When you start growing a part of your own produce, you quickly come to a point where you start thinking about getting a greenhouse.
A greenhouse is an important addition to any garden in a cold climate. The greenhouse allows you to extend the short season and protect sensitive plants. In addition, you can grow plants that would not otherwise thrive in our latitudes.
Unpredictable climate change
The climate changes we have experienced in recent years make the growing season unpredictable. We can no longer take for granted old thumbs of rules as to when to sow and what to sow when.
Spring often comes earlier, and the heat in early March causes many plants to germinate prematurely. And when delayed frost nights come early in June, it can be devastating to plants that do not tolerate frost.
With a greenhouse, you can give the most sensitive plants better protection against climate change that causes instability in our weather conditions.
There is a large selection of greenhouses on the market. You can get everything from small affordable greenhouses that fit on a standard growing box, to beautiful, large conservatory style greenhouses. If you search a bit online, you will probably find one that fits perfectly in your garden and agrees with your wallet.
Build it yourself
Another popular option is to build the greenhouse yourself. You can be creative and use everything from old windows and recycled wood, to finished modules and Plexiglas panels. You can do a search for greenhouse projects on, for example, Pinterest to get inspiration and tips on how to build your own greenhouse. YouTube is also a great source for inspirational do-it-yourself videos.
A huge advantage of building the greenhouse yourself is that you can decide both the shape and size. It can also be significantly cheaper than buying a greenhouse, especially if you choose to use recycled materials rather than buying new material.
Pollination can be challenging
When you have plants in a greenhouse, you must keep an eye on the pollination as this can be difficult for the plants. Bumblebees, bees, and other pollinators may have difficulty finding their way into the greenhouse.
Most summer days I have the door to my greenhouse open from early morning until late in the evening. Nevertheless, there are very few insects to be seen in the greenhouse. Now, of course, it could be that they fly in and out again without me noticing.
Among other things, I have four cucumber plants in the greenhouse this year, and I see that the female flowers are not fertilized. This manifests itself in the form of the tiny cucumber-starters turning yellow, withering, and falling off.
I have therefore started to hand-pollinate the cucumbers in the greenhouse, and I am excited to see how many cucumbers we manage to grow.
How fancy do you want to get?
Most of us choose a simple cold greenhouse. That is, the only heating takes place in the form of sun rays shining through the glass walls and reflected around inside the greenhouse. We recognize this as the greenhouse effect.
On very sunny and hot days, it can get too hot in such a greenhouse. We can counteract this by leaving doors and windows open or using curtains or other sun protection.
However, it is also possible to choose technical solutions that automatically regulate the climatic conditions in the greenhouse. To extend the season further, it is possible to install heating. If you have a heated greenhouse, you can also use extra lighting in early spring to get the plants going even earlier.
In addition, it is also possible to regulate factors such as humidity and CO2 levels / oxygen levels, to give the plants optimal conditions.
It is only your imagination and your technical skills that limits what you can do. Whichever greenhouse solution you choose, you will definitively benefit more from the growing season in a cold climate.