Hobby greenhouse allow gardeners to grow a wide variety of plants that wouldn’t normally prosper in the outdoors. They are a must-have for anyone who wants to overwinter plants, grow tropical flowers or produce crops such as tomatoes. These structures must be heated in order to maintain a warm enough temperature to support such crops. Many gardeners add a heating mat to the structure, which comes with a thermostat that allows you to set a specific temperature and have it maintained at that level. Heaters require electricity, and most government codes require that you wire your greenhouse with outlets for use.
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You also need to make sure the structure is insulated and properly ventilated. Many hobby greenhouse kits include automatic ventilation devices that open the upper roof panels on warm days in order to release hot air. This eliminates the need for you to manually open the panels yourself when temperatures rise – something that will likely get overlooked as you are busy tending your plants. You will also need to have a system to cool the greenhouse on hot days, as simply opening the lower glass will not provide sufficient cooling in most climates.
If possible, select a location for the greenhouse that will receive maximum sunlight throughout the day. The south or southeast side of the structure is ideal, and it’s best to position the greenhouse away from buildings and evergreen trees that may cast long shadows on the structure during the winter. Wet the floor, paths, inner foundation and benches or shelves in the greenhouse regularly to raise humidity, which naturally cools the air. In addition to increasing the growing area in your greenhouse, shearing the surfaces of the structure with water will help control weeds, gnats and other insects. Some gardeners also use yellow sticky traps that snag whiteflies and other small pests but allow larger beneficial insects to free themselves.