Start your greenhouse vegetable garden with confidence! Read this helpful guide on how to grow beginner level vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, and radishes, and continue to learn through trial and error. With practice, a greenhouse vegetable garden can become an additional source of income and a backyard grocery store for all the produce you need for cooking.
Pay close attention to all the vegetables added to the greenhouse vegetable garden and water them regularly. Also, investment in a thermometer is a great idea since it could save your vegetables from wilting.
Where to Buy a Greenhouse
Amazon is the most accessible place to find a greenhouse setup. They have both big and small plastic greenhouses available for purchase. If the greenhouse you choose does not already have shelving, that will be an important feature to have for the vegetable garden, so find some nice shelving as well.
Here are some of the best products you can use to start a greenhouse vegetable garden.
Best Choice Products 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse
Home-Complete Walk-In Greenhouse with 8 Shelves
Palram Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse
Mini Pop Up Greenhouse Cover
RMP Greenhouse Potting Bench and Utility Table
Easiest Vegetables to Grow in a Garden
The maintenance that comes with vegetable plants is entirely different from growing flowers. Especially for beginners, the first and easiest vegetables to add to a new greenhouse vegetable garden are:
- Green Beans
Vegetables take more time and effort than flowers, and each type of vegetable plant comes with specific needs.
How to Grow Lettuce
Lettuce is unique because it loves the cold seasons of the year. They even grow best when planted right before the last frost of winter.
Lettuce seeds germinate best at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so plant them as soon as you can when winter comes to an end. The seeds will grow fast and start popping up from the soil in the first ten days.
For the best harvest, stagger the planting of each lettuce sprout. Lettuce grows remarkably fast, and it will not be long before you have several buckets full of lettuce heads.
How to Grow Tomatoes
When you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse vegetable garden, make sure they are well protected. Tomato plants are susceptible to pests and diseases. Avoid pest problems by checking on the vegetable garden daily for any signs of tampering.
Plant a single tomato plant in a pot and place it on one of the top shelves in the greenhouse. Pests are less likely to touch the plant, and the height will ensure that the tomatoes get all the sun they need – and they need lots.
Tomatoes take about 60 to 80 days to mature. Start tomato seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date, then transport the plants (in larger pots) to the greenhouse vegetable garden.
How to Grow Cucumbers
Start your cucumber plants two weeks after the last frost. Do not put them out in the cold because the cucumbers will quickly die.
Place the cucumbers in a nice and warm spot in the greenhouse and make sure they have very fertile soil.
Once cucumber vines get long, use a trellis to hang the cucumber plants.
How to Grow Carrots
Typically, carrots grow the best right outside a greenhouse. However, a raised plant bed in the greenhouse works as well, but it will take up a significant amount of space. During the hotter parts of summer, move any carrot plants outside the greenhouse. Carrots do not like too much heat.
Sow carrot seeds very thinly, right under the surface of the soil. For multiple carrots, plant them at least 6 inches apart.
How to Grow Radishes
Plant the radishes in a raised box that will allow the radishes to grow under the soil. Use organic compost or aged manure to enrich the soil with everything the radishes need to grow.
Sow the radish seeds one-inch deep at about one-inch apart.
Once the radishes begin to grow, thin them to 2 inches. Radishes need moist soil to grow, so water them regularly and place anywhere in the greenhouse.
How to Grow Green Beans
Typically, green beans are grown in rows, and as they get bigger, the plants will need some type of structure to support them as the sprouts continue to grow. Buy a trellis or make your own and insert it around the green beans.
Your green bean plants will need full sunlight throughout the day. Place the box of seedlings in an exposed spot in the greenhouse vegetable garden, making sure that no other vegetable plants are too close.
Make sure the soil is able to drain and water regularly.
Tips for Caring for Your Greenhouse Vegetable Garden
- Keep the greenhouse temperature at about 80 degrees for the best growth.
- Do not let the greenhouse get too hot. Temperature regulation can be tricky during summer; allow time for the greenhouse to cool off when it gets too hot by opening the door or adding a fan.
- Use a heater during the winter.
- Make sure the insulation of the greenhouse is relatively thick and has no breaks in the plastic since that could let out heat and give entry to unwanted pests.
The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse for a Vegetable Garden
Greenhouses protect the plants from pests and help to regulate the temperature better. Many vegetables and other types of plants need humidity to grow, so the greenhouse entraps humidity by letting in just enough light and heat from the sun. The insulated barrier of the greenhouse also prevents heat loss at night and dramatic temperature changes that could have drastic effects on the plants.
For creating a greenhouse vegetable garden inside instead of outside, read the Indoor Greenhous Gardening article to learn everything you need to know about indoor greenhouses and their special features.