To what end might one put a four-level greenhouse? Mini greenhouses are functionally identical to traditional greenhouses; however, they are more convenient, portable, and inexpensive.
A History of the Greenhouse
It was the Roman Emperor Tiberius in the first century A.D. who first mentioned the use of a greenhouse. When Tiberius became ill, his physician prescribed a diet rich in cucumbers to restore his health. During the winter, the vegetable was in short supply in Rome.
Tiberius ordered the construction of the “specularium,” a structure made of mica and stone that would reduce his cravings for cucumbers. The warm air was sucked into the greenhouse from the outside by a fire that was kept burning there. Tiberius was able to grow cucumbers thanks to the semi-translucent rook that let sunlight into the greenhouse.
Over the next four centuries, there was no advancement in the technology. When Italian horticulturists in the 16th century began to investigate unusual plant species, technological progress was made. Fast-growing greenhouse culture swept across Europe, with variations on the basic structure being built in England, France, and the Netherlands.
In 1599, the French botanist Jules Charles built the first prototype of a modern greenhouse.
How Can You Use a 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse?
Some potential applications for a four-level greenhouse:
Seed starting is one of the most common uses for a mini greenhouse. Seeds can be planted in a 4-tier greenhouse even if it’s snowing outside. You should, however, ensure that your seedlings get adequate exposure to sunlight.
Grow more plants that are already in your yard
You can also use a 4-tier mini greenhouse to clone plants you already have in your garden. Remember that the plastic covering acts as a moisture trap. Due to their reduced size, greenhouses such as the 4-tier mini require more frequent maintenance checks.
Both heat and humidity can rise quickly to uncomfortable levels. If you’ve put your greenhouse outside, you should check its temperature on a regular basis. Most plants need some humidity, but too much can cause problems like root rot and fungal diseases.
Grow different types of plants
There are a wide variety of plants you can grow, beyond just annuals in full sun and simple vegetables. Almost any plant imaginable can flourish in your 4-story greenhouse, provided it is given the proper microclimate. Only the surface is covered by annuals, fruits, and vegetables.
Grow cacti and carnivorous plants once you’ve mastered the climate control in your greenhouse.
Plant herbs in your kitchen
Think again if you think a small apartment is too small for an indoor garden. The situation can be remedied with great success by means of a miniature greenhouse.
One of the best places to grow herbs is on a windowsill in your kitchen. You may even be able to keep insects out of your kitchen by using certain herbs’ pest-deterrent properties. Mini greenhouses are ideal for cultivating herbs like chives, mint, basil, cilantro, and dill.
Are Mini Greenhouses a Great Option for You?
If you want to grow plants, flowers, and/or produce but don’t have a lot of room, a mini greenhouse could be the perfect solution for you. It’s possible that you don’t have a yard because you’re a city dweller or because you’re part of a community with communal green spaces.
You don’t have to have a lot of room to enjoy gardening, which is good news no matter what your circumstances are. Even if you don’t have much room, you can still grow and harvest your own vegetables and fruits with the help of a miniature greenhouse.
How Should You Maintain Your Mini Greenhouse?
Mini greenhouses require less upkeep than full-sized greenhouses. However, in order to reap the benefits of your greenhouse for many years to come, it requires regular upkeep.
After each growing season, give the greenhouse’s interior a good washing with soap and water. This method eliminates pests and bacteria while also stopping the spread of fungal spores. Turn the soil and add some fresh compost.
Investing in a Mini Greenhouse – Is It Worth It?
Purchasing a small greenhouse is an excellent investment. Whether this is your first time planting seeds or you’ve been gardening for decades, here are a few good reasons to consider buying a small greenhouse:
Protect tender plants
Perennial flowers and plants are more vulnerable to harm because of their fragility. During the winter, a greenhouse can shield them from the cold and snow. Even if it’s snowing outside, they’ll be fine in the greenhouse. You can replant them in your garden when the time is right, when the soil is warm enough.
Perfect for beginners
The cost to build a standard greenhouse is very high. Buying and modifying a regular greenhouse is a costly endeavor. Even if you’re not completely sold on greenhouse gardening, a 4-tier model is a good place to begin. This way, you can get a feel for greenhouse life before committing to one.
Start planting early
Seeds can be planted earlier (before the cold season) with the help of a miniature greenhouse. Plants can be moved outdoors once frost risk has passed and the ground has warmed sufficiently. Grow more crops and seeds with the help of a greenhouse.
