By Patricia Danflous
Digging your hands into fresh, rich soil as you transplant seedlings you started yourself is an exciting experience. “Some people say that gardening is back-breaking,” says Master Gardener Jane Hirling. “It does take stamina to achieve the results you are looking for, but it can also be an invigorating, stress relieving and a productive pastime.
Whether you are working with vegetables, flowers, greenery, or a combination, there is a distinct satisfaction in adding home-grown tomatoes to a salad or watching your grandchildren measure themselves next to a three-foot high sunflower.”
If gardening is your hobby or you want to expand your horticultural interests, it may be time to invest in a greenhouse. Hirling explains that a greenhouse allows individuals to garden year-round and is especially beneficial for maintaining healthy propagations from seasonal plants. “With a greenhouse you have the climate controls for light, temperature, humidity and circulation that you canít find inside your home, garage or outside,” she explains. “It is also a great place to store soil and tools.”
Building your own may be the best ways to ensure that you have the appropriate style, size and automatic controls for the type of plants you work with (and may be a way to incorporate your spouseís do-it-yourself hobby). According to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, a greenhouse can be as simple as a polyethylene-covered framework or a fully automated glass conservatory with prices ranging from under $200 to several thousand dollars.
Building your own greenhouse does not require a green thumb. It does take time, patience, space and a little research. Once you decide you are ready to take that next step in gardening, investigate the type of greenhouse that is most appropriate for your region and contact city hall to determine if you will need a construction permit. Check with your local agricultural association, Master Gardener’s organization, or neighborhood garden supply company for additional information and donít forget to use the Internet. A wide range of free resources are available including free hobby greenhouse construction plans.
Visit www.freebies.about.com/od/free-plans/tp/free-greenhouse-plans.htm for a review of greenhouse options.