How to grow food in a greenhouse in Georgia depends on the type and size, as well as the location and care of the greenhouse. When using a greenhouse in the state of Georgia, you’ll have to take into account additional factors, just like you would in any other state. Learning about the three areas described above will help you prepare for this endeavor.
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Did you know that half of Georgia’s ornamental horticulture business is done in greenhouses? In addition, they are the 7th most valuable commodity in the world, at $444 million. You can participate in the year-round cultivation of crops by learning how to properly use this useful structure.
How To Use Greenhouse In Georgia: 3 Considerations
Georgia has a wide variety of greenhouses to choose from. With this state of affairs, you must understand the many sorts and sizes, as well as your region and how to properly manage one.
Type and size
In Georgia, the type and size of greenhouse should be the first things to be considered. Greenhouses were categorized by the University of Georgia Extension as either freestanding or attached to the building. A lean-to, an even-span greenhouse, or a window-mounted greenhouse are all possibilities with the latter.
Freestanding vs. attached
Freestanding greenhouses in Georgia can be built in any location, any shape, and any size you want. For this greenhouse, you’ll need to install a heating system. It’s also possible to grow in an even-span greenhouse.
Because of its design, a lean-to greenhouse in Georgia might save you money on electricity expenditures. If you’re simply planning on cultivating a few plants, a window-mounted greenhouse is an option. The size of the greenhouse you buy depends on the number of plants you wish to grow.
If you want to use your greenhouse effectively, you need to make sure it’s the right size. Calculate how much space you need for your walkway, shelves, and the size of your crops. When it comes time to expand, experts advocate increasing the size of your current facility by up to 50%.
Knowing where you live is the next step in determining how to operate a greenhouse in Georgia correctly. The hardiness zone in which you live has a huge impact on the types of indoor practices you can conduct. Temperatures in Georgia can range from -5 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA’s 6 to 9 rating.
As long as you keep in mind the needs of your location, you can tailor your greenhouse methods to meet those needs. Greenhouse upkeep in Georgia will be addressed in a subsequent section of this text. The location of your greenhouse is critical to the effectiveness of your management strategies.
Consider how safe this place will be from a storm based on the direction and strength of the sun in this area. Avoid building your greenhouse in the north and instead choose a bright spot on the south or east side of your home. Natural heat from the sun can be harnessed by your greenhouse in Georgia so that your plants can thrive.
Proper greenhouse upkeep is the next thing to think about now that you know about greenhouse sizes and varieties as well as the optimal location for a greenhouse in Georgia. It is possible for gardeners to ease greenhouse upkeep by performing frequent inspections and cleanings. Here are some broad guidelines for keeping an eye on your greenhouse, but remember that your plants and location may necessitate adjustments.
Temperature, air circulation, and humidity
For starters, maintaining ideal indoor conditions for plants is a critical element of greenhouse utilization. Temperatures of 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for most plants to grow in the greenhouse. Temperature sensitivity varies among plants, with some able to withstand even the harshest conditions.
Be on the lookout for any problems in your Georgia greenhouse, especially if the nights in your area get really cold. Summer heat may necessitate the use of a cooling device or shade for some plants. Besides temperature, your greenhouse’s success is also dependent on ventilation and humidity.
Mold and pests can be kept at bay if proper ventilation and humidity levels are maintained indoors. If you believe it will be more convenient for your greenhouse, you may also employ automated methods. Last but not least, regardless of where your greenhouse is located, you should conduct frequent cleaning and sanitation.
Cleaning and sanitation
To prevent the spread of fungal diseases, pests, and weeds, you must be careful with the plants and materials you bring indoors. In addition, you should clean the greenhouse on a regular basis and keep it free of debris, cuttings, and soil spills.
Growing New Business
Cut flower sales is where the Windhams got their start in business. Larry and Janie now have a covered growing area of an acre and a half-acre of land in which to cultivate their crops. Retail florists and independent garden centers are the Windhams’ primary customers as a small-scale grower.