Repel pests and critters
If you don’t take measures to keep unwanted animals from munching on your plants, your efforts will be for naught. Your plants are vulnerable to damage from rodents like moles and rabbits, as well as insects like aphids, cabbage maggots, and beetles. A miniature greenhouse provides ideal protection from unwelcome visitors. In addition, no harmful chemicals or pesticides would be required to get rid of unwanted pests and animals.
Types of Greenhouses
- Assembled to Lean Against – greenhouses The primary benefit of utilizing an attached greenhouse is the elimination of the necessity to construct a completely separate structure. One of the walls is a solid structure, which greatly improves the building’s resistance to high winds and overall stability. You can construct a lean-on greenhouse by using the boundary wall around your property as one of the greenhouse’s walls. Lean-on greenhouses are inexpensive to build, but they let in very little sunlight.
- Unlike attached greenhouses, freestanding greenhouses don’t require any special preparation for construction. This building requires a lot of light, so make sure to locate it somewhere that doesn’t get any afternoon shade. You can get more sunlight into the greenhouse with a freestanding structure, but it will cost more than a lean-on greenhouse. If you have a freestanding greenhouse, you can plant your crop much earlier in the season without affecting the plants’ ability to flower or produce fruit.
The Benefits of Growing in a Greenhouse
There are many benefits to growing your crop in a greenhouse rather than in traditional open-air flowerbeds. The crop is more predictable and consistent, and the yield is greater with less impact on the environment.
A greenhouse allows you to extend your growing season, potentially harvesting your crops well into the fall months regardless of your latitude. It is possible to cultivate plants year-round in a greenhouse, as some models feature heating and lighting systems.
Plants and vegetables that would perish in your area’s climate can thrive in a greenhouse. Greenhouses allow the grower more control over environmental factors like temperature and humidity.
A greenhouse is an excellent choice for protecting crops from deer and other grazers.
Greenhouses provide ideal conditions for plant growth, allowing fruits and vegetables to absorb more nutrients. Greenhouse-grown food is superior in terms of flavor, texture, and nutrient density because of this.
In a greenhouse, you can regulate the environment for your plants by changing the ventilation, lighting, and temperature.
Should You Build or Buy Your Greenhouse?
Online stores and nurseries both sell greenhouses as kits. Greenhouses come in so many forms that it can be difficult to zero in on the right one for your needs. A greenhouse kit can be purchased in a wide range of sizes, from a compact unit that can be set up on a balcony to a massive structure that can span 50 feet in length.
As a backyard gardener, you probably won’t require such a massive greenhouse. You need a structure that is at least 10 feet in length, 6 feet in width, and has a roof height of at least 8 feet. The greenhouse’s cover material, made of plastic, is the single most crucial aspect of greenhouse construction. This plastic must let in light without preventing the entry of healthy UV rays.
Greenhouse kits include all necessary materials, and the structure can be assembled in a day or two. No digging is required, and the components simply snap together.
By manipulating the greenhouse’s internal environmental factors, such as temperature, airflow, and light, you can cultivate plants under optimal conditions.
The cover is the most essential component of the greenhouse, as previously mentioned. The “glazing” is the specialized plastic coverings used in most greenhouses to let in as much light as possible.
Glass is used in the construction of older greenhouses, but it is a delicate material. During a hailstorm or other severe weather event, the glass could break. There is a substantial increase in cost due to the inclusion of glass in your building.
Polycarbonate is another common glazing material because it is inexpensive, long-lasting, and transparent. For about the same cost as greenhouse plastic, polycarbonate is a versatile material that can be used to cover both flat and curved surfaces.
Selecting Your Site
Identifying the amount of space you’ll need inside the greenhouse is the first step. Make a scale model of the growing area out of wooden stakes and string to get a better idea of how much room you’ll need.
Greenhouses are a good long-term investment, but you should plan for future expansion of your growing space. You should also select a building that can withstand the changing of the seasons. Try to find a kit with a service life and warranty of at least ten years.
A greenhouse is more likely to be used rather than abandoned if it is constructed close to its intended use. Electrical and water lines can be easily extended to a building if it is constructed in close proximity to the main house.
Water and electricity can be brought to the greenhouse, but the lines supplying them must be buried at least 18 inches so that they are out of reach of a garden spade or pick.
