Build Your Own Greenhouse

Tiberian Growdome System

Are you tired of dealing with so-called organic foods or or vegetables that you know are covered in lethal chemicals? If you are, why not grow your own food? It is not nearly as hard as people make it out to be Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding things that you can do! You are being healthy in two ways; you're growing all-natural foods AND you're staying fit by growing food! This ebook teaches you how to make a simple device from ancient times that allows you to grow the very best food that you can at home! This device is much like a small greenhouse You will be able to control the climate inside to make sure that your plants are always in great weather. Don't go along with the rapidly expanding food prices; start growing your own, and don't play the game of people that want to hurt the food supply with chemicals and genetic engineering! Continue reading...

Tiberian Growdome System Summary


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My Tiberian Growdome System Review

Highly Recommended

The writer presents a well detailed summery of the major headings. As a professional in this field, I must say that the points shared in this ebook are precise.

I give this ebook my highest rating, 10/10 and personally recommend it.

Greenhouses Are Practical

More people than ever before are growing vegetables, and they want them year round. Greenhouse manufacturers have capitalized on the boom and increased sales all over the country. Economies of scale and the growing use of plastics, fiberglass and other inexpensive materials have brought greenhouse prices within the reach of millions some small units sell for as little as 100. Even the grander, aluminum-and-glass styles cost only around 1,000. Furthermore, a marriage of experience and modern technology has enabled an increasing number of companies to offer greenhouse kits that can be built and installed in a single weekend. For the adventurous and handy consumer, these offer an opportunity to save a tidy sum in construction costs. The good news is that greenhouses are a practical proposition just about everywhere in the United States today (though, with recent and continuing increases in the price of energy, special attention needs to be given to keeping heat loss to a minimum)....

A basic text for beginning greenhouse growers

Sandie Shores' Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs (8), based on the fresh-cut herb business she began and operated for 20 years in southern Minnesota, can serve as a manual for inexperienced greenhouse herb growers. The first part of her book deals with the business side of growing herbs and includes information on things like business laws, financing, insurance, finding markets (wholesale, restaurant, supermarket, farmers' market, etc.), managing employees, and pricing. Part Two discusses greenhouse planning and operation including information on the various types, how to choose one, how to erect one, and what equipment will be necessary (heating, cooling, lighting, fans, benches, irrigation, etc.).

Siting and Erecting a Greenhouse

Erecting Greenhouse

There often seems to he some doubt as lo whether a greenhouse shouid be sited north to south or east to west. In practice I find that this makes little difference, I consider it more important to site the greenhouse so that it fits in with one s other gardening plans the plants are then positioned in the greenhouse so that their requirements are most nearly matched. Obviously, those plants requiring the maximum amount of sunshine will be placed on the south side, if this can be managed, and those needing less light on the north side. When the sides of the house run east to west then there will be more equable light conditions - but it is really a case of swings and roundabouts. What ls more important is to have the greenhouse near the house or garage so that water and electricity supplies are easily laid on without too much expense, or if the greenhouse is sited elsewhere in the garden, to make sure that both these services are near to hand. Laying electricity cable, in particular, is...

Kitsprecut greenhouse

Wood Framed Greenhouse

Most models Of greenhouses on the market today come as knocked down structures that must be assembled on the spot. It is only a short step away to buy a greenhouse kit The kit industry generally has become much more reliable in recent years than it once was, and relatively few buyers of greenhouse kits complain nowadays about the way their kits fit together. Metal wood, glass or fiberglass kits are well designed and quite easy to assemble. The less expensive, soft plastic greenhouses (from 150) can sometimes cause more problems. Larger units (over 20 feet in length) tend to become a construction problem because they need a poured foundation and built-up sides. It may make sense to have a local contractor with greenhouse experience help you with a large installation-ask your local nurseryman for advice and a recommendation. Most greenhouses today require do-it-yourself installation. Those with glazing in place go together faster than unglazed systems. Both aluminum frame and wood frame...

Glasshouse red spider mite Tetranychus urticae and T cinnabarinus

Mites Glass House

This pest is of tropical origin and thrives best in high greenhouse temperatures. Both species are 1 mm in length. The first species (T. urticae) is yellowish in colour, with two black spots (see Figure 14.25). The female lays about 100 tiny spherical eggs on the underside of the leaf, and after a period of three days the tiny six-legged larva moults to produce the nymph stage that resembles the adult. The life cycle length varies markedly from 62 days at 10 C, to 6 days at 35 C when the pest's multiplication potential is extremely high. In autumn, when the daylight period decreases to 14 h and temperatures fall, egg production ceases and the fertilized females, which are now red in colour, move into the greenhouse structures to hibernate (diapause), representing foci for the next spring's infestation. Figure 14.25 (a) Glasshouse red spider in the centre (b) webbing Figure 14.25 (a) Glasshouse red spider in the centre (b) webbing Glasshouse red spider mite (X100) Figure...

Building Your Own Greenhouse

Canada Wood Materals Make

Building your own greenhouse gives you more greenhouse for your money and more flexibility to have the size, shape and design that you want. A homemade greenhouse can be anything from a window annex to a 70-foot superdome It can be built Figure 9.14 Instant greenhouse structures Barclay Horticulture offers a whole series of small, instant greenhouses made of tear-resistant woven polyethylene and durable aluminum frames. Sizes range from 5 feet 10 inches by 4 feet 8 inches to 11 feet 8 inches by 17 feet 8 inches. Both the freestanding and lean-to structures can be used as a greenhouse spring, summer and fall, and as additional storage in winter. on a wood, pipe or structural metal frame. It is even possible to make a greenhouse from recycled or salvaged materials. Most experts recommend experimenting with a modest unit before tackling a more ambitious project But anyone who can saw straight and hammer a nail, can build a greenhouse-all it takes is some spare time and as little as about...

Greenhouse Construction

Porch Framing Construction Design

All the different types of greenhouses have their individual advantages and disadvantages, depending on the circumstances of their intended use. The following should help you determine which type is most suitable for you. Convertible greenhouse Designed for year-round use. the new Sun-Porch model is an insulated winter greenhouse that converts to a summer screened room. Convertible greenhouse Designed for year-round use. the new Sun-Porch model is an insulated winter greenhouse that converts to a summer screened room. Window models The smallest permanent unit you would want to consider is a window greenhouse. Often you can leave the original window in place and use it to regulate the supply of air and heat in your window unit. Window greenhouse frames can be made of aluminum or wood. The basic structure is attached to the outside of the window, and sections of glass or plastic are then installed within this framework. Sunlight enters on the two short sides and through the large front....

The Prefabricated Greenhouse

Prefabricated Greenhouse

More and more companies are catching on to the market demand for affordable, hobby-style greenhouses. One of those companies, RION, has designed a clever line of full-sized, prefabricated greenhouses that can be shipped by UPS. From what I've heard, they snap together in a couple hours and out last many of their treated wood counterparts. For just a little more than you would spend on plans, lumber, glazing and hardware, you can get up and growing in one of these nifty prefab houses in a fraction of the time, and never worry about rotting wood and termites to boot.

Erecting an alloy greenhouse

Erecting Greenhouse

Many greenhouses are now supplied in pack form Be careful to check that Mil the listed components, screws, nuts, bolts, and so on are present before you begin erection. The site needs to be raked level to provide a solid support for the base. Keep Ihi1 greenhouse as far away as possible from any solrd fences that would cast a shadow on it. Ensure thai ihe base is firmly secured to the Inundation, otherwise the greenhouse may shift m high winds - a common cause of glass breakage. In this greenhouse model the vertical panes of glass overlap Spring clips hold the glass firmly but thev allow broken panes to be changed easily and quickiy Work completed Although the structure looks complicated, erection of such greenhouses is well within the compass of most amateur gardeners

The DoItYourself Greenhouse

If you are at all handy with a hammer and saw, consider building your own greenhouse. You can find many plans on the web by doing an internet search for greenhouse plans. It's a project that will take two people a weekend or so to complete and it can give you 10 to 20 years of service if you use quality materials. Erecting any kind of structure on your property may require review by the zoning board, especially if you are building on a concrete slab. If a review or variance is required, the town which will usually ask your closest neighbors if they object. For this reason, I visited my neighbors before breaking ground to fill them in on my plans. Needless to say, I wound up with several additional mouths to feed. Little did they know I'd be feeding them anyway. After all, it's a hydroponic greenhouse

The Unheated Greenhouse

The unhealed greenhouse is a valuable asset to any gardener hut it is rather limited in its scope. The choice of plants must necessarily he restricted to the more hardy or those which need only slight protection during the winter months. An unhealed greenhouse becomes more useful if it is lined with thin polythene sheeting to serve the same purpo*.- as double glazing. This certainly helps to keep out less severe frosts and maintain a higher temperature, thus making it possible to grow a w ider range of plants. It is very important with this type of house to use the ventilators to keep the air circulating freely in winter. Nothing is worse for plants than stagnant air. which, among other things, encourages attacks from botrytis and other fungus diseases. Ventilation must he given throughout the year hul obviously with discretion and intelligence in the coldest weather. Watering, too. must be done with especial can in the winter months for plants in unhealed houses are barely growing at...