When it comes to the growing greenhouse industry, Larry Windham believes Georgia is a fantastic place to do business.
There are no better conditions, he claims. “It’s not too expensive to heat or cool in the winter or spring and fall. “Nurseries in the area produce stunning goods.”
Dearing’s McCorkle Nurseries was established in 1942 by C.S. and Avice McCorkle and is family-owned and operated. One-stop-shop retail, landscape, and growing enterprise grew to an organization with various divisions throughout the years. In the late 1950s, Don and Jack McCorkle began working in their parents’ nursery. Currently, the company is run by three of the founders’ great-grandchildren and grows more than 4 million plants annually.
Don McCorkle told Nursery Management magazine in 2010: “You have to adapt and adjust, and our business is experiencing that in a huge manner right now.”
Christmas Tree Trends
Chuck Berry has watched his Christmas tree business develop and expand over the past 35 years while working in a separate sector of Georgia’s nursery industry. The Berry family has been farming their land outside of Covington since 1894, and the first Christmas trees were planted in the late 1970s. Choose-and-cut operation Berry’s Christmas Tree Farm welcomes families to come to the farm and chop down their own tree. In the late 1990s, the industry underwent a modest decline, according to Berry.
There was an increase in the use of artificial trees and a more rushed way of life, according to Berry. ” “However, many are starting to reclaim some of their lost leisure time by returning to the farm. Over the past few years, most Christmas tree farms in Georgia have shown excellent growth.”
Berry and Windham may have distinct crops, but they share a similar outlook on the sector. “We’re one of the old ones still hanging on, and we’re just going to keep making modifications to accommodate our clients,” Windham says. We may have to adjust some of the things we’ve been doing for years or even add some new features when we can, but that’s the only option we have.
Berry points out that, fortunately, things always work out in the end. “The experience that can’t be found at a large box merchant is one of the main advantages of any choose-and-cut farm. It is the goal of every Georgia farm to create a Christmas tradition that will keep families returning year after year.”
Making the Most of Your Greenhouse
To understand the limitations of basic greenhouses, it is necessary to be aware of their limitations. Winter sunshine and early sunsets through greenhouse walls signal to plants that the growing season is done, but freezing temperatures can still creep in and harm delicate foliage or blooms. You may not be able to harvest hot-weather fruits and vegetables year-round unless you plan to invest in supplementary heating and lighting to establish a tropical greenhouse.
The absence of native pollinators is also a major consideration. Pollen-carrying insects will disappear in the winter, and your greenhouse may be tough to access all year round if you don’t let them in. The fruits and vegetables you want to produce have specific pollination requirements. Pollen transmission can be as easy as using an oscillating fan to mimic the wind, or as complex as using cotton buds to transfer pollen by hand.
As you plan your year-round vegetable garden, consider about how to maximize the space in your greenhouse. Set up a trellis system for vines and plant vegetables in containers that can be placed on the greenhouse’s robust shelving systems. Also, if you have a greenhouse, you may want to consider hanging upside-down planters. The dirt in containers dries up more quickly, so you’ll need to water and fertilize your plants more frequently than if you were growing them in the ground.
Planning Your Year-Round Garden
Seasonal planting dates should still be followed unless you plan to install a heating system in your greenhouse in the winter. veggies that grow in cooler weather, according to Burpee and Practical Self Reliance, include:
- broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all Brassica oleracea varieties; kale, Brassica oleracea varieties; and bok choy, Brassica oleracea varieties; (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera).
- This includes alliums such as onion and garlic, as well as green and yellow onions, leeks, and chives, which are all members of the Allium genus (Allium schoenoprasum).
- Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), and arugula (Arugula sativa) are among the salad greens (Eruca vesicaria ssp. sativa).
- A variety of root vegetables such as carrots (Daucus carota subspecies sativus), parsnips, beets, radishes, and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).
