Gluttony! that feeling of anxiety that forces you to eat the last bite of your favorite dessert even if you’re about to throw up. Laziness, the desire of doing nothing on Sunday except watching TV. Lust, when every one of the opposite sex looks at you when you wear your best clothes. Vanity, greed, envy, anger… are the seven deadly sins of Catholicism.
Whether you are a Catholic or not, you probably know what we are talking about. Yes, protagonists in hundreds of thousands of films, books, legends and works of art, the seven deadly sins are those most terrible facets of human behavior.
Many times, even without being conscious, we let ourselves be carried away by them until we become a version of ourselves that we do not even recognize. And then, of course, there are the regrets, consequences and the horrible aftermath.
Well, something very similar happens while we are growing our favorite plants and vegetables inside a Greenhouse. Most of the time, we commit sins of Greenhouse Gardening that do terrible damage to our plants… without even realizing what we are doing wrong.
For better or for worse, sins by omission are still sins… but they make the process of transformation much easier. Do not worry! In this great community, there is no crime too serious not to be forgiven.
And what is better…. instead of sending you to hell for the rest of eternity, we offer you something much better. Get ready to know — and from now on to avoid committing — the 7 deadly sins of Greenhouse Gardening.
Greenhouse cultivation: challenging nature
We have been over this before. The value of the veggies and plants grown in greenhouses lies basically in our ability to control both internal and external agents that affect the growth, development, and the quality of our greenhouse plants.
It is known that using these revolutionary techniques have an immense number of advantages that we already know about but is also known that this is not a practice that is entirely or completely free of blame when it comes to environmental pollution.
In that sense, we cannot turn a deaf ear to the truth, since that would be dishonest. When choosing to use them ( or not ) to protect your crops, you must be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of growing in greenhouses, and that is the point we want to share within this article.
Let’s start by defining well, in a more practical sense, what a greenhouse is. As all our usual readers should already know, a greenhouse is basically a structure designed to protect our plants. This structure is made up of special beams (made of metal or wood) which are covered with translucent materials (materials that allow light to pass) to achieve the maximum brightness possible inside the structure.
Within this structure, the greenhouse hobbyist is responsible for creating something similar to a small artificial ecosystem or microclimate that is specially designed to be the ideal (at least theoretically) for the plants and vegetables inside the greenhouse.
All this is done, with the aim of generating much higher productivity at a much more affordable price… and even in a much shorter period of time. This is not only about the ideal internal greenhouse environment for the plants, but also about how the isolated microclimate of the greenhouse protects the plants from external threats.
Like what? Aliens? Not at all. You don’t have to go beyond the stratosphere to identify them. After all, the enemy lives right here at home: frost, high winds, hail, insect pests and even something as simple as the temperature variations that affect greenhouse plants at any time of year.
Sounds unreal, doesn’t it? Like the cure for cancer. Like the holy grail, like that salvation we found without even looking for it… although we were looking for it.
However, since in this life everything is a matter of gambling, you should know that all gambling involves, even a little, risk. Likewise, using a greenhouse to protect your plants and veggies is not in itself a victory card.
Using a greenhouse has a whole series of advantages and disadvantages that a greenhouse hobbyist must consider and bear in mind when making the decision: to build a greenhouse to cultivate or continue cultivating in the open field.
While using a greenhouse we can be sure that the production and performance of our plants can (and will) increase, not to mention reduce the risk of loss, we must be aware that all this comes at a price…
…starting with a monetary one: building a greenhouse is not necessarily cheap. At the same time, you run the risk of not knowing the structures you work in and making many mistakes.
Those mistakes added to what it really costs to produce fruit in a greenhouse — we are talking about fertilizers, lighting, irrigation systems, alternative energy sources, etc. — can inflate that figure to the point of being overwhelming.
Yeah, well, it certainly is something that would scare anyone away. But is it worth it?. Now, since we have reached this point, how can we prevent things from going wrong?
This is right where it gets interesting.
The 7 Greenhouse gardening SINS
You have waited long enough, haven’t you? You want to know what you have been doing wrong with your greenhouse gardening.
Do not worry, we will not keep you waiting any longer. Take out pencil and paper, take a deep breath and get ready to know these 7 deadly sins of greenhouse cultivation.
1. Planting anywhere!
Certainly, installing a greenhouse is an easy way out of the problem of dealing with the environment, we know that… but greenhouses are not magic. You cannot just wake up on a good day, look out your window and say, “Wow, a tomato crop would look great here.
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to planting a crop, whether or not it is protected by a greenhouse, is to choose the ground and the fruits you will plant at random.
In this particular case, there are two things you can do: either take the time to select the most suitable plants for the type of soil you have, taking into account the humidity, the hours of sunshine, the type of soil, etc.; or look for an area where the conditions are the most suitable for the greenhouse crop you are thinking of planting.
You should also keep in mind that you must prepare the soil to produce the best results. After all, everything may seem to be in order at first glance, but it is always ideal to at least rake a couple of times, as well as tilling the soil so that the seeds can grow much better.
This will be more difficult to achieve if the soil is too compact. Take that into account. And do not forget that a nutrient-rich soil is a soil that will bear good fruit, so do not forget to use enough compost!
For some reason, human beings are used to do things on impulse. We eat when we are hungry, run to the bathroom when we feel the urgency… and start a project out of nowhere when our heart asks us to.
Come on, we know that following your heart and making radical changes in life is super exciting and even romantic… but you must understand that, when it comes to working with greenhouse gardening, lack of having a plan can be a complete disaster.