Organic greenhouse production

Organic production in Denmark has evolved during the last decades. The number of organic farms has increased from 400 in 1989 to 3500 in 2003 (Danish Plant Directorate, 2003). However, the organic greenhouse production has not followed the same steep increase. The greenhouse vegetable production covers only 6.2 ha (Danish Plant Directorate, 2003) corresponding to less than 5 of total greenhouse vegetable production, and production of ornamentals and herbs are almost non-existing. One of the major obstacles towards organic greenhouse production is controlling the fertilisation in order to obtain sufficient nutrition without risking high leaching losses. When growing plants in closed containers the nutrition is even more important since suitable supplementary organic fertilisers are scarce. In addition, structure and stability of the substrate influence plant growth. Thus, in order to develop organic greenhouse production more focus on nutrition and structure of growing systems is...

Plasticcovered greenhouses

Undoubtedly the biggest rival nowadays to the conventional greenhouse is the polythene-covered structure, of which several designs arc available. Its popularity is due to its relative cheapness, resulting trom the simplicity of the framework and thesold-in-a-carton approach. The basic framework in most cases is of tubular alloy or galvanized steel, and 6oo-gaugc polythene sheeting is the usual covering material. Several factors affect the life of the sheeting so ti is not easy to be definite as to how often it will need replacing. Polythene life will be extended by tile addition of an ultra-violet inhibitor (UV1) during the manufacturing process, and polythttne so treated is now widely available. The tautness of the cover and the care with which it is put over its frame can make all the difference between a long and a short lite. It is advisable first to wrap tape round those parts of the frame which might snag the cover and to put on the polythene sheet on a warm day. Polythene...

Glasshouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum

This small insect, looking like a tiny moth, was originally introduced from the tropics, but now causes serious problems on a range of glasshouse food and flower crops. It should not be confused with the very similar, but slightly larger cabbage whitefly on brassicas. Damage. All stages after the egg have sucking stylets, which extract a sugary liquid from the phloem, often causing large amounts of honeydew and sooty moulds on the leaf surface. Plants that are seriously attacked include fuchsias, cucumbers, chrysanthemums and pelargoniums. Chickweed, a common greenhouse weed, may harbour the pest over winter in all stages of the pest's life cycle. Life cycle. The adult glasshouse whitefly (Figure 14.10) is about 1 mm long and is able to fly from plant to plant. The fertilized female lays about 200 minute, white, elongated oval eggs in a circular pattern on the lower leaf surface over a period of several weeks. After turning black, the eggs hatch to produce nymphs (crawlers), which...

Choosing a Greenhouse

Choosing Greenhouse Structure

Tim purpose ot a greenhouse is to provide plants with a more sympathetic growing environment than would Impossible in the open air. While providing plants with all the light they need, a greenhouse offers both heat and protection against wind. The earliest ancestor of the greenhouse was the high stone or brick wall built around a cultivated area. Such walls offered not only wind protection but, by retaining heat from the sun's rays, conditions warm enough to grow relatively tender crops in the borders along south-facing walls. Even tin-weak spring sunshine heated the walls facing the noon sun sufficiently to protect the blossoms ot fruit trees against a few degreesofnight-air frost. More ambitious gardeners supplemented the sun's heat with stoves built into the walls and by extending the w.ili capping. Today, gardeners lucky enough to have a south-facing stone or brick wall often grow tender plants against it, and truit growers use nets to deflect spring frosts from the blossoms. The...

The Professional Greenhouse

Over the years I have worked with several people who had the pleasure of being able to afford a professionally designed and manufactured greenhouse by one of the many custom builders in the states. What makes these glass houses professional level is (a) they are built of structural steel and or aluminum and glass rather than wood (b) sometimes insulated glass is used, if required. The higher rigidity of aluminum and steel versus wood allows thinner sections to be used in the construction, which increases the amount of light that reaches plants. Professionally built greenhouses are almost always erected on a solid concrete foundation that in most places requires that permits and zoning variances are applied for ahead of time. Many of these houses are available in varying widths and lengths and with a selection of trimmings like finial posts and aluminum roll up shutters, as shown in the picture of a Texas Greenhouse.

Greenhouse mealy bug Planococcus citri

Mealybugs Life Cycle

This pest, a distant relative of the aphid, spoils the appearance of glasshouse crops, particularly orchids, Coleus species, cacti and Solanum species. All of the stages except the egg suck phloem juices by means of a tubular mouthpart (stylet), and when this pest is present in dense masses it produces honey dew and may cause leaf drop (see Figure 14.11).

The Cool Greenhouse

Poor Man Orchid

The cool greenhouse is one which is kept absolutely frost free and in which a minimum temperature of 4 C. (40 F.) is maintained. If the temperature is nearer to 10 C. (50 F.) so much the betler for many plants, excluding annuals which much prefer a temperature nearer 4 C. This kind of greenhouse is sheer delight for the adventurous gardener, for compared with the unhealed greenhouse the scope is wide indeed. There is no difficulty in having plants in flower during every month of the year. If you wish to make more practical use of such a house it is possible also to grow tomatoes during the summer months and letluces during (he winter. It is desirable to have a small propagating frame in a cool greenhouse in which a h iijh temperature can be maintained in the spring say 16 to l1SnC. (60 to 65 F.). This is used for germinating seeds of begonias, gloxinias, antirrhinums, lobelias and a host of other plants which are going to be grown on throughout the summer. 1 have said that w ith this...

Greenhouse cooling

The cooling of a plant breeding greenhouse in the tropics can be difficult. The external surface of the glass or plastic can be sprayed with a heavily diluted white plastic emulsion paint in order to reduce the light absorption. Rapid changes of air, by extraction fan if possible, and the evaporation of large amounts of water, offer the most efficient and the most economical cooling. Refrigeration is far too expensive and should not be contemplated. Greenhouse effect This is a geophysical effect, in which the so-called greenhouse gasses (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) in the atmosphere are transparent to sunlight but opaque to radiant heat. This phenomenon is believed to lead to global warming. Greenhouse gasses See Greenhouse effect. Greenhouse screening Screening a breeding population inside a greenhouse. Because of the requirements of on-site selection, greenhouse screening is inadvisable, except when breeding a crop that is to be cultivated in a commercial greenhouse....

Mini Greenhouses

Small Greenhouse Construction Plans

A mini-greenhouse made from plastic sheeting and wood6 can increase the temperature of the soil and the air surrounding plants and allow you to get an early start on the growing season in the spring and to lengthen the growing season in the autumn. Our design has double-walled construction, which can keep the inside temperature above the freezing point when the outside temperature falls as low as 20 F. This makes the unit a good season-extender for crops. A mini-greenhouse. A mini-greenhouse.

Greenhouse Equipment

Builders Sieve Price

Above A mist propagatot greatly facilitates the rooting of cuttings, and is a boon (of the busy gardener Below Staging can be made of various materials Here, the top drawings show wooden slats, and the lower one corrugated asbestos covered with gravel Tiered staging is particularly useful when an attractive display is re quired in the greenhouse An extremely wide range of equipment is available for greenhouses, some essential and the rest aiming, in one way or another, to make life easier for the gardener. Naturally, we all have our own ideas about what equipment is worth spending money on and what can be done without. My intention now is to briefly outline the most essential and interesting component parts of a greenhouse and related ancillary equipment, defining their role in the scheme of things. There is certain basic equipment for which even greenhouse gardener will feel a need. For example, staging (even a greenhouse in which the plants are normally grown in beds, can benefit at...


The next step in the sequence of environmental control is the greenhouse, where slightly more sophisticated pieces of equipment for environmental control can be used. Greenhouses can, of course, be of a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Wooden-framed greenhouses are expensive to purchase, maintain and keep clean. Metal greenhouses are less expensive, cheaper to maintain and easier to keep clean, but unless they have an adequate internal structure they are subject to considerable distortion and damage if exposed to high-velocity winds. A closed case, which is a frame with a lid of glass in a greenhouse, provides a high-temperature system for propagation of house plants and less hardy subjects. Accurate control of temperature can be attained by installing a thermostatically controlled soil-warming cable, which will provide bottom heat, into some sand at the base of the closed case.

