Hobby Greenhouses | Planning and Maintaining
- Never use herbicides inside a greenhouse
- Not all space is for plants. Don't forget about the aisle and space for heaters/cooling units
- When considering size, it's important to consider heating and cooling costs
A greenhouse can make it possible to grow plants at any time of the year! Many gardeners enjoy being able to extend the seasons, but there are a lot of things to consider when planning your greenhouse.
What should I consider before purchasing a greenhouse?
Consider the questions below.
Why do I want/need a structure?
A hobby greenhouse could be great for overwintering house plants, producing annuals/vegetables, and maintaining collections (e.g. orchids).
- When do I need it? Spring only? Winter only? Year round?
- How much space do I need?
What's my budget?
A hobby greenhouse can range from a simple polyethylene-covered framework costing under $100 or it can be an advanced $6,000 prefabricated structure.
How much time will I have to spend in it after it's built?
With automatic controls and easy-to-care for plants, maintenance can be kept to a few hours a week. Automatic controls provide proper growing temp, artificial light, watering, humidity, and ventilation. If you have time to regulate the environment, you can save money by not using automatic controls.
- Surface Drainage
- Access to Utilities
- Sun and Shade
- Compass Orientation
Greenhouse Cooling and Venting
Your biggest challenge in Arkansas is going to be reducing the heat load with cooling, venting, and shading. A greenhouse is a heat trap because much of the radiant sun energy is trapped in the form of heat. Even during cold weather a greenhouse can become too warm on sunny days. It's wise to grow cooler temperature plants during the winter and to switch to heat tolerant plants during the summer
Ventilation and cooling are equally important. An automatic ventilation system eliminates the manual work and is the best way to control temperature and humidity.
For more information check out Greenhouses: Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation
- University of Georgia Hobby Greenhouse publication
- USBG Greenhouse Manual for Educators
- AR Specialty Crop Profile: Nursery and Greenhouse Industries
- Greenhouse Nursery Series: Growing Media for Container Production Part 1 - Components & Mixes
- Greenhouse Nursery Series: Growing Media for Container Production Part 2 - Physical & Chemical
- Planting Guide for Fall Vegetable Production
- Planting Guide for Spring/Summer Vegetable Production