Columns written by Greg Grant and a Smith Co. Master Gardener which have appeared in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, are posted here.
Valentine’s Day is for roses and more
- By Greg Grant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service –
Do I really want a greenhouse?
- By Debby Watkins, Smith County Master Gardeners –
The decision to have a greenhouse is not one to be made lightly, or on the spur of the moment. There are many questions you should ask yourself in the process of making your decision. Not taking the time to fully think through these questions can cause you to be unhappy with your choice.
First off, you must determine how much you want to spend. It’s important to set a budget ahead of time. The answer to this question can help determine the answers to the following questions: How large will it be? How much growing space will you need? How automated do you want it?
To help answer the questions on size and growing space, you must ask yourself how you will use it. There are many potential uses for a greenhouse, such as starting plants from seed and other forms of propagation, growing plants and crops out of season like tomatoes and peppers, growing commercial crops, growing plants or crops not adapted to the locality like orchids, and protecting tropical plants or succulents during the winter (storage). The important thing is to determine what “you” want to do with “your” greenhouse and how much time you’ll spend in it after it’s built.
To determine how automated you want your greenhouse to be, you have to decide what environmental conditions such as light, temperature, water, growing media, humidity and air circulation you want to control. By providing automatic controls you can keep the maintenance low. However, you can save money by not using automatic controls and doing the work by hand.
Once you have answered all the above questions, you still need to decide where you are going to put the new greenhouse. The answer to that question depends upon how much space your have on your lot, any deed restrictions, any needed permits, utilities and placement and how the location of the greenhouse will affect your neighbors.
Greenhouses aren’t for everyone, but if you’ve always dreamed of having one, I say to for it! They can open up a whole new world of gardening. Just make sure you’ve done your homework and answered all the questions I’ve raised.
The Smith County Master Gardeners at the Library program on Friday will feature “Basics of Hobby Greenhouses.” The program will cover helpful hints and tips to help you decide. It will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College Ave. It is free and open to the public.
Debby Watkins has advanced training in greenhouse management.