Types of Greenhouse

Lean Greenhouse Plans

It would be a very demanding gardener indeed who would not be able to find a greenhouse completely to his liking from Ihe wide range that are now available. Between the cheapest and the most expensive models there is almost an embarrassing richness of choice. I have something to say on this matter of choice on p. 14, but before considering this important decision (for even the smallest, most modestly equipped greenhouse will mean quite a bit of expense) it is necessary to discuss the different types of greenhouse that are on ihe market and the purposes for which these are most suited. IT e Span-roof Greenhouse. The even-sided, free-standing, span-roof greenhouse is perhaps the most popular type for it allows the widest possible range of plants to be grown under the best possible conditions. There are several variations on the theme but span-roof greenhouses with glass to ground level are, generally speaking. the most suitable for the average gardener. Such structures are ideal for...

Greenhouse Crops

Greenhouse Controlled Environment

One way to decrease the need for soil and water resources is with greenhouse production (Figure 6.2), although not all crops may be suitable for this. Greenhouse crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, herbs, and strawberries are grown with hydroponics. Technically, the term hydroponic describes plants grown in water that has been amended with soluble nutrients, but now it is also often used to describe plants grown in some type of sterilized material to give the roots a place to anchor. These materials can be gravel, sand, or rock wool, which is spun fibers from melted rocks that have been compressed into cubes or slabs. The benefits of hydroponic versus field-grown crops are lower water use, less disease, fewer fertilizers required, less labor, reduced need for pesticides, less damage to the environment, and Figure 6.2 Traditional greenhouse production of plants involves overhead irrigation as opposed to the method described in the text for hydroponics. Greenhouses...

Greenhouse Work

In the south of England it is time to start the propagating season. Take cuttings of the autumn-flowering chrysanthemums and sow seed of F hybrid geraniums and the fibrous-rooted begonias. from now through to March sow antirrhinums and garden annuals required for greenhouse display. Watch out tor slugs and snails it is better to put out a little bait from time to time than to lose a pan of special seedlings overnight. It greenhouse borders arc uncropped, prepare them, and find out whether the soil is acid or alkaline by using the pH testing solution. Above telt Start dahlia tubers In damp peat in February Cuttings are ready in about a month Right The limited space in a small greenhouse may be overstretched at some times of the year, so plan cropping in advance.

Greenhouse Glass

Replacing Glass Greenhouse

Glass used in horticulture is usually 3 mm thick (24 oz sq ft) and the standard quality available is generally good, Nevertheless, when buying a greenhouse it is as well to enquire what weight, or thickness, of glass is supplied whether it is ot British manufacture or imported whether it is supplied directly by the retailer or comes from a glass distributor and what arrangements there are for replacing panes of glass that might get broken in transit. It is a sensible precaution to examine a sample pane, for the quality may vary considerably, and gla s that gives distorted images may be unsuitable in some situations. Generally speaking, the larger the panes of glass the better, for they will allow greater light admission. A bed has to be provided between the glass and the frame, and while linseed-oil putty may still be used in wooden-framed greenhouses, alternatives arc available that are in some respects superior. The main drawback with conventional putty is that, unless the exposed...

The Warm Greenhouse

Underground Greenhouse Designs

Having sung the praises of the cool greenhouse, which offers so much lor a relatively modest heating cost, let us look now at the warm greenhouse in which a minimum temperature of 10 to 13 C. (50 to 55 F.) is maintained during the winter months. Obviously, such a greenhouse allows one to be even more ambitious and to grow many more plants than would otherwise be possible. A warm greenhouse is appreciated more during the winter and early spring than at any other time of year. This interest in terms of plants is very well worth having, and there are other advantages of a warm greenhouse which 1 shall refer to a little later. Bui one must he realistic and look at the obverse side of the coin before embarking on this form of greenhouse gardening. For instance, the cost of healing such a structure. If electricity is the source of heat raising the minimum temperature from 4 C. (4() 1 . to 10 C (50 I-.), the difference between the cool and the warm greenhouse, can quite easily double the...

Plants for growing on outdoors

Few home gardeners devote their greenhouses solely to this specialized sector of plant propagation, but it is an important and rewarding greenhouse activity. For the bedding-plant enthusiast the greenhouse will be used in the spring months to raise the summer-bedding plants antirrhinums, lobelia, alyssum, begonias, ageratum, phlox, and the like. Space must be set aside for propagation by cuttings of plants such as dahlias, geraniums, and fuchsias, and temporary benching and shelving may be necessary. If you intend to raise young plants, remember that your programme will clash with plans to raise under glass a wide range of young vegetable plants early lettuce, runner beans, summer cauliflowers, marrows, and Courgettes. Vegetable plants raised in the greenhouse crop much earlier than those raised outdoors. Peach tree in blossom in a commercial greenhouse The drawing shows how to tan-rra'n a peach tree with the help ot bamboo canes A peach tree looks attractive against the end wall of...

The Sun Lounge and Conservatory

Achimenes Hybrida Dot

In so far as the plants which are grown in them are the same, the sun lounge and conservatory are virtually synonymous, but of course there are certain differences which make the use of ihe two terms meaningful. The term sun lounge invariably refers to a light, airy, very glassy structure attached to a modem house whereas the word conservatory is usually applied to the heavier structures (rather more wood or cast iron and rather less glass than in the sun lounge) attached to older houses. Moreover, whereas the sun lounge is very much a room, the old-style conservatory is likely to be very much more a greenhouse-type structure complete with staging and heating pipes. It is another case of changed fashions and different living patterns. In fact, so well do many greenhouse plants grow in modem sun lounges that thr* tendency is to crowd too much in. This is certainly so in my case. One must always remember that this is a room which should be pleasing to the eye and the plants should be...

Physiological disorders

Physiological Disorders

Cucumbers and courgettes provide examples of fruiting plants in which the developing fruitlet occasionally turns yellow and prematurely dies. The reason for this is often difficult to determine, as it can be caused by a variety of factors. The plant maybe under some strain it may, for instance, already be carrying many fruits, or the feeding may be at fault - in which case high-potash feeds could be beneficial. Low temperatures can upset plant growth, particularly if they coincide with several dull days with little or no sunshine. Developing fruit lets which have such disorders should be carefully cut from the plant with a sharp knife and removed from the greenhouse or frame.

Management of the composting process

Composting Process

The compost from the experiments by Dresboll and Thorup-Kristensen (submitted A) was used as a growing medium for greenhouse grown lettuce. This revealed that the initial N content of the compost with the postponed addition was too high for lettuce requirements and inhibited root growth. Thus, in the following composting experiment conducted, the initial C N ratio was increased based on calculations of an expected more balanced nutrient release. Conversely, the changes resulted in a too low initial N input leading to inhibition of the mineralisation processes and almost no net mineralisation was observed during the composting period.

Insecticides and fungicides

Greenhouse Fumigants

Lighting a greenhouse pyrotechnic fumigant Lighting a greenhouse pyrotechnic fumigant must be cleaned thoroughly after use. On no account nntsr a sprayer used in the greenhouse also be used to apply weedkillers. Fumigants penetrate almost everywhere and consequently are ideal for whole greenhouse treatment but not, ot course, for lean-tos attached to the house. Electrically powered fumigant equipment may be used continuously throughout the year, automatically dispensing minute chemical particles as a vapour the small built-in heater uses 40 to fio watts ot electricity and a range of chemicals is available. It is wasteful to use such fumigators when the ventilators are Open many gardeners switch them on only during the evening and night. ' Pyrotechnic fumigants are available in a range of sizes to suit the volume of the greenhouse. The approximate volume is calculated by multiplying the length by the breadth by the average height. The average height is taken as a point halt-way up the...

Checklist of insecticides and fungicides

The following tables set out most of the important insecticides and fungicides that the greenhouse gardener is likely to use. They are based on information in the Directory of Garden Chcmicals, 4 th edition (London 1979). published by the liritish Agrochemicals Association. Control of (lies in greenhouse Fumigants for control of greenhouse pests Fumigant for control of greenhouse pests Systemic for control of greenhouse pests Fumigant for greenhouse pests (liquid) Mutphy Greenhouse Aerosol Murphy Liquid Malathion General greenhouse insecticide General greenhouse insecticide house Owner should rake to JL jJL. heart on a windy night, a single missing pane of glass can very easily have multiplied to nine by the morning. The annual maintenance ot greenhouses, frames, and equipment need not be a major task and is perhaps best carried out at the time of the annual cleaning, It is convenient to consider greenhouses and garden frames together, although the latter arc unlikely to cause many...

Hch Insecticides For Eggs In Bonsai Soil

No matter what views one may hold about pests and diseases or poison sprays, the golden rule under glass is to start clean. With the new greenhouse there is no problem, but in the year-round warmth of heated greenhouses there is bound to be a gradual build up of unwanted guests unless preventive steps are taken. Some may be engaged in eating others and there is much talk of preserving beneficial predators and parasites. Our first thought must always be to avoid introducing pests or diseases into the greenhouse. It is worth being quite ruthless about this. Every plant needs the most careful examination before being added to a collection. The soft growing points and the undersides of the leaves are the places to look. This may sound fussy, but two weeks isolation followed by another close examination is even more effective. If in doubt spray with pesticide. Some pests will always be with us, unless we are willing to have a continuous discharge of some chemical or a frequent and regular...

