Greenhouses can make growing plants an easy experience regardless of the season. Before you get started, there are many items that you need to keep your greenhouse working at its peak. Remember that greenhouses are contained and controlled environments, so they are best suited for temperamental and greenhouse-specific plants such as orchids.
- You're going to need to control the overall temperature of the greenhouse by selecting the appropriate heater and fan. Colder climates will require a larger heater than fan, while warmer regions will benefit from a fan that outsizes the heater.
- Vents are important for circulating air throughout your greenhouse. If your greenhouse didn't come with vents, you'll need to purchase and install them.
- If the greenhouse is large and a permanent air conditioner or heater is installed, a thermostat will be needed.
- Watering supplies are necessary whether you are going to do everything by hand or install a drip irrigation system. If you're watering by hand, you'll need hoses, watering wands, and watering cans. Drip irrigation systems can be installed from a spigot or main line running into the greenhouse. The method you choose determines the exact items you'll need.
- You'll need a place to work. Benches and shelves will help immensely.
- Lighting is something that you will need throughout your greenhouse. There are special light bulbs that are designed to help with growth. You should be able to find these UV lights at your local hardware store.
- Don't forget your basic hand tools. You'll need these items for planting and transplanting if you decide to move your plants outdoors.
- Fertilizers and pesticides will certainly be needed; they are plant and insect specific, so make sure you buy the one that best fits items you're growing.
- Books and/or magazines that relate to the specific plants that you want to grow will pay for themselves over time. Anything to help you get through the trial and error process is recommended.
- Lastly, the obvious item you'll need is pots. You can't have a greenhouse without pots for your plants, so don't forget these essentials.
Once you have determined what items you need for your greenhouse, locating the best location to buy them may seem like a challenge. After all, greenhouses need specific items and not all big box retailers carry them. What you can find at the big box retailers are the common items: pots, some fertilizers, and pesticides.
Independent nurseries will almost always be your best bet; they more than likely have a more knowledgeable staff than any large retailer. Keep in mind that many of the items at independent nurseries will have higher retail prices. Also keep in mind that the general public can sometimes order directly from the same suppliers that service the local nurseries. Simply obtain the vendor name and contact them directly. Sometimes they will sell directly to you and even ship the requested item to your door. However, this is only recommended as a last resort due to the higher costs involved. Setting up an operating a greenhouse on any level is a challenge and should be kept more to the intermediate skilled gardeners. Still, with a little know-how and sound advice, anything is possible.