Pick a spot in your garden that is flat and gets plenty of sunlight during the day if you want to construct a greenhouse there. Even if you plan to use artificial lighting, your greenhouse needs at least six hours of sunlight per day, even in the winter.
Sunlight will be maximized on the longest side of your greenhouse if you face it east to west. Greenhouse drainage is an essential consideration when designing your greenhouse area. All of your plants could die if the soil doesn’t drain properly. Spread a thin layer of desiccated granite (about 1/.4 of an inch) on the floor to facilitate water runoff.
Controlling the Greenhouse Environment
All greenhouses require four basic inputs—heat, air, water, and light—to function at their highest potential for plant growth. Let’s take a look at the roles that each of these plays in your greenhouse setting.
- Insulate the greenhouse at night to keep the heat in and protect your plants if you live in a cold climate. When the weather outside begins to change, some gardeners like to keep their greenhouses at the ideal temperature with the help of greenhouse heaters connected to a thermocouple. DIY heaters can be made by placing dried granite in barrels. After soaking up the sun’s rays all day, the stones will release their stored heat into the greenhouse at night. Another method that achieves the same result is to plant flowers and vegetables in old tires.
- Location near a water source is essential for a successful greenhouse. The water needs of greenhouse plants are greater than those of plants in outdoor flowerbeds.
- Ventilation is a standard feature of greenhouses, and it’s important to have it so the greenhouse doesn’t get too hot and kill your plants. The greenhouse skirting can be raised in some kits, and the roof can be adjusted in others.
- Greenhouses require continuous exposure to sunlight. The greenhouse’s ventilation system can be used to reduce internal temperatures if they rise above a comfortable range. Sunlight hours, however, are significantly reduced during the winter months. It is possible to maintain year-round plant growth by installing a grow lamp in your greenhouse.
Greenhouses Mold and Pests
Pests can also invade greenhouses, despite their protective environment. Insects that manage to get inside your greenhouse may as well have landed in paradise. If pests aren’t managed, they can quickly wipe out your harvest. Before bringing plants inside the greenhouse, you should always make sure they are healthy.
Mold growth is another issue for greenhouse gardeners to deal with. The pathogens that cause mold and fungus can spend the winter in the soil, where they can infect the next growing season’s crop and ruin your efforts.
Create a space in your garden dedicated to crop rotation. With this method, you can have a successful growing season the following year because of your healthy soil. Greenhouse mold can be eliminated with the help of a sulfur burner, which is why many gardeners regularly use them.
Pots or Flowerbeds?
Plants in a greenhouse can be grown in either containers or raised flowerbeds. Any viable option will have its benefits and drawbacks.
The convenience of portability is a distinct benefit of using pots. In the event that any of your plants become infested with insects, you can pick those plants out of the greenhouse before the disease spreads. A greater number of healthy, large-sized roots means more fruit when harvest time rolls around when you use material pots.
An alternative to growing plants in containers is a raised flowerbed, though this eliminates the convenience of transporting your plants around. A raised bed, on the other hand, allows for easier soil cultivation and provides larger plants with additional root space.
There is a wide variety of greenhouse accessories available to enhance its functionality and simplify crop management. Depending on your financial situation, you can add a wide variety of convenient features, such as automated vent systems, misting and heating systems, fans, tool racks, potting benches, and much more.
If you want to get the most out of your greenhouse’s growing space, you should keep as much of the floor as possible clear. Containers for fertilizer, gardening equipment, and seed stock can be hung from the greenhouse’s ceiling in wicker baskets.
Planting in Cold Vs. Warm Weather
Having a greenhouse at your disposal lets you grow food all through the seasons. Costs may rise if you choose to cultivate during the colder months. Powering a grow lamp with electricity can cost hundreds of dollars per growing season. Therefore, if you plan on bringing electricity into the greenhouse, we advise that you look into solar power.
Root vegetables like beets, onions, and carrots, as well as leafy greens like chard and kale, thrive when planted in the cooler winter months of December and January. Crops like broccoli, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and squash can all be sown as soon as the soil warms up enough in the spring.
It may take you more than one growing season to figure out how to maintain a stable temperature and humidity in your greenhouse, as well as which plants and vegetables thrive under different conditions.
The Bottom Line on How to Use a 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse
A 4-tier mini greenhouse is one of the most cost-effective and space-efficient options among greenhouses. As a reminder, a 4-tier mini-greenhouse functions just like a regular-sized greenhouse, only better. It’s economical and efficient, allowing you to grow more plants in less room.