Vegetative propagation

Vegetative Propagation Potato

Ing and the latter are taken when it is dormant during the winter months. Many greenhouse plants may be propagated by means cii softwood cuttings taken in the spring, typical examples being carnations, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, hydrangeas, and pelargoniums 111 the case of pelargoniums stem cuttings are also taken in August.

Propagating equipment

Mist Propagation Unit

Grafting I his method is rarely used to propagate greenhouse plants, with the occasional exception of tomatoes. But since tomato growing is an important feature ot most home greenhouses, the method used for these plants deserves to he mentioned here. The value ot tomato grafting is that it enables the grower to graft selected varieties on to root stocks that have been bred specifically to resist various common root disorders. Seeds of the root-stock are sown 7 to lodays before those of the variety the seeds of both should be well spaced out in their trays, 36 seeds per tray being about right. There are numerous makes of plant-propagating units. The bottom heat Usually comes from thermostatically controlled warming cables or plates of 40 to 75 watts output, so running costs will amount to only a few pence per week, The covers tor these units may be of light-gauge polythene sheeting, tit rigid plastic, or of glass sufficient height is required to allow the inclusion of' small plants 111...

Sowing Tomatoes In March

Start Dahlia Pot

Owners of unhealed greenhouses or propagating equipment will not have been able to do much in the way of plant raising to date, but from now on they will have to use every bit of space. The emphasis this month should be on seed and plant propagation. Sow tomatoes for cool and cold greenhouse growing also cucumbers, courgettes, and sweet peppers. Make further sowings of radish and. where emphasis is on early vegetable production, sow beetroot, carrots, and turnips. From March through to June sow freesias, Plant out tomatoes in a warm greenhouse if the soil or compost temperature is at least ifC (57 F). Above telt Start dahlia tubers In damp peat in February Cuttings are ready in about a month Right The limited space in a small greenhouse may be overstretched at some times of the year, so plan cropping in advance. up immediately they arrive. It a mist-propagating unit is available, two or three days under mist will speed up their establishment. This is the month to make up hanging...

Growing Iris In A Hothouse

Bulb Fibre Compost

Two dwarf irises are much grown in pots and very attractive they are the deep purple and gold Iris reticulata and the rich blue I. histrioides (see p. 20). Several bulbs can be grown in a 3-in. pot and John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost is recommended. The bulbs should be set about 1 in. below the surface of the compost. House in a cold frame until growth starts and then bring into the greenhouse, The Siberian Squill, Scilla sihirica. makes a good greenhouse plant together with others of the genus. Pot the bulbs, at any time between August and November, in John innes No. I Potting Compost. The bulbs should be set 1 in. deep. Plunge them out of doors until growth starts and then, when a good root system has developed, bring them into the greenhouse. Nearly all varieties of Early Double and Early Single tulips are excellent for a cool greenhouse as well as the Cottage, Parrot, Fringed and Broken tulips and species like T. kaufmamtiana, They should be potted between September and November...

Watering and humidity

Watering in the greenhouse is an essential activity about which there is much disagreement. Some plants prefer a constant moisture, while others are believed to prefer to become rather dry before being watered. In practice the majority will adapt fairly readily to any steady regime that does not keep them sodden or allow them to dry out enough to begin to wilt. It is, however, a golden rule when watering by hand either to give enough water to moisten all the soil in the pot or to refrain from watering at all. Clean rain water except in very large industrial towns) is likely to be belter for the more delicate pot plants and may be essential for lime-hating plants if the mains water is very alkaline. It is also an advantage if water can stand in the greenhouse before use in cold weather to take the chill off. However, tap water coming under pressure is highly charged with oxygen which is b n ficiai and static tanks easily become polluted. It is not always understood that air penetrates...

Bulbs corms and tubers

Iris reticulata 'Cantab', a small hardy bulb suitable for the unhealed greenhouse (see p. 54). Iris reticulata 'Cantab', a small hardy bulb suitable for the unhealed greenhouse (see p. 54). The small hardy wild cyclamen species, sometimes grown in pans in the unhealed greenhouse, can be difficult to start into growth when bought dry and may remain dormant for a year, which is disconcerting. are to be enjoyed again the following year, they must be dried off gradually in October, so that the fleshy roots ripen and the foliage dries off completely before they are stored. They can remain in their pots or be put in dry peat and kept frost free, preferably at a temperature around 10 C (50 F). They are started into growth again in March. The fascinating Rechsteineria leucotrichu is a less well-known plant that is easily raised from seed in spring and may have a small flower in its first season. It has a corm that grows larger each year and needs only a fairly brief dry rest in midwinter in...

Leantos and frames

Lean-to greenhouses and conservatories are alternatives worth considering tor some situations. In most respects the same factors need to be taken into account as when choosing a conventional greenhouse. As most lean-to structures nowadays are built on to the home a word of warning is necessary a greenhouse full of plants cuts out a lot of light, and il it covers a window the room will be noticeably darker, (in the other hand the provision of services such as electricity and water is made much simpler. Lean-to growing cases, tended from the outside, are an alternative where space is limited or where something less expensive is required. Growing cases may provide the opportunity for tl.u dwellers with suitable balconies to join the ranks of greenhouse owners. The framework is usually made of aluminium alloy and growing cases are supplied complete with shelves, thereby allowing a sizeable cropping area m a comparatively small space. an extent that gardeners may confidently grow in them...


Few amateur gardeners devote all their greenhouse space to one crop, In the main, greenhouses are used for growing a variety of food and flower crops and so, as greater and greater demands are made on the available space, plants often suffer needlessly. Some simple forward planning is essential if you are to make the best possible use of your greenhouse. The first step is to decide what is to be the prime purpose of the greenhouse. This is easily said, but not so easily done. Hut it really is an essential decision -and once you have made it, you must put all other purposes firmly into second place. The prime purpose may fall into one of seven broad divisions (1) Growing pot plants for decoration in the greenhouse, conservatory, or in the home. (4) Growing early vegetables entirely within the greenhouse - courgettes, carrots, early potatoes, and so on. II these arc grown as the main crop much of the space in the greenhouse or conservatory is likely to be taken up by permanent benching,...


The range ot flowering plants that can be grown and the make-up of the year-round cropping programme will depend on the minimum greenhouse temperature the amateur gardener is prepared to maintain, i have already mentioned the fact that even the more hardy greenhouse plants are likely to succumb to disease if temperatures remain only one or two degrees above freezing point tor any length of time. A much more ambitious growing pro gramme can be contemplated if the greenhouse is kept at a minimum temperature of 7 C (45 'F). This I shall refer to henceforward as the 'cool' greenhouse. It is becoming increasingly popular with greenhouse growers and will feature largely in the notes that follow on specific plants. Moving up the scale to the 'warm* greenhouse involves maintaining a minimum of 12 C (53 F), which further broadens the cropping spectrum of flowering and foliage plants but the cost of maintaining such a temperature in the winter months is considerable. The hot-house, with an...


The holiday month, h is risky to leave the greenhouse unattended even for .1 few days. Try to come to some arrangement with a neighbouring greenhouse owner for it to be looked after in your absence, offering to help him in return. Sow winter lettuce seed when the seedlings are large enough, prick them (iut into soil blocks or peat pots. Maiden strawberry plants for spring forcing should be received this month from specialist growers. (Politely refuse young strawberry plants offered by friendly neighbours they are very-likely to be contaminated with one ol the strawberry viruses), Take a second batch of pelargonium cuttings. Plant freesia conns. Prepare lifted chrysanthemums for their move to greenhouse borders next month.

Food Crops

IN receipt years there has been renewed interest among amateur gardeners in growing salad and vegetable craps tor the family, and, with the tendency for new gardens to be smaller than in the past, more intensive means ot cultivation are finding favour. The traditional greenhouse has long been used tor growing a range of salad crops, and with the advent ot' the less expensive polythene-covered structures, the range ot food crops is being widened to include some popular eultivars hitherto grown mainly outdoors. Food crops grow just as well Under polythene as they do under glass indeed, many gardeners prefer the plastic-covered greenhouse for this t pe of plant. It is usual to grow food crops in the greenhouse border soil, and good light conditions at that level are important. The glass or polythene should extend down to soil level and be kept free ofalgae (the green film that inevitably builds tip after a period of time). This growth can be particularly troublesome on the lower panes of...


Plants differ as to the amount of light they require for example, the African violet (Saintpaulia) prefers some shade in summer, whereas pelargoniums revel m the sunlight. Blinds allow the gardener to provide and remove shading whenever necessary, Blinds may be fitted inside or outside the greenhouse and are invariably operated by hand for this reason they have some of the same drawbacks as hand ventilation for instance, when the gardener must be absent for any length ot time.


