How to use the greenhouse in the country as efficiently as possible?
Today you will not surprise anyone with the presence of a greenhouse in a summer cottage or house. They differ not only in design, but also in the occupied area - from miniature to huge. In any greenhouse, novice summer residents try to use every free square meter for growing crops. But excessive occupation of the greenhouse space by an abundance of plants can lead to a negative result. Plants will begin to hurt, infecting nearby growing crops, accumulating negative microflora in the soil, and ... in one week the greenhouse can turn into a bunch of dead plants. Therefore, in deciding to build and use a greenhouse, it is necessary to carefully consider and plan its construction and internal arrangement.
- Interior arrangement of greenhouses
- The layout of beds in the greenhouse
- Types of greenhouse beds
- Filling the beds
- How to divide the greenhouse into zones for various plants?
- Greenhouse compatibility
- Rules for the location of crops in the greenhouse
- How to increase greenhouse productivity?
- Using a greenhouse to grow vegetable seedlings
- Using a greenhouse to grow plants
Interior arrangement of greenhouses
The layout of the interior of the greenhouse depends on its purpose and size. Such a place is selected for the greenhouse so that the sun's rays illuminate it throughout the whole or most of the day. When growing undersized plants (seedlings, peppers, bush tomatoes, greens), the greenhouse is placed so that the beds are directed from north to south. In mixed plantings with growing part of the plants on trellises (cucumbers, tall tomatoes, zucchini), it is better to arrange the beds from west to east for uniform illumination of crops.
The layout of beds in the greenhouse
The beds in the greenhouse should be convenient for work. Wide beds with narrow paths will complicate not only the care of plants, but also create the conditions for the development of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. In multi-row thickened plantings, mutual oppression of plants will begin in the struggle for light, moisture and other environmental benefits.
With a 1.8-2.0 meter wide greenhouse, usually 2 beds are laid along walls 70-80 cm wide or by the length of a hand with processing equipment. Between the beds leave a passage of at least 40 cm, on which there is auxiliary equipment, trays with seedlings and other materials. Typically, the passage of the greenhouse is covered with sand, gravel, tiles, so as not to slip through the mud during irrigation, processing plants and other works.
The beds on the sides and along their length are fenced with boards or other material in the form of a border up to 20-30 cm high, so that the soil does not crumble onto the track. The border is well strengthened so that it does not fall under the load of soil.
In a 3.0-3.5 meter wide greenhouse, the optimal arrangement of beds takes 3 strips and 2 paths. Lateral beds are located on the long side or around the perimeter of the greenhouse. The width of the beds is mainly determined by the type of plants grown. So, for tapestry crops, the side beds can be only 40-45 cm, and for bush crops - wider, but no more than 70-80 cm. The limitation in width is due to the possibility of only one-sided processing.
In the center of the greenhouse there is a double bed, which can reach a width of 1.5 m, since it is processed from two sides. The paths are made so wide that it is convenient to reach any plant and not damage it when performing work - watering, garbage removal, processing, and harvesting.
For safety reasons, the paths must be covered with any coating material so as not to slip on wet soil. In large greenhouses, paths are sometimes completely covered with cement (preferably with reinforcement) or with separate tiles, and wooden flooring is laid.
Types of greenhouse beds
Greenhouse beds are divided into ground, raised, in the form of separate boxes, table. All types of beds, except desktop, can be insulated.
Land beds are the easiest to care for. They are usually planted in small greenhouses for growing seedlings, forcing out greens or several bushes of tomatoes, cucumbers. On such beds, soil conditions do not ensure the normal development of vegetables and other crops and are not used in large enclosed structures.
Table beds are laid on specially prepared racks. They are most convenient when growing seedlings, radishes, forcing greens, indoor flowers in pot culture.
The most common and convenient in caring for plants in large greenhouses are high beds. They can be 20-30-50 cm high. On such beds it is easier to carry out excavation work (to change and disinfect the soil), to care for plants. They warm up quickly. In cold regions, a layer of earth will create an additional thermal cushion, isolating it from the cold natural soil layer. With isolated beds it is easier to care for the tracks. The ridges can be made in the form of separate boxes with bulk soil of the required height.
Sometimes, in large greenhouses, removable racks are installed on which seedlings can be grown simultaneously with the forcing of green ones in the beds. After sampling the seedlings, the racks are removed and basic crops (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) are planted on the bed.
