Greenhouse Gardening: When a Hobby Turns Into an Obsession

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Sometimes hobbies can turn into obsessions, my greenhouse garden being one of them.

During the winter of 2011 my husband came home with a brochure for a glass greenhouse, completely at random. My husband doesn’t garden (unless you count mowing the lawn) for Pete’s sake, so when he handed me a brochure for a greenhouse, I was a little stunned, to say the least.

My birthday was right around the corner, and I knew if I wanted one, this was the perfect opportunity. After all, the thought of being able to grow citrus and extending my gardening season to year-round totally appealed to this Seattle girl.

At first I thought I’d just use the greenhouse to grow a little winter lettuce and to give my seedlings and tomato transplants a jump-start in the spring. The greenhouse would provide a slightly warmer, sheltered place to keep my plants until the weather stabilized outside in the garden.

Boy was I wrong. Before I knew it, the greenhouse bug had bit me, and I was gardening in my bathrobe and had tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil taking up every square inch of greenhouse space. I was indeed obsessed.

At one point I even had my tomato plants tied to the ceiling (12 feet high!). What had started out as an innocent little hobby soon turned into a big job as I found myself watering my plants daily because of the intense heat (vs. every three to four days in my outdoor garden).

This new hobby of growing vegetables in a greenhouse was one that I loved, and still love to this day, but holy cannoli, is it time consuming.

Greenhouse gardening is wonderful. If you ever come across a deal on a good, sturdy greenhouse, get it. You won’t regret it—I promise. After you get a taste of harvesting your own homegrown lettuce in the middle of January or find yourself still harvesting bouquets of basil on Halloween, you won’t look back.

Best Plants to Grow in a Greenhouse

  • Tomatoes (spring, summer, fall)
  • Peppers (spring, summer)
  • Cucumbers and squash (spring, summer)
  • Lettuce, spinach, microgreens (fall, winter, spring)
  • Citrus (overwinter or year-round)

Gardening is awesome, no matter how you do it. Just remember, everything in moderation.

~Mavis

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