Proaching. the greenhouse must be prepared to house plants that have spent the summer out of doors. Tomatoes and cucumbers that are still carrying fruits may have to be sacrificed to make way for mid-season and late-flowering chrysanthemums. Transfer calceolarias from the frame to the heated greenhouse and, late in the mouth, rehouse the Solatium and one-year-old cyclamen plants. Tins is also the time to sow cyclamen seed for winter flowering is months hence. Plant out overwintering lettuce in unheated structures and frames put down slug bait.


Pi ant propagation is an activity that most greenhouse owners find rewarding and to which, ultimately, they devote much tune. Attention to detail is what distinguishes the successful from the less successful in tins field. Even the most adept gardener is likely to fail unless he maintains the highest standards of hygiene in the greenhouse, for seeds and young plants are very susceptible to .1 variety o diseases. Propagation usually requires heating to temperatures above the 'cool* greenhouse level of 7 t'(4s F). This can, of course, be localized (so saving hearing bills) it you have a propagating case, which you can either buy or make yourself


Benching or staging comes in many different types and the use to which it is to be put should determine the choice. It may be either permanent or temporary. Permanent benching will be required for pot plants, for plant-propagating units, and where you need to set aside an area as a potting bench. Semi-permanent or temporary benching will be needed where it is intended to bench tip only part ot the greenhouse for part of the year and to grow crops in the remaining borders, It you require benching in the spring and early summer, benching can be erected tn January and removed later. Bench depth is important. In the case of solid benches there should be a gap of 150 mm (6 in) between the back of the bench and the glass to enable air to flow freely around the greenhouse, and the front of the bench should be level with the edge of the centre path. Benches deeper than about 1.25 m (4 ft) will make tor difficulties in tend-

Other methods

Biological control is yet another approach. The glasshouse whiteHy is effectively controlled by the minute wasp-like parasite Emirs a formasa, which inserts its eggs into the fly's nymph stage. The parasites are bred specially for this purpose and are obtainable through the post from .1 number of propagators. Predators ot red spider mite are also available for commercial users, and in the future they may well become available for use by amateur gardeners.

Lorraine Begonias

Planting Daffodils Pots

Shrub for the cool greenhouse Below Neoregeha carolmae tricolor, a brightly coloured member of tne Ekomeliad family Belaperone guttata is. of course, a popular house plant as well as a greenhouse subject. It will continue to flower the year through given favourable conditions. and a moderately heated greenhouse. conservatory or sun lounge is a natural choice. The flowers are likely to be borne especially prolifically in summer and autumn. In the home it can be a little tricky in w inter if the atmosphere becomes too cold or stuffy, but this is not a role for which we are considering it at the present time. shrub for the cool greenhouse Below Neoregeha carolmae tricolor, a brightly coloured member of tne Ekomeliad family The Bromeliads members of the family Bromeliaceae melude splendid greenhouse plants of real distinction. CRYPTANTH USHS Another group of bromeliads well worth considering for the greenhouse is Crvp-tanihus, a genus of dwarf plants which will prosper even in adverse...

Soil sterilization

It the greenhouse border soil or frame is occupied year after year by the same crops, soil sterilization becomes essential. The ideal sterilant is steam, and steam sterilizers may be available for hire from the larger equipment-hiring shops. Removing the soil from the border, sterilizing it, and then replacing it is, however, a long and laborious process. An alternative method is thoroughly to soak the soil with a 2 per cent solution of formalin. This chemical has the drawback that its fumes kill plants, and consequently the greenhouse has to be completely cleared and left empty for several weeks. Before returning the plants to the greenhouse after this treatment, the soil and atmosphere should be submitted to the 'cress test'. Sprinkle cress seed 011 to the soil and lightly rake it 111. Cress is highly sensitive to the formalin fumes, and only if it growls satisfactorily should plants be returned to the greenhouse. If the greenhouse is small, ir may be worthwhile to change the soil...


Tomato Greenhouse Diseases

Botrytis cinerea Commonly known as grey-mould disease, Botrytis is a fungus that attacks a wide range ot plants, particularly 111 coid, wet spells. It usually gains entry through damaged plant tissues, and it is a particularly troublesome source of damage to overwintered crops in unheated and cool greenhouses. As its name suggests it develops a fluffy grey mould on the infected plants, it is best prevented by keeping the foliage and stems of plants dry when the temperature is low and keeping air on the move. Fan heaters are good aids to Botrytis control, as are sprays of certain systemic fungicides, which are absorbed by the plants' tissues and protect against disease. tomato leaf mould This is specific to tomatoes and is widespread. The symptoms are blotchy yellowing of the leaf surface in the early stages, followed by shrivelling and death. The disease is caused by stagnant, damp conditions brought about by insufficient movement of air in the greenhouse, and it can be particularly...

The structure

Glazing Tape Glass Wood Greenhouse

Painted wooden greenhouse frames will need exterior painting every four to five years and interior painting every five to six years. An exterior-grade white paint of good quality should be used. An undercoat as well as a topcoat will be required if the old coats are stripped down to the wood, knots must be treated with knotting and a primer will need to be applied before the undercoat. The wood must be perfectly dry when paint is applied, and on the glazing bars the paint should lap mm (-1 in) on to the panes to seal the gap between wood and glass. With greenhouses of western red cedar, treat the timber internally and externally every two to three years with preservatives sold specially tor the purpose all that is needed is a light rubbing down with a fine grade of sandpaper and a single application of the preservative. Greenhouses that have a framework of steel are normally galvanized. However, this surface treatment may be removed locally ifknoeked, and rust will quickly develop at...

Making a Choice

Oehme Van Sweden Plant Choices

Whim choosing a greenhouse much depends on the site selected, the kind of plants one wishes to grow and. of course, the amount of money one is prepared to spend. All modem greenhouses, whether of wood or metal construction, incorporate the minimum amount of either of ihese materials to allow in the maximum amount of light. With this in mind the strong, lightweight, non-rusting alloys of which most metal houses are nowadays con-strucled must always win, but wooden houses will always, one assumes, be favoured by many gardeners who find wood a much more sympathetic material both to handle and to look at. The slim glazing bars and large panes of glass in metal houses admit a great deal of light -of special importanoc in the winter months - and maintenance work is minimal. On the other hand, greenhouses made of softwood will need painting every other year if decay and general deterioration is to be avoided and they are without question more difficult and costly to maintain. The warmth and...

Foliage plants

In the confined space of the small greenhouse all foliage is important. Even flowering plants with large coarse leaves are unlikely to be worth growing. No one should ignore foliage plants, for they are attractive all the year while many flowers only last a short time. They are helpful, too. in avoiding the flat effect of many small pot plants grown on one level, for there are trailers, trees, and palms, as well as the ferns and other shade lovers that grow happily under the staging. Flower arrangers will want trails of foliage to pick, while ihe strange forms of succulents are also effective in a mixed display. Some coloured leaves arc as brilliant as any blossoms, and the cool greys and greens separate and enhance the brighter colours. In a conservatory one is particularly likely to want permanent plants in larger pots. In the north facing or otherwise shaded greenhouse, plants grown for their foliage will be the mainstay. It must be remembered that ferns need a damp atmosphere as...

Growing methods

Growing Strawberries Plastic Pipe

Watering is a less simple operation than many people realise. If possible water should be applied in small droplets, and both the watering can and the hosepipe should be fitted with a rose trickle irrigation is, of course, a suitable alternative. After the initial flooding, the aim should be to keep the soil moist, but not sodden, and to ensure that there are no dry patches. The grower with a glass-covered greenhouse also needs a syringe, which will deliver a fine, almost mist-like spray over the foliage during warm, sunny periods this creates a good growing environment for the plants. The inexperienced gardener should ask a professional to demonstrate exactly what is required, or should visit the greenhouses of his local parks department. In polythene-covered structures constant high humidity may be a problem. It is caused by Tomatoes are undoubtedly the most popular greenhouse crop and constitute the cornerstone of many greenhouse programmes. The flavour of freshly picked tomatoes...


Greenhouse Vents

Greenhouses need to be ventilated to prevent temperatures rising above those best suited to the plants being grown high temperatures lead to stress within the plants and may cause wilting. Ventilation is also required to control humidity levels within the greenhouse. Tomatoes, for example, require a humid atmosphere at least once a day for an hour or two to allow the flowers to set, but for the remainder of the time they like a drier atmosphere. Setting the ventilation by hand involves guessing the weather conditions for the next few hours. If a person is out at work all day, he may have to open the vents early in the morning and close them late at night. In such a case the greenhouse may suffer from very wide temperature variations, to the detriment of the plants. For these reasons money spent on automatic ventilation equipment is a good investment. Several makes of automatic vent gear arc available that work on the principle of a special liquid expanding as it warms up and in so...