Filling the beds
If in the greenhouse the natural soil is heavy, dense, you need to remove the top layer and make a good drainage flooring from rubble, broken brick and other waste. Top up the prepared or purchased soil mixture. Such beds are usually arranged in warm regions or in temporary use facilities. In colder regions, it is advisable to make insulated beds.
On such insulated beds, only the upper nutrient layer, consisting of several components, is subject to annual replacement. The owner of the greenhouse can choose any method of warming the beds.
In greenhouses where it is planned to grow 4-6 or more types of vegetable products, long beds are better divided into several zones, especially if the crops grown require different lighting, humidity and air temperature.
How to divide the greenhouse into zones for various plants?
Each type of plant requires certain conditions for normal development and fruiting. From this point of view, the placement of plants different in relation to the environment in a confined space is a rather difficult task. To facilitate the selection of plants and create normal conditions for the growth, development and formation of the crop, the zoning of the greenhouse will be most correct.
Practical - measure the temperature along the longitudinal walls of the greenhouse and highlight the areas where the temperature changes. Separate these areas with any material, highlighting areas with a higher temperature and cool. Usually a greenhouse is divided into 3 zones. If the greenhouse is heated, then the warm zone will be in the middle of the room, the warmest - at the end and the coldest - at the beginning, where the doors to the vestibule are constantly opened, performing certain work.
If the greenhouse is large, then the zones are separated by more durable material (plywood, plastic), temporary doors are installed. In greenhouses with an area of 3.0 x 10.0 m, the zones are usually separated by a plastic film with slots for passage or a sheet of oilcloth. Insulation will help to increase the humidity level in the zone, maintain the desired temperature, and ventilate the selected zone. Depending on the conditions for each zone, the main / base and accompanying crops are selected for co-cultivation.
The basic crops for growing in country greenhouses are, in the absolute majority, tomatoes and cucumbers and accompanying vegetables are planted with them. The placement of vegetables in the greenhouse must be thought out in advance. So, for tomatoes, you need moderate watering, average air humidity, ventilation, mineral fertilizing, and for cucumbers, on the contrary, heat, humidity, organic matter, the absence of drafts and temperature changes.
That is, for crops resistant to cold, the zone closest to the vestibule will be optimal, and for cucumbers - medium or even distant. To use the greenhouse to 100%, you need to provide a list of other vegetables and green crops necessary for the family. So, next to tomatoes, you can plant other nightshade ones - bell peppers, eggplant. Good neighbors can be salad, onions on a feather, radishes, spicy herbs, other green ones that do not require high temperatures, humidity and other special conditions (Table 1).
The table below shows only the most common basic cultures and cultures that have good compatibility with them. They are usually used for replanting on the sides of the beds or as early ripening (radish) before transplanting seedlings. By the way, you can lay a separate prefabricated garden bed and use it several times. After harvesting the first crop, plant new prepared seedlings (salad), onions on a green feather or sow green ones.
Table 1. Compatibility of vegetables when grown in a greenhouse
|Basic culture||Cultures with excellent and good compatibility||Incompatible cultures|
|Tomatoes||Cabbage, onions on a feather, garlic, beans, lettuce, radishes, spinach, celery on greens, parsley, bell peppers, eggplant||Cucumbers, dill|
|Cucumbers||Zucchini, squash, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, onions on herbs, garlic, beans, salads, beets, celery on herbs, spinach, mint,||Tomatoes, radishes|
|Cabbage||Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce, beans, dill, celery on greens, spinach, mint||Onions, parsley|
|Prefabricated Garden||Onions on a green feather, parsley and dill on greens, salads, mint, spinach, radishes, celery on greens, etc.||Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and other tall crops or trellis crops|
Good cucumbers for cucumbers would be zucchini, squash, and again, like seals around the edges, you can sow green ones (dill, parsley, mint, watercress, etc.). But remember, with such a selection of combined crops, there is the possibility of pollinating cucumbers with other pumpkin.
In this case, thinking ahead of time which crops will be planted in the greenhouse to the base, select varieties resistant to over-pollination, diseases, and environmental requirements. So, dill cannot be planted with tomatoes, but with cucumbers it is possible. Cucumbers cannot tolerate radishes, and cabbage - parsley.
It is more practical to carry out replanting and seeding to the basic culture with different varieties of culture, which will allow you to choose the most suitable ones over time. Incompatible environmental requirements are planted in different zones of the greenhouse.
For more details on the compatibility of cultures in crop rotation, see the article “Tips for beginners: basic vegetable crops and crop rotation”.
