Greenhouse Tips for Beginners

Posted by admin on Jan 7, 2020 under Gardening
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Growing your own produce is not only extremely fulfilling and an enjoyable hobby to pass time all year round, but it is a great step forward towards being more sustainable. A greenhouse gives you freedom when it comes to what you can grow, and even gives your less hardy plants a home when the cold weather hits. If you’re thinking about setting up your own greenhouse but don’t know where to begin, follow this guide with some fantastic greenhouse tips for beginners.

It’s worth noting that when you are new to greenhouse growing, it can be hard to get everything right in your first season, and while trial and error is an important part of the learning process, these top greenhouse tips for beginners will give any greenhouse novices a real head start.

What is a greenhouse?

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A greenhouse is simply a building in which plants are grown. Where to build your greenhouse is entirely dependent on the size of your garden, as they can be small or large in size, and be attached to your property or freestanding.

You may be thinking “why use a greenhouse when you’ve got a garden?”, but the purpose of a greenhouse is to help crops grow by shielding them from cold weather and heat, as well as any unwanted pests such as flies and slugs, for example.

A greenhouse makes it possible to grow certain types of crops year-round throughout the seasons, including starting seeds earlier, grow exotic plants, grow fruit and vegetables all year round and grow tender plants which may not survive outdoors when exposed to the elements.

Where should the greenhouse go?

The closer the greenhouse is to your home, you will be more likely to use it. Ideally, you need a spot which has maximum sun exposure (around 6 hours of direct sunlight per day), but is sheltered from cold winds. Another thing to take into consideration is having easy access to water and electricity, which is why many people opt for an attached greenhouse which backs onto their property.

What to grow in a greenhouse?

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For beginner gardeners, if you have a greenhouse with a soil floor, it is advisable to start growing in ground soil, as this technique will make it easier to manage watering and fertilisation. However, growing in containers, grow bags or bulb crates have their advantages, such as no weeding and reduced cases of soil-borne diseases, but are often more work. The choice is yours.

Related: How to Prepare Soil for Planting

Knowing what to grow is one of the first steps to getting started in your greenhouse. Before you choose the plants and crops you want to grow, research what environments, temperatures and humidity your plants and crops will need to thrive.

These are a few easy-to-grow vegetables to help you get started…

  • Salad leaves
  • Spring onions
  • Radishes
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Herbs
  • Broad beans
  • Runner beans
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Beetroot


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Knowing what to plant per season can be tough when you are a beginner, especially as a greenhouse offers four seasons of gardening, as opposed to just three outdoors. Here are some ideas:


Start by sowing seeds in a tray inside your greenhouse. As the seedlings begin to emerge, it is advisable to transport them into larger pots and keep them in the greenhouse until the weather has begun to warm (i.e. no frost).


Start by growing autumnal flowers, perennials and other plants inside the greenhouse.


Start growing holiday plants, such as amaryllis bulbs, inside the greenhouse.


Winter is a good time to take advantage of the temperature inside the greenhouse to give you a kick-start when it comes to spring. Consider growing some hardy vegetables such as lettuce, for example. Protect any tender herbs and annual plants, such as geraniums, by growing them inside your greenhouse throughout the winter months.

For more information about growing seasonal produce, see our flower calendar.

Challenges of growing crops in a greenhouse

Bear in mind that there are a number of challenges of growing plants in a greenhouse. Although it is great having an area protected from the elements, it can be devastating if you get an insect infestation inside the greenhouse. Not to mention mould, fungi and viruses will thrive in the warm, humid conditions inside the greenhouse, so it is important to always keep a close eye on your crops and ensure you have good air circulation.

Furthermore, temperature can also be an issue for many beginner gardeners, as the temperature is one of the most important aspects to master. As a result, in order to operate a successful greenhouse, you should ensure you understand the different temperatures needed for each crop, and get ensure it is at the optimum level before starting to grow anything. After all, this will make sure your plants and vegetables thrive.

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