You may eat fresh salads and veggies all winter long if you shield them from frosts and use artificial illumination to keep them growing. Your greenhouse will become uninhabitable to these cold-weather vegetables as the weather warms up in the spring. Solanum lycopersicum (tomatoes), zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) and peppers (Capsicum annum) should be replaced with plants that grow in the summer, such as tomatoes, beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus). Corn (Zea mays), winter squash (Cucurbita maxima), and melons (Malus domestica) are examples of vegetables that may not thrive in greenhouses (Cucumis melo).
Use a Greenhouse for Seed Starting
A greenhouse is a great place to start seedlings before they are ready to be planted directly in the ground. The seedlings may be kept warm in the greenhouse while you wait for the last frost to pass, ready to transplant as soon as the conditions are right outside. For a staggered harvest, direct sow another round of seeds after you’ve transplanted the plants in your garden.
However, not all fruits and vegetables enjoy the process of transplantation; in fact, many dislike it. In some cases, plants have sensitive roots or are unable to cope with the transition between the greenhouse and the outside world. They may be too late to catch up to their direct-seeded peers by the time they recover and start growing strong again after transplants. When it comes to vegetables like carrots, beets, and parsnips, direct-sowing is recommended by the University of California for all root vegetables as well as cucumbers, melons, maize, and peas (Pisum sativum).
A “hardening off” technique can help you grow healthy seedlings, as can utilizing biodegradable seed starting pots that don’t disturb the roots or providing extra care for transplants that require it. Beginners should start with easy-to-transplant crops like tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens, and cabbage.
Creating a Tropical Greenhouse
If you want a true “hot house” or tropical greenhouse, you’ll need to put in a little more work and be prepared to pay for the monthly utility bills that will certainly accrue as a result of your greenhouse. However, the reward will be worth it as you reap the benefits of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and other off-season fruits and vegetables.
If you’re seeking to grow plants in a tropical greenhouse, glass is a popular building material because it let in a lot of light while also being visually appealing. According to the University of Georgia, ventilation in greenhouses should be provided via fans or windows that may be opened quickly. Dedicated heaters and a fogger are required in the winter, although fans or cooling systems may be needed in the summer. As a result, you’ll need to make sure that your tropical greenhouse is well-insulated.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure your tropical greenhouse is well-lit. In winter, the less sunlight you get the further north you go from the equator. Grow lights can help tropical and summer plants thrive even during the year’s shortest days by providing them with the extra light they need to thrive.
Planting Schedule for Year-Round Harvest
Keeping track of your planting schedule in a tropical greenhouse is essential to ensuring a year-round supply of veggies. Depending on the amount of area you have, you’ll have to adjust the number of seeds you sow each time. According to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, the following is the ideal time to plant:
- Every week, radishes are available.
- Spinach: I eat it at least once a week.
- As for lettuce, use it about once a week for tiny greens and about once a month for full-sized
- Every ten days: Peas
- Every ten days: Bush beans
- Every two weeks, you’ll get a shipment of beets
- Each and every three weeks, eat carrots
- Every three weeks for cucumbers
- Every three weeks, melon
- Every 30 days: Summer Squash
As long as the tomatoes are indeterminate varieties and the peppers are perennials, they will keep producing. Tomatoes and peppers can also be grown from cuttings, as can carrots, onions, celery, and lettuce. Plants that are buried in deep, fertile soil will continue to produce tubers.
A year-round vegetable harvest can be achieved in a greenhouse using a variety of methods. Everything else is just a matter of making sure your setup and sowing schedule are correct.
Indoor gardening thrives in Georgia, the “peach state.” A greenhouse in Georgia must be used with three key concerns in mind. The greenhouse’s kind and size, location, and maintenance are all factors to keep in mind.
However, these three aspects will alter the management of greenhouses in general. Because the hardiness zones in Georgia range from 6 to 9, you’ll need to figure out what zone you’re in and make adjustments based on that. To put it another way, you can use a greenhouse the same way you’d use a greenhouse in any other state, with only a few exceptions.