No matter what your farming modality, not having a plan is a capital sin of greenhouse gardening. That is funny, because it is good advice you can apply to any kind of project you undertake.
Although it may seem easy to build or install, making a greenhouse is not a child’s play or something to be taken lightly. If you are not completely convinced, go back a few paragraphs and find out what can go wrong if you do not take it seriously.
Greenhouses have a number of particular features that require the builder to be sufficiently well instructed and advised. Consult with the experts, get informed and do not make hasty decisions without thinking about the future. Do not get carried away by the outside or by “what looks most beautiful”.
Think that the foundations of your construction are fundamental for its success. And most importantly, that both your crop and your greenhouse should last long.
3. Ignoring climatization
This is a key point (indeed, the whole point) when it comes to building and growing in greenhouses. You have to make sure you create a comfortable micro-ecosystem for your plants while keeping an eye on the functional needs of your structure.
The first thing you need to know is that, while greenhouses can recreate ideal conditions for your plants, there is not much that anyone of them can do if outside the house the whole world melts in the heat or freezes in the cold.
Do not fool yourself. Even if you can keep your living room cool with your air conditioner, the fact is that these spaces adjacent to your home but open and exposed to the outside will not be able to avoid overheating or overcooling during the winter and the summer.
However, you cannot leave the climatization of this space in the hands of nature. It is essential when building your greenhouse to carry out a professional study of the space and to install the appropriate heating and cooling systems so that your plants can survive the changing seasons and your greenhouse is comfortable and pleasant all year round.
From the moment we arrive, day one, it is necessary to be prepared to control the temperature and to build a space with good insulation that allows acclimatization with nothing more than the fair and necessary expense.
This is the closest thing to the capital sin that we know as gluttony, and it has to do with understanding that everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is wrong in excess. Just as too much candy can kill you with hyperglycemia, too much water can drown your plants.
When you are a novice greenhouse hobbyist, it is often quite common to fail in this regard. You are not aware that every plant species is different and has different watering patterns. If you go too far and put too much water on a crop, it will most likely die. On the other hand, if you do not give enough water to your plants, you may expect the same result.
So, what do you have to do not to kill your plants with this deadly sin? Keep in mind that you must give the water at the right time: doing it first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon is ideal, as it will prevent evaporation.
You can also touch the soil from time to time to check if it is still wet. If it is, it is best not to water the plant.
As for the land, it will be one of your main allies when it comes to storing water. Make sure you water only the soil, never the plant. If the water does not reach the base of it, you will be helping your crop develop roots that are resistant to any drought.
And how will I know if my plant is already tired of drinking water? Since our plants cannot speak, we must learn to distinguish their needs in other ways. When its leaves turn yellowish, it can be a clear sign to stop. You do not want to be gluttonous, do you?
5. Using inappropriate materials
Just as overwatering resembles gluttony, this capital sin of greenhouse gardening resembles greed. Well, we know that building a greenhouse is expensive and you will probably need to cut costs as much as you can, but you must understand that there are investments that are necessary.
Greenhouses are very varied and can be made of many different materials. They are usually made of (glass or plastic) and (aluminum or wood). However, depending on space and weather conditions your greenhouse plants will face, you may need to invest in other types of more materials.
On the other hand, the style you want to give to the interior and exterior of your greenhouse will guide you to choose one of the different materials.
6. Neglecting your furniture
You have to understand that everything you put in your greenhouse is as important as the plants. Therefore, you must choose it thinking about the space, usage, and conditions to which they will be subjected.
If your greenhouse is going to be part of your home, you should take advantage of it to turn it into a cozy space. In general, domestic farmers turn their greenhouses into leisure and recreation areas. However, it is also a good option to set up a work area or even an office in this area. So, you can work on your plants within your greenhouse. Isn’t it exciting to work in a natural environment?
7. Forget about the outside
Just because this is the last sin on the list does not mean it is any less important. In fact, believe it or not, it is one of the most common greenhouse gardening sins committed by first-time farmers, and we think you can get a sense of why.
Once again, if your greenhouse is designed to be part of your home, why not make it a beautiful and pleasant place? One of the great advantages of having a greenhouse at home is to enjoy the incredible views they provide: a wild universe, a small taste of nature at its best.
Therefore, it is very important to plan where you will place the greenhouse and how all the spaces inside it will be oriented. Not only to make the views incredible but also to get much better use of the wind currents. If necessary, give special care to your natural environment outside, and the views of your greenhouse will be even more attractive.
We understand that you are probably looking to build a greenhouse for gardening and cultivating your favorite fruits and veggies. But if you have the necessary space, do not hesitate to incorporate it into your home. They are unique and special spaces that we assure you that you will enjoy much more making them part of your daily life.
Also remember that it is very important that they are sufficiently lit, do not be 100% confident that the sun will always be there to give a good amount of sunshine to your plants! After all, if there is one thing we are sure of about nature, it is that anything can happen. We better be prepared for that, don’t you think?
How many of these sins have you committed?
It is time, to be honest with ourselves and with others. All of us, absolutely all of us, have something of sinners in us. That is why we invite you to share your experience with us in this space.
Are you struggling to reverse the terrible effects of a capital sin of greenhouse gardening? We are here to read your experiences that you will share with us.
Comment, participate, discuss, share your ideas with us! We want to be part of your growing process and, at the same time, we want you to be part of ours.
See you in the next post!
Here is your Pinterest PIN, Save it to your BOARD!