Plants from seed

Grovida Plants

Sowing tiny seeds and watching the whoie process develop, no matter how long it takes, is a never-ending pleasure to those who become deeply involved in gardening. At the same time there is nothing more maddening than careful sowing, a long wait, and then no results. Many of us will never attempt to acquire the right mental attitude to raise rare shrubs or difficult alpines from seed. But there is room for all tastes in the greenhouse and a wide variety of reliable seeds will give rapid and predictable results with reasonable care and reasonable luck. Some plants regarded as difficult are in fact easy, if one can sow fresher seed than is often available in a packet. The length of time seed remains viable is extremely varied and greatly affected by the way it is kept. Although one is advised not to discard pans of rare seeds for two or three years, this is unpractical and depressing in the conditions of the average small greenhouse. The equipment used for seed sowing under glass ranges...

Heating equipment

Greenhouse Heating Machine

A greenhouse affords plants protection from the elements, and tor this reason they usually grow better than they would out ot doors in the same location. Unhealed glasshouses provide a little protection from frost (ofthe order of 2 to _V C), but uuheated polythene greenhouses under a clear sky give no protection at all. Unhealed greenhouses consequently have tlieir effective cropping use limited to the warmer months of the year. In the south of England an eight-month period of use is possible from March to November - but in the north the period is somewhat shorter. This is not to say that winter cropping is impossible, but the range is strictly limited and a high percentage of plants may succumb to disease. Some greenhouse heating is therefore well worthwhile. Heating the whole greenhouse can be expensive alternatives are to divide the greenhouse into different compartments with permanent glass divisions, or to erect a temporary screen of a double layer of polythene. Yet another way...

Plants from cuttings

The greenhouse favourites grown from cuttings are in themselves enough to keep every greenhouse full of bloom all the year round, as well as providing a special hobby for a wide variety of people. In general terms it is the vigorous young shoot, which has not yet reached the point of flowering or ripened its wood, that roots most readily. There are green tip cuttings, semi-ripe cuttings and hardwood cuttings, as well as leaf and root cuttings, but the favourite greenhouse plants in this chapter are increased by young shoots. These need to be neatly severed, with a sharp knife or razor blade, just beneath the node or joint and put into their rooting medium while still crisp and fresh. A majority of greenhouse plants are propagated from cuttings, and there are four favourites which for many are the principal purpose and pleasure of a greenhouse. Clearing out the greenhouse completely in summer and replacing the large plants with fresh young cuttings full of promise each spring are two...


Should be received this month pot them directly into 200 111111 (fi in) pots but do not bring them into the greenhouse until late December. Sow tomato seed in heat if the earliest fruits are required. Box up the mid-season and late-flowering chrysanthemums. Check for draughts at doors and ventilators, and if necessary fit draught-excluders to retain heat. Clear 150-gauge polythene sheeting fixed along the sides ot the greenhouse will reduce draughts and conserve heat do not take it completely up the ridge bars as it will cut out too much light and may cause humidity problems. into the protection of the cool greenhouse. Box up stools of selected outdoor chrysanthemums as they finish flowering to provide cuttings in the new year it is advisable to wash all garden soil off their roots before boxing them - any slug eggs will get washed away at the same time. Sift potting compost between the roots and lightly water in. Roses ordered for greenhouse growing


One way of specialising is in groups of related plants. The gesneriads are an interesting family that have become more freely available in recent years. The saintpaulia or African violet started the craze, as it is so widely grown as a house plant. It needs a warm greenhouse to be happy, as do CoJumnca. Episceo, Hypocyrta and Smithiantha. Strepiocorpus has free flowering and relatively tolerant hybrids seen both in the cool greenhouse and on the window sill and there are also strange and interesting species. Some gesneriads have underground storage organs that are dormant in winter and can be grown in any greenhouse in summer. Achimenes, gloxinia (Sinningio), KohJerio and Rechsiein-eria are the best known. Orchids are a specialisation that should be considered before the greenhouse is built, as one can greatly improve the chances of success by a suitable choice of structure. Adequate ridge ventilation, box ventilators low down and specially designed staging to aid humidity are also...

Heat and ventilation

Given adequate light, one of the most important attributes of a greenhouse is the way it deals with the potentially conflicting needs ot heat retention and ventilation. Greenhouse designers ha ve devoted much thought to the problem of retaining heat. Some years ago double glazing seemed likely to be the answer. In practice, however, the method has serious disadvantages the two layers of transparent material cut out a great deal of light the sun's rays take much longer to heat the greenhouse and the space between the transparent layers attract algae. Moreover, double glazing is considerably more expensive than single glazing. Whatever the shape or design oi the greenhouse, adequate ventilation must be provided. Greenhouses used to have relatively few ventilators and those that were fitted were often small. As a consequence, on sunny days the greenhouse got too hot for the plants to grow happily, and gardeners were forced to provide shade to prevent damagtr. For the modern designer the...

Whalehide Container

Container Type Greenhouse

A- most greenhouse flowering plants are grown in pots. I should perhaps make a few general observations about these containers. Pots are available 111 a great variety of sizes, shapes, and materials- The sizl- of a pot is defined not by us height hut by the inside dia The longest-lasting types are those ot plastic and clay. The former, whether flexible or rigid, are lighter than clay pots, are easier to clean, and are available in a range of colours. Many gardeners, however, prefer the appearance of clay pots, In purely horticultural terms neither type is better than the other, but it is important to remember that they provide somewhat different environments for the potting mixture. Clay is porous and tends to absorb the moisture in the compost plastic pots are impermeable (non-porous), so plants growing in them need to be watered less (or less often) in the greenhouse. However, exactly the opposite applies when pots are 'plunged'. This term means to take potted plants out of the...

Propagation by seed

Compost Heated Greenhouse

Propagation by seed is an inexpensive way to raise many types of greenhouse plants, although in the case of slower-growing Species ii may take much longer to obtain a worthwhile specimen. Generally, individual plants raised Irom seed are not identical to There is less chance ot transmitting disease from one generation to the next when seed is used, and although there are seed-borne diseases many seedsmen treat the seed before sale to prevent any such diseases from spreading. Different species of seeds vary enormously in the time they take to germinate. A guide to germination periods is given in many seed catalogues, and n is a good idea to take note of these periods so that you can use the propagating space in your greenhouse to greatest advantage. It is best to use a seed pan if only a few plants are required and to use a seed tray So mm (2 in) deep for larger quantities. l o not sow too thickly, for crowded seedlings tend to damp off. Some gardeners Use a thin metal template with...

Physical properties

The physical properties of compost are key factors in determining its quality as a growing medium. Physical properties are of great concern, because in contrast to the nutritional properties, they cannot easily be changed when inadequate. In horticultural greenhouse systems water is often applied in a short period of time such as in ebb-flood systems or locally as when using drip irrigation. Thus, horticultural media must be able to absorb water fast and be able to distribute the water in the medium. The physical quality of a substrate is related essentially to its ability to adequately store and supply air and water to plants grown in closed containers. The storage and supply of air and water are controlled by pore size abundance, tortuosity and continuity (Allaire et al., 1996). In general, particle size, water holding capacity and air-filled porosity is used as measures of the physical properties of growing media, and an ideal substrate must have a total pore space of more than 85...

Growing mediums

Greenhouse Seedling Pots

Loam composts Special growing mediums have been developed for container-grown greenhouse plants, and the more important ones are described in this chapter. For over JO years the John Innes composts have been used by commercial growers and amateur gardeners alike. The name John Innes is taken from the research station where they were formulated after years ot investigative work. The formulations provide horticulturists with various growing mediums to cover every greenhouse activity, from seed sowing through to final potting. All these formulations are based on the use of good loam. They have stood the test of time, and composts made up to the original formulae are available at most horticultural stores and garden centres. Above left Three popular potting composts pest-based, peat and sand and loam-based Right The flower grower can have cotour m the greenhouse all the year round All composts need to be kept where they will not be contaminated by weed seeds, soil, already used compost,...


Greenhouse Gardening

It is very important to keep the greenhouse clean at all times, and good pathways can make a helpful contribution to this. Paths of hardened soil invariably encourage puddles to form when plants arc watered and on clay soils the resultant slippery surface is both dangerous and messy. If the borders are used for crops, permanent pathways are not recommended because they can harbour soil pests and diseases, in such cases removable pathways are preferred duckboards are cheap, but 50 mm (2 111) thick paving slabs look better, are simply laid straight on to the soil, and will take the weight of a loaded wheelbarrow without cracking. The pathway should continue for at least 1 m ( ft) outside the greenhouse so that garden soil, which might contain harmful organisms, can be knocked off footwear before entering. Above let Thermal screens, widely used commercially (as here) may soon be available for domestic greenhouses Left Internal or external adjustable blinds allow you to Shade plants from...


