For greenhouse growers, gardener, and green thumbs everywhere, the early spring is always an exciting time. This is the season when life starts to spring from the previously-frozen ground, having finally escaped the cover of snow and finally able to drink in a bit of sunlight once again. This means sprouting seeds and transplanting small seedlings - but before things start going in the ground, it’s always good to have a solid plan in place to guide your garden all season long.
When it comes to getting your spring grow started right, proper planning could be the difference between a successful harvest and one full of troubles. Here’s a look at how to get your spring greenhouse garden started off right.
Clear Out What’s Left From The Fall
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need to get your garden in the ground this spring is a clean patch of land to plant in - and for most farmers, this means early spring is usually the time for greenhouse spring cleaning.
Keeping your greenhouse in good, clean, working order means making sure the structure itself is in good shape - meaning there are no holes or tears in the poly covering, or dents or fractures to the frame. Give your greenhouse a thorough once-over for any damage and repair as needed before starting your next batch of plants.
Clearing out old plants, removing debris, and washing your greenhouse walls do more than just provide a clean and clear working environment for growers - they can also help prevent pests, who may have hung around or laid eggs in preparation for some fresh food in the warm weather. Remove as much of last year’s grow as possible before starting this year’s grow and you’ll have a better chance of keeping last year’s pests from making the same gains this year.
Think Seeds First, Then What Goes In The Ground
Planning for an early spring usually means seeds, and that can often require a good deal of pre-planning to get everything started in time for the warm weather. Germinating your seeds when the weather's still cold can help you jumpstart your growing season by a few weeks over natural conditions, and can help get your grow in the ground just in time for the start of spring.
Most seeds require only a few days to sprout, and from there only a few weeks to start really growing. But for those living in chilly or northern climates, seeds may need to be hardened off, and that can take just a little bit longer.
“Hardening off” seedlings is necessary because it exposes the young plants to cold and otherwise-unfavorable conditions early in their growing cycle. This can be critical to preparing your plants for cold nights or shifts in temperature that they may not otherwise experience in a warmer climate. Hardening your seeds is the first step you should take - generally, in mid-winter for planting in early spring. That way, you can have your harvests of crops like tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli in your greenhouse earlier than if they had been grown outside, or seeded without being hardened.
Plan For Longer, Hotter Days
Spring means more sunlight, and warmer days overall - and for just about every plant in your garden, this is like a breath of fresh air for the first time in months. Long, hot days make for great conditions for growing, providing plants with just about all the sunlight they need to thrive. But in a greenhouse, too much sun can lead to humidity and heat - and too much of either can be a bit too much of a good thing, even for the most resilient plants.
That’s why it’s always smart to outfit your greenhouse with proper ventilation systems, which can help regulate airflow and temperature at your command to keep your plants cool when they need to rest, and warm when they need to grow.
Harvest Time May Come Quicker Than You’d Think
Few things beat the feeling of looking out over an open field on those first warm days with a few dozen seedlings ready to go in the ground. The start of spring is full of possibilities, and for any grower the road ahead can seem like it’s long enough to let happen as it may. But while it’s true that growers should expect the unexpected and roll with the changes of the season, spring will come and go faster than you may expect - and that’s why it’s so important to have a solid growing plan.
Whether you’re new to greenhouse growing and looking to get started or an experienced greenhouse pro looking to boost your harvests, we at Rimol Greenhouse Systems are here to help. Get in touch and let’s discuss how to get your grow in the round and off to the right start this spring - your summer and fall harvests will thank you.