A mini greenhouse is a small climate-controlled home space that helps maintain the right conditions for seed germination. It’s ideal for homeowners without enough space for a large greenhouse as it comes in space-efficient styles that can be located both indoors and outdoors.
A mini greenhouse allows you to continue growing your plants, such as vegetables, flowers, or fruits, before or after the natural season.
For instance, many gardeners utilize mini greenhouses to germinate seeds in spring before it gets warmer to plant them in the garden. However, there are many mini greenhouses with many features, which makes it overwhelming to choose the right greenhouse for your needs. Fortunately, below are the top features you need for a perfect mini greenhouse.
There are different greenhouses, such as wooden, aluminum, cold frames, and lean-to greenhouses. However, if you’re looking for the best mini greenhouse, cold frames are the best. In fact, South West Greenhouses recommends you choose a cold frame if you have very limited space, as they are the most space efficient type of greenhouse, allowing you to grow plants on your balcony or a small patio.
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Cold-frame greenhouses are transparent, insulated, and roofed structures built low to protect plants from harsh climatic conditions. Unlike other greenhouses, which use artificial heat sources like gas or electricity, cold-frame greenhouses use the sun’s heat to create a conducive environment for your plants.
Additionally, when it’s too hot, the roof of the greenhouse can be removed to allow hot air to escape from the top. The sides remain intact to protect your plants against strong winds. What’s more, cold frames are one of the most durable greenhouses in the market as they’re made from galvanized steel, meaning they’re resistant to rust and corrosion.
Specialized Ventilation System
Ventilation is one of the most important yet overlooked features of a mini greenhouse. Ventilation is key in regulating humidity and temperature levels in your greenhouse. When buying ready-made greenhouses to keep your plants warm during winter, you should also consider the greenhouse’s ventilation to keep plants cool during summer.
Without proper ventilation, your plants die of too much heat. While many people use fans to enhance air circulation in the greenhouse, this isn’t necessary if your greenhouse is properly ventilated.
Besides temperature regulation, ventilation also provides a constant supply of fresh air (carbon dioxide) needed for photosynthesis. That’s why plants in well-ventilated greenhouses are healthier than those in fully enclosed greenhouses.
Moreover, ventilation helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases. This is because fungal diseases like powdery mildew and pests thrive in warm and humid areas with little air circulation. Finally, the wind entering through the ventilation system helps improve pollination and helps plants grow stronger as the roots anchor to the ground to withstand the winds.
Automatic Watering System
Water is key for your plants to grow strong and healthy. However, with your busy schedules, it’s easy to forget to water your plants regularly. For this reason, it’s wise to have an automatic watering system that waters your plants even when you’re away. Some of the best watering systems for a mini greenhouse include using self-watering trays, sprinklers, or drip systems.
Self-watering trays have capillary mats that absorb water from a reservoir underneath and release the water to the soil and plants above. This is the easiest watering system that provides a constant supply of water to plants.
The plants are placed over the wet mat and absorb water whenever they need it. All you need to do is top your reservoir every week. Sprinklers are devices fitted on pipes and spray water to plants.
In gardens, sprinklers are placed on the ground but in a mini greenhouse, they’re mounted on the ceiling. Most sprinklers measure the amount of humidity in the air to determine the amount of water needed. On the other hand, drip systems use a hose pipe with water emitters set alongside each plant and provide water at set intervals. The hose pipe can be placed on the surface or buried under the soil.
Large greenhouses may not need to have shelving systems. Still, mini greenhouses need shelving systems to maximize the use of the limited space while ensuring the plants receive enough sunlight. However, when installing the shelving system, avoid overcrowding the greenhouse with too many shelves, as your plants will need more space when they start to grow. Additionally, the shelves should be easily removable to prevent limiting you in terms of the plants you should grow.
There you have it! Those are the essential features you need to create a perfect mini greenhouse that will extend beyond the natural season and ensure you have fruits and vegetables throughout the year.