Greenhouse Construction | Choose the Best Greenhouse Site

Greenhouse Construction

Greenhouse Construction

Greenhouse Construction

Greenhouse Construction

Greenhouse Construction

Choosing the best site for your greenhouse construction may not be as easy as it sounds. The ideal location should provide good daily light throughout the year, adhere to relevant building codes, protect the greenhouse from chronic weather  problems like strong winds and heavy snow and rainfall, give plants optimum growing conditions, lets the gardener work conveniently the year around, and present the most pleasant appearance possible in your landscape. — Such ideal locations are few and far between, but, with some compromises, most gardeners can find a suitable spot.

Many of the obstacles you’ll encounter in finding space for a greenhouse will be out of your control: building codes, the amount of land you have Continue reading →

Tips on Caring for African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African Violets

African violets (their botanical genus name is Saintpaulia) are members of a large plant family called gesneriads. Many of their relatives (e.g. episcias, achimenes, Columneas, kohlerias, and the like) also make good house plants.

Though most gardeners can succeed in growing African violets, understanding and meeting their cultural guidelines will promote the best possible performance. Do keep in mind that different varieties react to the same growing conditions in different ways. Some African violets will be profuse bloomers; other plants may be stingy with their flowers. If masses of flowers are your goal, you will probably be happier if you replace the shy bloomers with proven plants. Continue reading →

Outgrowing Your Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Garden Greenhouse

Many greenhouse gardeners eventually find that they need more growing space than their present garden greenhouse can provide. One quick way to gain space is to install a cold frame or a hotbed adjacent to the greenhouse area, but these devices have limited uses and will serve only as stop gap measures.

Another way to gain space is to build a second greenhouse, but the best method of gaining growing space is to expand your present house. Some garden greenhouse styles, such as the geodesic dome, defy addition unless you alter their basic shape. Luckily, most other styles allow for easy expansion. Continue reading →

Tips on How to Force Flower Bulbs to Bloom

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Flower Bulbs

Forcing flower bulbs means that you coax them into blooming weeks or months earlier than they would bloom naturally. By giving them a warm temperature earlier than nature would provide it, you can persuade bulbs to give you a taste of spring when it’s still cold and bleak outdoors.

Flower bulbs and their associates — corms and tubers — contain tiny, dormant plants surrounded by enough nutriment to sustain them through the early stages of growth. The stored food supports the embryo plant until it has formed roots.

A bulb is an underground stem surrounded by thick, overlapping scales that contain food produced by the previous year’s growth. In contrast to the pear shape of most bulbs, a corm is usually flat at both Continue reading →

Garden Tips | Fern Plants

Many fern plants are commonly grown in the garden or as house plants. Ferns are such versatile plants that gardeners put them to many uses; their various green tones make them very useful in the landscape or as a special accent indoors. Ferns have a quiet grace and come in a variety of pleasing shapes.

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Fern Plants

Ferns are one of the oldest plant forms on our planet and one of the largest families. They produced no flowers, reproducing by spores that form directly on the fronds. Native varieties hail from all corners of the world; most grows in forests, though some varieties come Continue reading →

Greenhouse Designs: Which One Fits Your Needs? – PART 2

* This is part two of a two-part article about “Greenhouse Designs”. Part one can be found here.

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

# Quonset-Style Greenhouse

A Quonset-shaped greenhouse is a do-it-yourselfer’s dream. These structures are easy to build from inexpensive, easy-to-manipulate materials. Many are framed with PVC plastic pipe or wood, then covered with rigid or soft plastics.

Advantages

– A Quonset-shaped greenhouse is relatively easy for the average homeowner to construct.

– Inexpensive building materials coupled with low construction costs may allow you to build a larger greenhouse than you could otherwise afford.

Disadvantages

– The Quonset shape makes these greenhouses hard to ventilate. This may require more than average equipment and more frequent checks by the owner.

– If you use a soft plastic covering, be prepared to repair and replace it periodically. Be certain to plan for these expenses in your overall maintenance costs. Continue reading →

Greenhouse Designs: Which One Fits Your Needs?

Greenhouses have a variety of different structural designs. The greenhouse design you will select may depend on several factors: the amount of money you want to invest, the amount and location of the space you have available, the climate in which you live, and the plants you plan to grow. Since each of these factors is important, you should base your decision on the design of greenhouse that most closely fits your needs in all four respects.

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Greenhouse Designs

Continue reading →

Cacti and Succulents Growing Tips

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

The cactus and succulent plant families are usually discussed together. Because their growth needs are so similar. The plants themselves have a lot in common, too. Succulents, strictly speaking, include any plant that stores water in juicy leaves, stems, or roots to withstand periodic drought. Most succulents are native to desert or semi-desert areas in the warmer regions of the world, notably Mexico and South Africa. A few are from colder climates. While it’s true that these plants can survive extended droughts, they usually drop leaves, shrivel, or lose leaf color.

Like the succulents, cacti are generally leafless with modified stems shaped like cylinders, pads, or joints that can store water in anticipation of future droughts. Their thick skins reduce evaporation, Continue reading →