plants year-round, but you will be able to grow plants for a far longer time.
Again, depending on where you live a greenhouse can extend the growing season by over 60%.
You will be able to extend the growing season by months, especially if you plant cool-weather crops.
Crops like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and arugula will flourish in cooler conditions.
Potatoes, peas, onions, cauliflower, and radishes are other cool-weather crops that would do well in a greenhouse.
These vegetables grow best at temperatures that are about 15 degrees cooler than the temps needed by warm-season crops.
Even in colder climates, you will have a longer growing season.
Temperatures within a greenhouse do not vary like temperatures in an unenclosed space outside would.
The sun's radiation is trapped within the greenhouse, and that heat is retained in the enclosure.
In a greenhouse, the plants are not impacted by heavy rains or strong winds. Your plants will not get drowned or blown over.
If you choose to heat your greenhouse year-round, that can get to be pricey.
Some have chosen to install a Ground to Air Heat Transfer (GAHT) system that is sometimes referred to as earth pipes.
A GAHT system will capture the excess summertime heat accumulated in a greenhouse and store it in underground pipes for later use.
The underground pipes are surrounded by insulation to help keep the heat from escaping. While this sounds like an ideal system, it can be a very pricey proposition.
A system for a 1,00-foot greenhouse can be several thousand dollars.
Depending on the size of your greenhouse, the use of passive solar collectors might be a viable option. A passive solar collector is a wall of black-painted water jugs.
The jugs will collect solar heat during the day and reflect it into the greenhouse at night to help prevent freezing.
The most practical and cost-effective way to manage a greenhouse is to use the environment to do the job of heating for you.
And with the sun contained within the structure, you will be able to lengthen the usual growing period, even if you are not able to grow year round.
A greenhouse provides protection. The weather is unpredictable, and crops literally live or die by the weather.
From baking in the sun to lack of rain, plants can die before they ever get a chance to grow.
Those who do a traditional garden out of doors know what it is like to continually watch the sky and be subject to whatever Mother Nature hands out.
Flash floods are just as bad as no rain as it can drown the young plants.
The wind can also do enough damage to take down plants that have spent weeks nicely growing.
It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility to experience hail in the summer. That alone can ruin an entire garden in the space of a few minutes.
When your plants are in a greenhouse, they have protection for those elements.
They get the light, warmth, and safety to grow without being assailed by the elements.
Protective netting will also help in the greenhouse to cover plants that might otherwise have insects munching on them.
While you might sympathize with the bunnies who think you wouldn't miss a lettuce leaf or two, your plants will be safer from the critters that hop and from the four-legged variety.
Deer are drawn to gardens. It is like having a 24 hour McDonald's drive-through.
They also have a decent appetite and a fawn or two in tow.
Being able to shut a door that separates your crops from those invaders will have you breathing a sigh of relief knowing that you will be able to bring them to harvest.
A greenhouse allows you to grow a wide variety of plants.
The vegetable plants produced in a greenhouse tend to grow faster and be healthier than those that are grown outside in a traditional garden.
In a greenhouse, the plants don't suffer from a pounding rain or a freak hail storm.
I have a friend whose beautiful crop of corn was completely blown over by the wind during a recent thunder storm.
A greenhouse will be perfect for growing some of the more traditional crops that you think of when thinking of what to grow.
An ideal place for tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, beans, squash, and cucumbers will all do well in a greenhouse.
A greenhouse also lets you experiment with crops that you have never grown before or try your hand at exotic flowers.
There are numerous plants that are not run-of-the-mill and will do good in a greenhouse.
Here are some of them:
A nutritious herb, ginseng, is a slow-growing perennial plant. It has medicinal benefits that make it a desirable plant.
Ginseng is thought to improve blood sugar control. The tea can work as a natural appetite suppressant. It is also felt to enhance stamina and energy levels.
These are small, immature versions of plants. You would harvest them in the same manner that you harvest herbs, and you do it when the plants are about two inches tall.
Microgreens are a great source of nutrients. They are also full of enzymes because of how fast they grow.
You can add them as garnishes, on sandwiches, in salads, and even whip them up in a smoothie.
Chilies:This plant loves the warmer temperature that a greenhouse will provide. Maybe that is why chilies add heat to whatever dish you cook them in!
They can be used for making a hot sauce or a spicy syrup to use in cocktails and other drinks.
Dry them out and make homemade chili powder.
When you use them for cooking, remember to add them at the start so that the cooking process allows the chilies to cook out, the flavor to develop, and the heat to diffuse.
A staple in the southern states, okra is stewed with tomatoes or tossed in a Creole gumbo.
Also used as a thickening agent in stews and served over rice, okra love the warmth of a greenhouse.
You can use them on a shish kabob, or dip them in buttermilk and cornmeal, toss them in a deep fryer and finish with kosher salt.
Try Growing Flowers
You could also try your hand at growing flowers in a greenhouse. They will add a pop of color to your dining table and be a great gift to take to friends.
There are thousands of types of these colorful plants.
With jade green leaves that are rounded, these will flower in red, blue, purple, lavender, pink, white, and bi-color blossoms throughout the year.
With more than 25,000 species, the orchid is the second largest of flowering plants.
Orchids grow in every climate except for glacial zones and desserts.
Orchids do well in a greenhouse because the temperature, humidity, and air movement is much easier to control.
You can grow lilies in a specially prepared bed in a greenhouse, rather than in pots. Lilies tend to "wander" through the soil and do better that way.
With the right amount of heat and light, the lilies will start to grow earlier and also bloom earlier.
The Amazon lily will grow up to two feet in height. The white blooms are very fragrant and smell great in your greenhouse.
Though not really a flower, this plant takes the prize for being unusual. It is a beautiful bush that can reach six feet tall.
What makes it unique is the long cattail flowers that look like pipe cleaners and are bright red.
There are many more advantages to having your greenhouse and growing your crops, household plants, and flowers.
You can start your crops earlier and be harvesting earlier, too. Vegetables that you grow yourself taste better, and you know precisely what has been used on them.
You are the one who controls how the plants are grown so that there is no doubt you will have pesticide-free food on your table.
You already know about the studies that have shown the mind and body benefits you will gain by working in a garden.
Having a greenhouse will bring you the advantage of working in the soil, experiencing the growing process, and put food on your table all at the same time!