With summer fast approaching, many of us growers are beginning to get back outside to set up for outdoor season. This can mean anything from cleaning up the yard to cutting and transplanting clones. Whatever needs to be done in order to have our plot ready for the coming warm weather months and the perfect amount of free light that comes with them. This is a time for planning: time to figure out the numbers, the layout, the dates, the plan and goals.
So in the spirit of this time of year, I am going to throw something out there for you to think about: greenhouses.
If you already have and are utilizing greenhouses on your property, you will understand how much potential one can bring to your plot. And this writer is of the idea that one can never have enough greenhouse space (as long you’re not compromising too much outdoor plant space. A good balance is important). If you do not have greenhouses on your plot, now is a good time to consider putting a little bit of money towards building one… or two.
When thinking about constructing or buying a greenhouse, it is important to know what you plan to use it for. One of the things that make having this kind of structure a great tool is how versatile it is. You can hang lights (fluorescent or HPS) and use it as a vegetation room to grow your plants to the perfect size before flowering, you can use a tarp to control light cycles on long days in order to flower your plants when mother nature isn’t quite ready, or use it in winter months to control temperatures and keep plants alive and happy. And it isn’t far fetched to have your greenhouse set up for all of these uses, depending on what you need at the time.
Properly used, a greenhouse can provide you with harvests all year round. If you can get multiple structures set up, it can be fairly simple to flower them at different times and have staggered harvests every month (although this would require at least three greenhouses, with one being used as a veg’ house). Even with only one, however, you can begin a flower cycle in the spring and have a mid summer pull. Then, if you fill it back up with plants right away, get another pull late fall after the outdoor plants come down. You have now gotten two extra pulls out of one season.
So much can be accomplished through the use of greenhouse structures, and often they can be built for very little money. There are kits available, but with a good plan, some wood and PVC pipe, it can be done on the cheap. I have also found that pop-up style car ports can make for a great frame that only needs to be wrapped in greenhouse plastic and anchored down to become a fully functioning greenhouse.
Of course there are specific details that you will need to work out for yourself. Ventilation is extremely important to prevent mold and bud rot. Temperature control is another big factor when designing your greenhouse. You will need fans, and possibly shutters. Of course this is all dependent on your specific needs and environment, but with a bit of in-depth research, you can surely find a lot of good layouts, plans, and other resources to help you perfectly utilize your space and maximize your yields.