Feed your Family with a Greenhouse
When you have a four season greenhouse - you can grow practically any vegetable you want. You can start plants in mid-winter and continue to harvest long after fall frosts arrive. Your food is fresher and more nutritious when you grow it yourself. Plus you don't have to worry about pesticides and chemicals in your food. In addition, you are really benefiting the global community by growing local food that does not require expensive fuel costs to transport it to your grocery store.
Benefits of a Greenhouse
On any given day each spring, millions of gardeners dig, till, spade, rake and plant gardens. Three months later they’re desperate to give away a glut of fresh produce, but in another month they would give their favorite garden spade for just one more vine-ripe tomato. If this sounds familiar, a year-round greenhouse can help you escape that cycle.
The Endless Harvest
Use your greenhouse and master the art of rotation planting. It will supply you with fresh produce weeks or months longer because you’re no longer at the mercy of the seasons. It isn’t difficult, but it does take planning. Instead of sowing seeds directly into the garden, transplant robust, healthy plants once the danger of frost has passed. Look for the "Date to Maturity" and the "Days to Germination" information on your seed packets to determine when to start seeds. Count back from the last frost day for your zone then sow the first seeds in your greenhouse. Each week plant a few more seeds until the danger of frost has passed.
Once the danger of frost passes you can begin sowing seeds in the garden. Again, sow a few each week until you can no longer be sure they will mature before the first killing frost. In late summer transplant some seedlings to containers. As the nights get cooler and the days shorter move these containers into your greenhouse. The plants will continue to produce long after the first frost touches your outdoor garden. There are many ways to extend the yield of your outdoor garden too with cold frames and frost protectors.
Plan to Preserve
Preserving garden produce lets you enjoy summer’s bounty throughout the year. To preserve produce efficiently you want a lot of plants to mature at the same time. To accomplish this, determine when you want to can or dry your produce, then count the number of days back to determine when to start extra plants in your greenhouse. When you can your own produce, you know exactly what you are putting into your body - less salt and sugar and no chemicals or preservatives. To learn more about preserving food at home contact your local extension office.
Wintertime Spring Garden Greens
If you live in an area with less winter light and more cold temperatures, you can still enjoy fresh salad greens all year long. Lettuce, kale, chard, and spinach are just a few of the many crops that thrive in a properly maintained winter greenhouse. Many seed catalogs offer varieties that were developed for greenhouse growing. You will need a supply of containers deep enough for good root development. We recommend square or rectangle planter boxes to maximize your greenhouse growing area.
Fresh Thanksgiving Salad
Research in the Northwest demonstrated that with a basic Cold Frame, like the Deluxe Cold Frame, you could extend your growing season six to eight weeks in the spring and fall. This means you can plant in your garden earlier and continue to harvest much later. Think of the fun you will have serving up a fresh garden salad on Thanksgiving Day!
When you grow your own food, you know the food you put on your table is 100% natural, nutritious and safe. Perhaps it’s time to consider the practical benefits of greenhouse gardening. After all, your garden is the ultimate in safe food supply just as a greenhouse is the ultimate gardening tool.