If you live in a climate zone that experiences cold winters, the garden will most likely go dormant starting in the fall and return during the spring. To encourage continued growth of potted plants though, these items can be moved into a greenhouse during cold weather months. Doing winter greenhouse gardening is not complicated and requires only a few supplies.
You will need:
- Greenhouse fan
- Artificial lights
- Water sprayer to attach to hose
- Pots containing drainage holes (both 3 to 5 and 30 gallon)
- Organic compost
- Potting soil (quick-draining)
Step 1: Install the greenhouse and equip it with a greenhouse fan, heater, and artificial lights. Locate the structure within access to a water faucet. Inspect the outer walls for split seams or cracks and seal these with the caulk. This will keep the warm air inside and keep out cold air.
Step 2: When the temperature drops into the frost range, move the plants from the garden and yard into the greenhouse. You can also plant additional plants to grow in the greenhouse garden. Put vegetable plants in pots between 3 and 5 gallons. Fruit trees should be placed in 30-gallon pots. Combine one-half potting soil and one-half organic compost, filling each pot ¾ full. This will provide the plants with the nutrition they need while growing in the greenhouse.
Step 3: Place plants so they receive the proper amount of sun exposure. Flowers and vegetables usually need eight of hours of full sun daily, so these should be placed in the middle of the greenhouse. The hardy plants can be placed by the outer edges. Plants that are very sensitive should be placed in the center, far from the walls.
Step 4: Use the fan to provide air circulation and assistance with pollination. As the days shorten and grow cooler, use the lights and heater to supplement the natural conditions. This will maintain the proper amount of light and the correct temperature. Monitor the greenhouse temperature using the thermometer.
Step 5: Provide each plant with a minimum of 2 inches of water weekly. When the fan, lights, and heater are in use, increase the frequency of watering. Use the hose to spray the plants once per week. This will increase the level of greenhouse humidity. Ensure that the windows and doors are kept shut to increase the humidity and warmth.