Rules for the location of crops in the greenhouse
The main conditions for the normal growth and development of crops indoors are lighting, the level of humidity of air and soil, ventilation and shade tolerance. Combining these requirements for different cultures in one room is difficult. By carefully familiarizing yourself with the agrotechnical requirements and biological characteristics of the crops, you can select crops for the zone according to the main limiting factor.
Plants that need bright lighting are planted on the south side of the greenhouse, requiring ventilation - near the window leaves and doors, high humidity - in a more isolated area. In greenhouse conditions, the method of alternating tops and roots (cabbage – tomatoes – carrots or beets) is optimal, that is, crop rotation is selected according to the removal of nutrients from the crop.
In large greenhouses, the main factor limiting the growth and development of plants is the height of the crop. If you plant tall tomatoes on the marginal beds or pick up cucumbers and beans on the trellis, and put undersized ones (sweet peppers, eggplant, salads, beets, cabbage) on the middle bed, the latter will lack lighting. As a result, diseases will appear, pests will multiply. Too thickened landings expect the same result. The best option is to place tall crops in the middle bed, and on the sides of the greenhouse - stunted.
How to increase greenhouse productivity?
In small greenhouses, where usually 2 beds are located, some novice greenhouses plant tomatoes on one, and cucumbers on the contrary. In this case, both cultures suffer, as they require different conditions for growth and development. Therefore, it is better to divide the interior across into 2 zones with a dividing curtain, thereby reducing the interdependence on the growing conditions of the neighboring crop.
It is possible to increase the productivity of a small greenhouse by densifying basic crops by planting low-growing part-time agents with a superficial root system. You can take several crops. Sow several radish varieties into the greenhouse at the first turn (April). After harvesting, plant seedlings of tomatoes or cucumbers in May. After sowing and harvesting early cold-resistant greens (radishes, dill on greens, onions on a feather), plant cabbage, salads or tomatoes, cucumbers.
Vegetables of the same species in one zone of the greenhouse are best grown at different ripening dates (early, medium). After harvesting early, plant the next precocious crop with the same environmental requirements (cabbage, salads, greens, radishes, onions on a feather). To increase the productivity of the greenhouse on one bed, you can use a mixed, compacted, repeated type of planting.
So, you can plant cucumbers with dill and cabbage with radishes at the same time in the garden. Tomatoes and sweet peppers can be condensed with herbs, onions on a feather, radishes. Repeated sowing beds can be developed in different ways. First sow early varieties of radish, after harvesting, plant salads and greens. After harvesting, again sow the late varieties of radish or onion on the feather, other green crops. It is possible to grow early cold-resistant greens in the garden, and after cutting, plant early white cabbage, beans.
Using a greenhouse to grow vegetable seedlings
Greenhouses with stationary heating are used everywhere in the north, in regions with short cold summers. Usually they are operated year-round. In southern, central chernozemic and other regions with a sufficiently long warm period, greenhouses are frozen (open the roof) for the winter or allowed to rest and put into production from February to grow vegetable seedlings.
Depending on the region (see the article "Dates for sowing vegetable crops for seedlings for different regions") sowing seedlings begin from the first of February to April-May.
It is convenient to grow seedlings for a small greenhouse at home. To grow large quantities of seedlings of different vegetable crops, it is more practical to use one of the zones in the greenhouse. After sampling seedlings, the vacated area is occupied by a vegetable crop. You can use removable shelving for seedlings.
Using a greenhouse to grow plants
In regions with the early onset of autumn cold weather, certain vegetable crops do not have time to ripen in the open ground and they die under adverse temperature jumps. Growing in a greenhouse allows you to extend the growing season of the crop and get a full crop. More often, cauliflower, leeks, celery, parsley and others that do not have time to ripen vegetable crops need to be grown.
Plants intended for growing are carefully dug up with a soil lump and transferred to previously prepared planting holes. Before planting, damaged and yellow leaves are removed from the plants in the greenhouse, and the main root is shortened in parsley and celery. The hole is filled with fertilizers (nitrofos, kemira), watered and planted culture.
Care consists in watering and maintaining the required temperature. It is impossible to prevent temperature jumps, high humidity, the appearance of dew on plants. When mold islets appear, immediately soil the soil with ash and dry the top layer with dry sand.
Thus, if you use the greenhouse from growing seedlings to growing vegetables that have not had time to ripen, then its workload will be maximum, and the family will be provided with fresh vitamin greens and vegetables for a long time.