Whether space is limited, or you simply don’t have the need for a full-sized greenhouse—you can create a mini greenhouse, and take advantage of small space gardening opportunities. Use your new hothouse to garden year-round, or to grow tender plants and seedlings until they are ready to be planted. Choose from the many DIY ideas below.
Mini Greenhouse – Indoor Grow Lights
If you have a small shed, or space in your attic or garage, you can easily set up an indoor garden, or mini greenhouse. Grow lights designed to mimic natural light can be found at most home and garden stores, or ordered online. Make sure that you have a sturdy table and a clean and simple solution in place for water and drainage. Follow the directions regarding placement and spacing of your indoor grow lights. There are a myriad solutions available depending on your circumstances, but some of the more highly regarded grow light platforms from ViparSpectra receive great reviews. One suggested solution might be their Reflector Series grow light platform, which is more economical in its use of electricity, and produces great results.
Automated Drip Irrigation
To assist you in succeeding in growing your hothouse, there are numerous options that will assist you. As an example, there are numerous drip irrigation tools that will ensure your watering is consistent, and your plants are well taken care of. Additionally, you can introduce automated timers and other water flow control devices that will make sure your greenhouse is a success. One great example from leading irrigation supplier Orbit, is a great solution for beginners and experts alike. They offer full installation kits, such as the 69525 Micro Bubbler, that make it super easy to get started. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, by using irrigation timers and water flow controllers, even the most ‘green’ of growers achieve great successes.
Build Or Buy A Mini Greenhouse
Next up, consider buying a kit—or building your own mini greenhouse. Depending on your needs, your hothouse can be as small as a trunk or cooler, or closer to the size of a dresser or small shed. Mini hothouses, or small growing environments, come in many shapes and sizes, but if you’re not up to the idea of building one from scratch, there are multiple options and sizes for kits that you can build yourself, or try one of the highly rated kits available. Whichever route you choose, a mini-greenhouse is a great way to get a start on growing your own vegetables and produce, and can even be done all-year round with the right tools and expertise!
There are countless ways you can create a temperature controlled environment for your seedlings, all from simple household items. A few to consider include:
Umbrella: use a clear umbrella to create a mini hothouse for planters or barrels. Adjust the height of the umbrella to adjust the temperature. Lower = hotter, higher = cooler. Just make sure the planter has proper irrigation.
Plastic Jug: milk jugs, water bottles, soda bottles, and any other non-toxic plastic jugs can be cut in half, and used as a mini green house. Poke holes in the bottom for drainage, fill halfway with soil, plant your seeds, and add the top half. Make sure the bottle top is secure. Secure the sides with tape if the weather is wet and windy, or if gapping occurs.
Glass Greenhouses: you can use mason jars, food jars, or even fish tanks as a miniature hothouse. Grow directly in a jar or fish tank, but make sure that there is a secure lid or cover in place. You can also flip a jar or fish tank upside down on top of the seedling you have planted to keep it insulated.
No more wishing you had a greenhouse, when you can easily make your own mini greenhouse with any of these great methods!
For a more comprehensive guide to building a year-round full-sized greenhouse, check out our article on Wallipinis and learn about natural growing in any climate, all year round!