Unlike many other cacti, zygo-cactus must noi be allowed to dry out in the winter, although much less water is needed at that time of year. In the summer the plants in their pots should be plunged in a bed of peal or ashes in a cold frame This will help to ripen the growths, and will encourage a good crop of flowers. The soil must be kept amply moist and light ov erhead sprays of water w ill encourage good growth Light shade should also be given from strong sunshine. Feeding. During the summer when the plants are established in their pots feeding can be carried out with a liquid or soluble fertiliser every 10 days. Housing. In September the plants must be returned to a cool greenhouse. Flowering can be hastened a little b raising the temperature prov ided the air is kept fairly moist with light sprays of water.


For many greenhouse owners a supply of electricity will be essential to make the best use of their investment. It will be needed for interior lighting, so that greenhouse work can be done in the evening after work during the short days of winter and spring. Ordinary incandescent lights will be suitable for tins. Electricity may also he needed Kir heating a propagating frame, and local heating of this type can be the most economical way of propagating plants, Electric soil-warming units are becoming popular as a reasonably inexpensive method of boosting the growth of plants in greenhouse borders. Electricity may also be required for general heating, for providing sup Electricity can be particularly dangerous 111 the greenhouse because there is normally a considerable amount ol moisture about. For example, during damping down the humidity of the greenhouse interior is raised by spraying overall with a fine spray of water. For this reason it is essential to use special waterproof...

Flowers for cutting

The main salad crops - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, and spring onions are grown in the greenhouse borders, and no benching is necessary. Tomatoes are one of the main summer crops and as such occupy the greenhouse from April or May through to September and even October. While the tomato plants are stilt small it is possible to grow a quick-maturing crop ot early radishes between them. Although lettuces are often the crop to occupy the borders from October to April, their cultivation is not easy but they mature at a time of high prices so they are well worth while. They can be cleared in time to allow you to prepare your borders for planting tomatoes. It is possible to get two crops of lettuce in winter in the south of England if soil-warming cables arc used. To make the best use ot the greenhouse, erect temporary shelving in the spring to provide propagating space for a wide range of Other crops. Salad crops grow particularly well in polythene-covered greenhouses,...

Plants Healthy

This chapter could have been titled 'controlling pests and diseases', but that would have misrepresented its essential aim. There can be little doubt that every greenhouse gardener, whether amateur or professional, has at one time or another had to deal with plants that have been attacked by pests or infected by disease. Equally, every experienced gardener will tell you that prevention is better than cure, and that the most effective method of keeping pests and diseases at hay is to ensure that your plants are fundamentally healthy and that they are growing in a hygienic environment. The truth of this is reflected in the fact th at the good gardener seems to use far fewer insecticides and fungicides than the inexperienced amateur. His advantage lies not so much 111 his use of superior plant varieties a- in his knowledge of plants and their idiosyncrasies and in his ability to recognize at an early stage the tell-tale signs of trouble. Every plant in the greenhouse needs to be examined...


Organic production of greenhouse crops has developed during the last decade. Greenhouse crops in general, have higher nutrient demands than field grown crops and therefore, in order to optimise production it is essential to focus on the growing media and fertilisation. The studies comprised in this dissertation describe the suitability of compost as a growing medium for organic greenhouse crops. The choice and composition of plant material as well as shredding of material and management of composting processes can alter the nutritional and structural quality of compost based on plant residues. This dissertation is based on several studies on the nutritional quality of compost as well as studies of the structural properties of different straw materials and how these are transformed during composting.


When compost is used as a growing medium in organic greenhouse production a number of requirements should be fulfilled. First, the compost structure must be suitable for plant growth. Water retention, air filled porosity and volume weights are important parameters in a growing medium (Gruda and Schnitzler, 2004) and are dependent on particle size and geometry. Hence, the particle size distribution should allow pores of different sizes to be formed with the largest amount in the range 30-300 m. These will retain water, but will not bind it so tightly, that it is unavailable to plants at water pressures relevant for containerised plants (Payne, 1988). Secondly, nutritional quality of an organic substrate is an important parameter. As greenhouse crops have high nutrient demands, and addition of organic fertilisers to plants grown in closed containers can be difficult and time consuming, initial nutrient contents must be high. Organic liquid fertilisers are to be preferred over solid...


In March, April, and May greenhouse space is at a premium, for many plants need temporary accommodation. They include bedding plants being raised from seed for summer display in open ground, vegetable plants being raised for planting out as soon as the risk of frost has passed, and the propagation of chrysanthemums, dahlias, and pelargoniums. The erection of temporary shelving can help in this difficult period as long as the greenhouse structure is designed to take what may amount to a considerable extra weight. If in doubt consult the manufacturer or supplier before proceeding. Shelving needs to be Strong and vet light in weight, and slatted alloy is often preferred to wood, ( lie shelves may be suspended from the upper glazing bars or fixed to the side walls, but in the latter situation they may unduly shade plants 011 the benching. The erection of shelving must be looked upon as a temporary expedient, for if it is in position for a long period the plants growing beneath it will...

Annual cleaning

The annual cleaning of the inside and outside of the greenhouse and cold frame is central to good husbandry. The aim is to clear away all rubbish and weeds, kill all lingering pests and diseases, and ensure that the cover, w hether of glass or plastic, will once again allow maximum admission of light. It may he done whenever it is most convenient, but the autumn suits many cropping programmes. inside Remove all plants from the greenhouse as well as any easily moved obstructions such as temporary benching or shelving. Cover with polythene sheeting all electrical points and fixed electric or gas equipment before thoroughly washing the interior with soapy water and a soft brush the green algal growth that forms on glazing near soil level may require the use ot' a scrubbing brush. Follow ilns with a rinse of clear water to which a small quantity of formaldehyde or J eyes Fluid has been added. Make a note ot any repairs that may be necessary. It is advisable to remove sand or shingle from...

Sil preparation

The preparation ot the border soil is much the same tor almost all food Crops. It is important to appreciate that the border isa comparatively small area that is being intensively cultivated, so thorough preparation is essential, I ig the soil one spit deep (the depth ot' the blade of the spade). Il the subsoil is compacted and therefore likely to impede drainage, break it up by forking, taking care not to bring subsoil to the surface, for roots go down a long way. Jig plenty of bulky organic matter such as rotted farmyard manure, compost, or peat into the topsoil, It the soii is very poor you should seriously consider replacing it. or working in John limes potting compost, or even growing your crops in containers. The majority ot plants do not like very acid soils and it may he necessary to add lime. The acidity alkalinity level can be checked with an inexpensive soil pH testing kit the optimum level tor most greenhouse crops (including flowering plants) is slightly acid, a 11 of 6,5.

Earwigs Forficula auricularia

These pests belong to the order Dermaptera, and bear characteristic 'pincers' (cerci) at the rear of the 15 mm long body. They gnaw away at leaves and petals of crops such as beans, beet, chrysanthemums and dahlias, usually from July to September, when the nymphs emerge from the parental underground nest. They usually spread by crawling on the surface of the soil, but they can also fly. Upturned flower pots containing straw are sometimes used in greenhouses for trapping these shy nocturnal insects. The professional grower may use pirimiphos-methyl as a spray or smoke.

Reducing spread of pests and diseases

Leaving suspect plants till the end of de-leafing or harvesting. Washing knives and hands regularly in warm, soapy water will reduce subsequent viral spread. Soil-borne problems, such as club root, eelworms and damping off diseases, are easily carried by boots and tractor wheels. Foot and wheel dips, containing a general chemical sterilant, such as formaldehyde, have been successfully used, especially in preventing damping off problems in greenhouses.

Moee Chamomile TEA roe ggobUGG

Chamomile tea definitely works, says Steve Peters, an agricultural planning associate for Seeds of Change, an organic seed company. Even broccoli and other brassica seedlings, which often fall prey to the iow light and lack of air circulation in greenhouses, will survive with a dousing of strong chamomile tea.

Exercise A A Typical Grass Plant

The corn plants and trays of lawn grass need to be started from seed 2-4 weeks prior to the class meeting. These can be grown in the greenhouse or under grow lights. Both require adequate water and fertilizer. Grass seed should be sowed in loose soil to produce a carpet of grass. Allow to grow until inflorescences appear. If seed is available, plant a tray of Kentucky blucgrass (Poa pratensis) and Bermuda grass (Cynodan dactylon).

Starting seeds indoors

In many parts of the country, the growing season is too short to grow slow-maturing plants from seed sown in the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, petunias, and pansies are examples of plants that must be started indoors or in a heated greenhouse. By the time the weather warms up, the plants will be several inches tall and will have a good head start.

