By Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever wondered what the big deal is about having a greenhouse?
I wondered this for years until one winter, when I was cooped up inside, and began watching a television show. It was about people who gardened heavily and produced much of their own food.
Though their goals and my goals weren’t exactly the same, I saw the productivity and usefulness in this one structure.
If you’re curious about greenhouses or even considering investing in one, here’s a few of the benefits you might receive from having a greenhouse on your property.
Will Any Size Greenhouse Bring Me Benefits?
Before we jump into all the benefits of a greenhouse, I want to answer this question. Not everyone lives where they have a great deal of extra land.
Yet, you might have a balcony, small backyard, or a back patio where you could house a smaller pop-up greenhouse.
You might still receive some of the benefits from this list. I’ll try to be specific in each point as to which style of greenhouse would be most acceptable.
However, I want to be clear that you shouldn’t count yourself out simply because you don’t have the space, interest, or budget for a larger greenhouse.
Benefits and Uses for a Greenhouse
1. Outdoor Sitting Area
Greenhouses are useful when the temperatures dip, but what if you have plenty of grow space during the warmer seasons?
You can still use your greenhouse. Place some patio furniture inside the structure, open the windows and doors, and you have a sheltered sitting area in the middle of your yard or garden. This wouldn’t be a benefit for a pop-up greenhouse but should work for any greenhouse you can walk inside of.
2. Grow Exotic Plants
There are some plants which are meant for tropical growing areas. If you live in a cooler planting zone, you may have a difficult time growing them.
If you have a greenhouse, you can provide ideal growing conditions in this environment. Add a greenhouse heater for proper temperatures, water the plant as needed, and the greenhouse should maintain adequate humidity levels. You now have a wonderful grow space for plants you thought you couldn’t grow. This benefit is for any style of greenhouse.
3. Starting Seeds
Before I had a greenhouse, I had to start all my seeds indoors. When you grow multiple large gardens, this takes up a ton of room.
I no longer have to take up space in my home to start seeds thanks to my greenhouse. By adding a greenhouse heater, it’s the perfect grow space for starting seeds even while it’s still cold outside. You can heat any size greenhouse, so this would be a benefit of any size or style greenhouse.
4. Planting Earlier or Later
Greenhouses are wonderful for starting plants earlier in the spring or later in the fall. Even if your greenhouse is a cold frame, it still provides more heat than typical outdoor temperatures.
Plus, it protects your plants from frost. Therefore, you can extend your grow season in both directions by growing in a greenhouse. This could be a benefit for any size greenhouse.
5. Overwintering Plants
This is another benefit which could work for even the pop-up greenhouse gardener. If you’d like to get a jump on next year’s garden, the best way to do this is save your mature plants. Peppers are an ideal candidate for this greenhouse benefit.
You can dig up your mature (and healthy) pepper plants. Turn them into container plants over the winter and transplant them outdoors the next gardening season. They’ll need grow lights, if you’d like them to keep producing all winter. You’ll also need a heated greenhouse for overwintering plants, but it’ll speed up the production process the next year.
6. Growing a Winter Garden
This is one of the main things I use my greenhouse for. I like having fresh vegetables around my home all year long. Therefore, I find crops which grow well in containers and grow them inside my greenhouse.
I have a regular harvest of lettuce, kale, carrots, and onions through the winter months. If you utilize a heater, you could have tomatoes and other warm weather crops year-round, too. You can container garden in smaller pop-up greenhouses or in larger greenhouses as well.
7. Producing Fruit Trees Outside of the Norm for Your Zone
I live in planting zone eight. Therefore, citrus trees are a negative in my area because our winters are too cold for them to survive.
However, if you plant fruit trees in containers and overwinter them in your greenhouse, with heat, you could produce fruit you otherwise couldn’t. Lemons, limes, oranges, and even grapefruit are a few varieties people grow, in containers, in a greenhouse outside of their typical planting zone. This would require a larger greenhouse.
8. Growing a Variety of Flowers Over Longer Periods
During the summer, my greenhouse wouldn’t receive much use if it wasn’t for this benefit. I enjoy growing bagged flowers. They’re beautiful decorations, but they need attention, warmth, and lots of water.
I start them in my greenhouse and keep them there until the outdoor temperatures are accommodating. I also use the greenhouse to protect my flowers during bad weather. If you’d like to start your flowers earlier or produce them longer in the fall, move them into your greenhouse and create a small oasis. This would work in most size greenhouses.
9. Overwintering Chickens
This benefit isn’t for everyone, but if you raise chickens it might interest you. Chicks don’t handle the winter well because they’re small and don’t have their true feathers yet.
If you get a great deal on chicks going into the colder season, don’t fret. Place them in your greenhouse and keep them protected all winter long. It’s also predator proof in most cases.
10. Garden Storage
You can use a smaller pop-up greenhouse or a larger walk-in greenhouse for this benefit. Instead of having multiple structures on your property, you might only need a greenhouse.
A greenhouse isn’t only a place for growing or overwintering. It can also be used as a storage facility for your gardening gear.
11. Controlled Growing Environment
One of the things I love most about growing in a greenhouse is how you can manipulate most of the growing conditions.
If you have a plant that likes cold weather, use your greenhouse as a cold frame. If you have a plant that needs warmer weather, add a heater. You can control the soil, the elements, and even add grow lights to prolong lighting needs when necessary. This benefit is true for almost every well-constructed greenhouse.
12. Saving Money
Though a greenhouse is an investment, it can help you save money, too. Instead of purchasing new plants you can start your own seeds.
A greenhouse is also a great area for propagating new plants from the mature plants you already have. If you’re someone who is interested in gardening, or landscaping on a budget, a greenhouse could help you with this. This benefit could work for anyone with any size greenhouse.
13. Good for You
Our last benefit is true for the gardener with any size greenhouse. Gardening is good for you. It gets you outdoors, gets you moving, and produces healthy foods.
If you need a hobby which will benefit your health, gardening could be a great choice. A greenhouse might be a wise investment in this hobby.
You now have a variety of benefits for the greenhouse gardener. There are some benefits which exclude those with a small or pop-up style greenhouse.
However, there are many benefits which work for gardeners with any size greenhouse. If you needed a few reasons to make this investment, hopefully these will help you make a sound and balanced decision.