When I first got my greenhouse (a long awaited dream), I had zero experience with greenhouses. My gardening repertoire had been restricted to outdoor raised beds and a couple months of seed starting under grow lights indoors. So when setting up my new Palram Greenhouse, my husband and I built two re-claimed pallet benches on each side.
While this was great (and inexpensive) for potted flowers and tender seedlings, I had a hard time keeping my mature vegetable plants happy and healthy. Being restricted to a small growing container on top of a bench, the soil would dry out quickly and the poor plants would fry in the heat. Has this ever happened to you?
My first mistake as a newbie was not realizing just how much root space a vegetable plant needs in order to thrive. Planting in the ground or a raised bed, I never really had to think about it. My second mistake, was not appreciating just how much the elevated temperature inside the greenhouse would effect my veggies and that unless you have an Automatic Vent Opener, you need to be monitoring the temperature. Which leads to my third and compounding error: the smaller the plant container & the hotter the temperature, the more you have to water. I lost several of my precious veggie starts to these 3 mistakes. Which combined all meant that unless I wanted to spend a great deal of time and energy monitoring my greenhouse every day, I needed to figure out some better solutions – or be very limited as to what I could actually grow inside my greenhouse.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to spend time in my greenhouse, but I want to do enjoyable activities in there – Such as feeding, admiring and harvesting my healthy plants.
So Jordan (my husband) removed the slats on the right side of the greenhouse bench and crafted some garden boxes, which we filled with organic soil amended with our own compost. (We left the slatted bench on the left side for potted flowers, since they are great for attracting pollinators and I rotate these flower pots frequently.) With these new deep boxes, root space would not be an issue and the plants would have ample space to grow tall. Which means that my dream of growing tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse was a real possibility – if I could find a system for trellising.
After doing some online research, I found the Palram Trellising Kit which looked pretty good and had the features I wanted. Since I can attest to the awesome quality of my Palram Greenhouse, I felt confident that this would be my solution.
Installation was simple and fast, and I got right to planting. The trellising clips are reusable! They snap closed, holding the stem and the trellising string together, with enough room for the stem to get bigger as it grows. This is one of the features of the Palram Kit that I really liked because I do not want to have to remember to buy new trellising clips every season.
It’s always been my dream to have a greenhouse full of dangling cucumbers and tomatoes over my head!
As the cucumbers and tomatoes climbed up the trellis, that’s exactly what happened!
It’s a great feeling to walk into a lush thriving Greenhouse, especially when past seasons have not yielded well.
To sum it up for the novice greenhouse gardener, or perhaps someone just experiencing one or more of my initial challenges: Provide your veggies with lots of root space, compost rich soil, water them well, and make sure that your greenhouse is adequately vented. I use a small fan suspended at the top back end of my greenhouse and I leave the vent and door open every day during the warm season. I have the Automatic Greenhouse Vent on my wishlist!
It’s also very important to give your climbing veggies adequate support as they grow. For me, this trellising kit really cut down on maintenance, allowing me to simply clip my cucumber and tomato stems to the string every now and then, rather than having to tie them up with a makeshift support.
Do you have questions or comments about greenhouse gardening? Post a Comment below!