Supercharging your garden with CO

As your plants breathe CO2 and exhale O2, the balance of these two critical gases begins to shift. In nature, this uneven exchange fits in perfectly as animals breath in O2 and exhale CO2. Of course a perfect world it is not and modern industry and the burning of fossil fuels has somewhat unbalanced this effect. However, in your greenhouse or growroom, you will need to help your plants breathe by supplying a constant exchange of fresh air which by nature contains about 2 CO2. If you have already employed a thermostat and humidistat in combination with a vent fan, there is a good possibility that these two mechanisms will provide a good exchange of fresh air. However, if your fan is not operating frequently enough, you may be starving your plants of their most favorite flavors of gas, CO2. particular amount of air in one minute. So - if your greenhouse is 10ft x 10ft x 8ft. That's 800 CuFt. - you would need an 800CFM fan to exchange the air in the entire greenhouse in one minute....

Exercise C Cloning Herbs From Cuttings

Many herbs root very easily from cuttings, but there arc some things to watch out for. Make sure that the herbs arc actively growing. Often herbs planted outdoors bccomc dormant in the fall and do not root well. You might want to purchase some from a local nursery or have rhem growing in a greenhouse if one is available.

Drilling For Moisture

Coming from a site that did have running water I can't pretend I don't miss it. but when in Rome or on a new plot, all gardeners have to adapt to the surroundings. So, like my neighbours I'm cutting back on starting my vegetables in pots in favour of the widespread local practice of sowing directly into shallow lines scraped in the soil (seed drills). Of course this has its downside as plants can't easily be rushed into growth in a greenhouse and smothering weeds are a greater threat when seedlings are small. But on the other hand apart from a good soaking of the drills before sowing, the crops require far less water and become naturally deep rooted and able to cope in the dry. This treatment isn't ideal for everything and I'll be raising outdoor tomatoes, chilli peppers and sweetcorn in a greenhouse at home.

The day Breeding Cycle

In the temperate regions, it is normally possible to achieve only one breeding cycle each year, with the cross-pollination and seed production undertaken in a greenhouse, during the winter, and the on-site screening conducted in the field, during the summer. With ambitious breeding targets (e.g., horizontal resistance that is complete and comprehensive against all locally important parasites), this could require 10-15 breeding cycles during the same number of years. One breeding cycle would obviously have to be conducted during the winter and, in most temperate countries, this would mean a fairly large heated greenhouse, as well as the induction of both insect infestations and disease epidemics. Technical help may be needed here. The screening cycle would begin by sowing the true seed immediately after it is becomes available at the end of the seed production cycle, including seed taken from somewhat immature fruits. In the temperate regions, one 180-day breeding cycle should start in...

Zoning Out Breaking the Zone and Growing Season Rules

When you get plants that were raised in your area (not in some distant place or coddled in a greenhouse), they're much more likely to be able to handle whatever your local weather dishes out. After all, they've already experienced some of the harsher conditions and survived so the seller can offer them to you. Production fields out back or right nearby are your cue.

Exercise A Shipshape Flowers Splitting Fruits And Nutritious Seeds

Collcct a variety of legume flowers from w hatever is locally available black locust Robinia pseudoacaeia), Texas blucbonnet (Lupinus), vetch (Vieia), false indigo (Raptisia), Wisteria, etc. Or grow from seed in the greenhouse sweet pea (Lathyrus), pea (Pi sum sativum), or any of several types of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris. Vieiafaba).

Environmental stresses

Plants are resilient organisms, but stresses imposed on habitats such as those near large towns, those in the wind-path of polluted air, those watered by rivers receiving industrial effluent, and agricultural fertilizers and pesticides are likely to lose indigenous species. The rapid increase in annual temperatures attributed to 'the greenhouse effect' is likely to change wild plant communities in as important a way as the environmental stresses mentioned above.

Practical Graywater Systems

It is estimated that 30 gallons of graywater per person per day will be produced from a water-conservative home. This graywater can be recycled either indoors or outdoors. Inside buildings, graywater can be filtered through deep soil beds, or shallow gravel beds, in a space where plants can be grown, such as in a greenhouse.

Nutrient deficiencies

Two common horticultural problems should be noted. In tomatoes and peppers, blossom end rot (see Figure 15.22) produces a symptom of a black, concave lesion which looks at first sight like a fungal disease. It is caused by an imbalance between potassium and calcium in the soil or compost. It occurs most often when the soil or compost is allowed to dry out while the fruits are swelling. It is seen more often in greenhouse container-grown plants than with plants growing in the open garden or greenhouse borders. It is most common when plants are raised in grow bags, where they have a small, shallow root run that dries out easily. Although there is no cure for blossom end rot once the symptoms begin to appear, the obvious recommendation is that fruiting crops should never be allowed to have dry roots.

All New Square Foot Gardening

Since early spring and late fall can bring some rather severe weather, growing out of season is simply keeping the cold temperatures away from your plants. To do this, its important to provide these crops with the extra protection they need from the elements. By covering and protecting your crops, you are basically creating an artificial environment. After all, that is what a greenhouse does it keeps the cold air out but lets the sunlight in. What more could a plant want

High Intensity Discharge HID Lighting

Nothing beats the Sun when it comes to growing, however, new types of High Intensity Discharge lighting have made growing indoors a viable alternative. Many of you are familiar with fluorescent grow lights designed to grow plants indoors. These products are fine for low-light plants where limited results are expected. But what if you want to achieve the ultimate growth potential of your favorite plants indoors or, supplement sunlight in your greenhouse Your answer is to use High Intensity Discharge lighting, or HID for short. These lighting systems consist of a lamp, reflector and power supply and are designed to provide the maximum output of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for the amount of power consumed. HID lighting systems can illuminate your garden with the right quality and quantity of light to make for impressive results. Horticultural HID lighting is used by the world's premier growers to provide many benefits simply unattainable with conventional fluorescent and...

Initial growth and development

After several leaves have formed (7-12) the growing point changes from vegetative to reproductive, and a cluster of flower buds are formed that ultimately develop into the first flower cluster or truss. Vegetative growth continues in the form of a side shoot growing from the axil of the last leaf. This side shoot forms a small number of leaves (2-4) and then differentiates to form the second flower truss along with a new vegetative growing point. Thus, the greenhouse tomato develops as a succession of side shoots this process is known as a sympodial, or indeterminate, growth (Fig. 4). A peculiar thing happens every time the plant turns vegetative and a new growth starts to develop from the axil of the last leaf this last leaf, which is formed before flower initiation, is carried up on its axillary growth and ultimately appears at a higher position than the truss.

Harvesting and storage

Maturity of the fruit at harvest time is important. Fruit harvested before it is fully developed is more susceptible to handling injury because of inadequate development of the protective waxy layer. Tomato fruit is sometimes harvested with the calyx so as to identify it as a greenhouse product. Take care to ensure that the calyx does not puncture the fruit. Overfilling the crate or stacking the produce too high may damage the bottom layer.

Total replacement lighting

Low-pressure mercury-filled tubes produce diffuse light and, when suitably grouped in banks, provide uniform light close to plants. These are especially useful in a growing room, provided that they produce a broad spectrum of light as is seen in the 'full spectrum fluorescent tubes'. Gas enclosed at high pressure in a second inner tube produces a small, high intensity source of light. These small lamps do not greatly obstruct natural light entering a greenhouse and, while producing valuable uniform supplementary illumination at a distance, cause no leaf scorch. Probably the most useful lamp for supplementary lighting in a greenhouse is a high-pressure sodium lamp, which produces a high intensity of light, and is relatively efficient (27 per cent).

Description Of Plant

The bright yellow flowers which can be 1.5 in. (4 cm) in diameter are borne in panicles. In its native habitat flowering occurs during April and May. Under greenhouse conditions the plants flower during the summer or fall. The flowers, having 5 sepals and 5 petals, open during the day and close at night. The plants are self-fertile and will produce viable seed without any outside pollinating agent. (Photo 4-16)

Starting with nursery Well starts

You generally see nursery starts at the garden center or home store in mid-to-late spring. Small annual plants are generally sold in six-packs or larger, with each cell holding a single young plant. These plants were raised from seed or from cuttings in a greenhouse and need a little TLC (shelter from cold and wind, regular water so they don't dry out) when you get them home.

Analyses of various composts

Please noeice in che cable that municipal refose compost isn't potent enough for vegetable growing. That's because much of the material going into che heap is paper and cardboard, chipped cree crimmings, and ocher woody waste. All these materials have a high C N, and the average C N of the heap when composting starts exceeds 50 1. After much heacing and watering and turning and shrinking and rewatering and turning some more, the C N drops to about 25 1. In other words, far more than half the carbon has disappeared. Why far more and not exactly half the carbon as those numbers might suggest Because the way municipal compost is made causes most of the nitrogen to disappear as well. The final weight of compost will be only a tiny fraction of the starting weight. Thus municipal composting, portrayed as socially positive, actually is a huge contributor to greenhouse gasses.

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