May 26, 2012

Building Your Own Mini Green House

Greenhouses are excellent for improving the growth of plants and vegetables. Greenhouses are often too impractical for a small garden, however, and many people simply do not have the space which they need or the money with which to build one. Thankfully, even miniature greenhouses have a positive effect on your vegetable patch and they can be constructed from recycled items or from materials costing as little as $20, with the nothing but the most basic of hand tools.

How a Greenhouse Works
A greenhouse works by allowing light and thus heat into the area and then trapping it there. This is a natural phenomenon that is actually the same reason why the Earth is warm because the atmosphere acts in the same way with sunlight. This ‘greenhouse effect’ can be artificially created with any translucent material and this makes it easy to keep your plants warm.

How to Build a Miniature Greenhouse
The answer to this basically depends upon the size of the plant which you are trying to grow. I have successfully created an array of ‘greenhouses’ for my carrot plants, for example, using empty Coke bottles. By cutting the bottom off of a 2 litre bottle and removing the label this plastic bottle becomes the perfect greenhouse for a single carrot or garlic plant and it couldn’t be easier. It also has the added benefit of keeping slugs and snails away from your plants.

Making a larger miniature greenhouse can be slightly more complex but it is still very easy to do. To start with you should make a frame to the size of your intended area. This just needs to be a base that will rest upon the ground and support the arching braces. From this wooden frame you can then use a basic epoxy glue to hold some copper or plastic piping in place against it, which loops over the plants to the other side of the frame. You will need to make upwards of three loops depending upon the length of your mini greenhouse but this is then simply covered with plastic sheeting. 

Another way to make a mini greenhouse is by utilising panes of glass which may be left over from replacing windows in the past. Creating a wooden frame of a slightly greater height will allow you to simply rest this sheet of glass over the top of the frame and benefit from the heat generated in this simple manner. This will only be suited for plants which grow only to a low level, such as cress or herbs, but this can create an excellent individual habitat for the growth of vegetables.

Caring for a Greenhouse
The extreme heats to which your miniature greenhouse will reach means that you will have to regularly water your plants to ensure that they survive. This is not because the water evaporates faster; rather it is because the plants need to absorb a greater portion of water because they are photosynthesizing at a far greater rate. The plants will also need a greater level of nutrients to fuel their growth.
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1 comment:

roffe said...

The summer in Norway is very short, so a green house is a good to have.

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