Shake things up with a small greenhouse in your backyard

    Living in a climate as wonderful as the one we experience in South Africa should allow us to let our green thumbs thrive. These are the perfect conditions to install a small greenhouse in every backyard.

    What you can grow in your greenhouse

    Depending on the quality of soil your garden has, you can grow your own produce, nurture your favourite flowers and start a fresh herb garden to rival any self-respecting chef’s. If your soil isn’t up to scratch and you’d still like to cultivate a garden, you can visit your local nursery for advice on the best types of soil to purchase to pot your plants in. You can grow a variety of veggies, shrubs and more with careful attention and care.

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    The easiest plants to grow in a greenhouse

    Most herbs require minimal effort in terms of upkeep and initial planting. Identify what you use in your kitchen on a regular basis and plant your seeds accordingly. Herbs such as mint, basil, thyme, oregano, coriander, rosemary and more are great to start with. These herbs are used in a multitude of dishes and the flavour of having them freshly picked from your greenhouse will be unmatched!

    Fruits and vegetables that thrive inside a greenhouse include:

    • Cucumbers
    • Eggplants 
    • Tomatoes 
    • Butternut/pumpkin 
    • Cantaloupes
    • Bell peppers
    • Chillies 
    • Lemons
    • Lettuce 
    • Spinach
    • Carrots 
    • Beetroot 
    • Broccoli

    If you’ve opted for a small greenhouse, you’ll have to be more strategic with your plant choices and may have to reconsider plants that need room to spread.

    The climate inside a greenhouse

    While it’s advised to keep your greenhouse at a warm, yet not tropical temperature, you don’t want to create a hotbed of waste and decay. Warm weather with sunny conditions will help your plants reach their full potential, but keep watering cans and easily accessible hoses on standby to cool the soil down.

    Gardening trick: Mix plant food with water and pour it into an ice cube tray. Drop ice cubes in the soil on especially hot days to nourish the plants from root to bud.

    How to assemble your greenhouse

    With many DIY greenhouse kits readily available on the market, you can pick one that suits the design of your backyard and your budget. You can also choose to have one custom made in materials such as fibreglass, acrylic, glass and more. Remember, the structural integrity of your greenhouse is more important than aesthetics, so make sure it can withstand the elements while still being pleasing to the eye.

    You can buy rows of planter containers that hold ferns, roses, orchids and all your favourite herbs, fruit and veggies. These don’t need to remain stock standard and can be lovingly decorated with stencils, murals, stickers and the like. Get the children involved by designating a separate planter for them to grow whatever their heart desires and encourage interest by monitoring the progress of the shrubs each week. This gives them an alternative hobby to channel hopping and also provides an excellent opportunity for quality time.

    Give plants enough space and light

    Once you have all the fun stuff sorted, it’s essential to note that your greenhouse plants need adequate space, air and light to flourish. You can purchase special fabric shades to attach to the panels on days when the sun is a bit too harsh. This will protect the more delicate plants from wilting.

    Gardening trick: Water plants in the evening instead of peak midday hours, as this stops the moisture from evaporating too quickly and drying out your soil.

    grandfather, father and son having fun with green house work

    Have fun with your greenhouse

    Having a small greenhouse as a resource for fresh produce and beautiful flowers is a privilege. A well-maintained garden with a greenhouse as the focal point is sure to be a drawcard for those who visit and an especially strong point for when you put your house on the market. Seeff has a range of properties with stunning landscaped backyards that you can view from our listings. Get in touch with one of our expert property practitioners today.

    Author: Seeff Property Group
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