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How to Use a Green House to Grow Plants

Updated on January 30, 2013

Using a greenhouse to grow plants can best be defined through the formula P = [K2x (w1 + w2) x √(s/v)]/i. Where P equals plant....No I'm just kidding I made that up. For you mathematicians out there you'll notice that ever thing is divided by i an imaginary number... In fact growing plants in a greenhouse is much easier than that! And thank goodness.

There are a couple of benefits of using a greenhouse that may make it an attractive investment for a gardener.

These include:

  • Warmer Temperatures for early seed starting and winter growing
  • Seedling protection from storms and many pests
  • Higher control of water
  • In warm and mild climates the capacity to grow year round

These benefits and others have drawn serious gardeners, farmers and self-suffficient people to greenhouses for years. The beauty of a greenhouse is that it uses natural solar radiation to maximize plant growth and its incredibly simple to do.

How to Use a Greenhouse - Starts

Growing in a greenhouse is in a word simple and convenient and direct and super and... For cole crops, which are cool weather crops like kale, lettuce, broccoli and other leafy greens, you can plant them as long as you can keep the greenhouse above freezing. And is some areas or if you have a small heater that can even be year round. i have a friend that directs his dryer vent into the greenhouse and outside of a little bit of lint from time to time he's able to grow nearly year round hassle free. The magnified solar radiation allows the greenhouse temperatures to be well above the outside ambient temperature during the day.

There are two basic ways to grow plants in a greenhouse; direct sow or container. More often than not plant are grown in containers or flats. These plants are generally grown for seedling purposes to be transplanted out when the outside air temperature is within a homeostatic range for the specific plant.

This allows plants to have a jump start for the season and to get stronger in a controlled environment prior to being transplanted outside. This goes for warmer crops like tomatoes and peppers. Which can be year round if the climate is warmer or if you have a way of heating the greenhouse.

if you decide that direct plating in the ground of an open floored greenhouse is a better way to go. You'll end up with more and deeper roots, if your soil is fertile enough. For the most part growers who direct sow into the ground use this method as a staging area to later transport the plants out in the garden, though.

How to use a Greenhouse - Maintenance

Another benefit of a greenhouse is maintenance. During mild and warmer months houseplants can be moved into the greenhouse to soak up the extra solar radiation. Similarly, outside plant can be containerized and moved into the greenhouses to continue growth. Some typically seasonal plants, like peppers, can continue to fruit as the temperatures get colder if moved inside. In actuality peppers are perennials and if overwintered they will come back the next year. Moving them into the greenhouse is a good way of overwintering them.

Other warm climate plants like dwarf lemon and lime trees can survive winters in greenhouses even in cold climates if properly taken maintained. Using a greenhouse for maintenance is a great way to grow greater variety as well as growing plant for longer time periods.

Greenhouses can also be used to isolate and treat any plants that may have a disease or pest problem. Greenhouses can also act as a nursery for propagating plants as well.


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    • Askthegriz profile image

      LeRoy Demarest 4 years ago from Greenwood, DE

      Thanks. I eventually want a greenhouse to do my starts but unfortunately where we I live now there is no room on the south facing side for one.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Very interesting. We grew greenhouse roses for a short time and my brother-in-law makes a living out of growing herbs in a greenhouse. Thank you for the info. It's my goal to build a tiny strycture that I can keep on my porch just for salad herbs. Up+