Every year my Dad (Ron Simmons) starts numerous annual plants for our household in his backyard greenhouse. I get most of my blooming annuals, vegetables, and herbs from daddy’s greenhouse. His plants are remarkably healthy and grow much better than other plants in my gardens.

27s4I see more and more pastime greenhouses and hoop-houses turning up in property owner’s backyards. What’s the distinction? They are both very comparable. They both extend the growing season in spring and fall, sometimes allowing edibles to grow all year. Both keep in the heat with a covering, typically plastic. Greenhouses normally grow plants on benches or tables, while hoop-houses grow plants in the ground. Greenhouses usually have an extra heat source, while hoop-houses trap the sun s heat inside to warm plants in the ground.

Greenhouse kits are probably the easiest method to get started, or like my father, you can design and build your own. Papas greenhouse started with recycle glass windows, but due to hail storm damage he later on changed those with greenhouse polycarbonate panels.

A lot of hobby elite greenhouses grow plants in soil, but hydroponics and aquaponics are also options. Hydroponic systems grow plants in nutrient enriched water, rather of in soil.27e

On a recent journey to Monterey California I checked out a small community garden on the school of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies where my child Derek is going to grad school. The garden had a little aquaponics system in the back where fish are raised in tanks that supply nutrition abundant water to hydroponically grown plants. When I was there in April they were growing lettuce, Swiss chard, and onions.

Gardening in backyard greenhouses is the topic of an upcoming University of Illinois Extension Four Seasons Garden webinar series. Sign up with Extension Horticulture Educator Kim Ellson as she discusses how, no matter their shape or size, greenhouses enable us to obtain a running start on our favorite plants and be outside whilst the weather is bleak. Kim will discuss ways to get the most out of your greenhouse this season.

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