Greenhouse Basics

Greenhouses can seem pretty complicated for newbies.

But if you understand the basics from a few general topics, you'll be understand the general principles, and should be able to operate your greenhouse.

Whether you're growing vegetables, fruits, flowers & ornamentals, or herbs, the basics of designing, building, and operating a greenhouse are relatively straightforward.

 At its most basic, a greenhouse is simply a more controlled growing space than outdoors. So, if you manage the inputs you provide your plants (light, water, oxygen & carbon dioxide, and a handful of basic nutrients), you'll become a relatively competent grower. 
Greenhouse construction & indoor greenhouse

Greenhouse construction & indoor greenhouses

Building a greenhouse for indoor use is fundamentally different than an outdoor greenhouse. But again, the general principles are similar: you're designing an enclosed growing space where you control the inputs for your plants.
Spider Farmer SF300 33 Watt Grow Light Product Review
Cattle panel trellis
Is Oak Good for Raised Beds?
Can You Grow Plants in Cinder Blocks?
Pine for raised beds
Pros and Cons of Cinder Block Raised Beds
Is Plywood Safe for Raised Beds?
Cinder Block vs. Wood Raised Bed
Alternatives to Pressure-Treated Lumber for Raised Beds
Can I Use Douglas Fir for Raised Beds?
Automatic Watering
Vertical Gardening: the Ultimate Guide
Indoor Greenhouses with Grow Lights
Polycarbonate Panels for a Greenhouse
Mini Indoor Greenhouse
How to Use a Greenhouse
The Definitive Guide to Creating an Indoor Greenhouse
How To Grow Garlic Indoors
How To Clean a Polycarbonate Greenhouse
How to Pollinate Indoor Plants
Greenhouse heating & cooling

Heating & cooling

Temperature control for greenhouses is critical. Too hot, and your plants suffer. Too cold, and your plants won't grow. Managing greenhouse temperature in winter & summer is fairly straightforward, and there are tried-and-true options that growers commonly use. We've got articles on how to heat your greenhouse, cooling a greenhouse, and ventilation (since ventilation helps with cooling).
How to Use a Greenhouse
Winter Gardening: the master guide
How to Cool A Greenhouse Without Electricity
What temperature is too hot for a greenhouse?
What Percentage Shade Cloth Should I Use?
Small Solar Heater For Greenhouse?
How Warm Does a Greenhouse Get in Winter
How to Keep a Greenhouse Cool
How to heat a greenhouse without electricity
Can You Grow Vegetables Year Round in a Greenhouse?
How To Heat A Greenhouse In Winter For Free
How To Insulate A Greenhouse


Hydroponics gives you even greater control over the inputs you provide your plants. Since soil isn't used, your plants' roots receive their nutrients from a liquid solution. While there's some setup & monitoring, it's fairly easy to get started.
Hydroponic roots
Kratky method
Hydroponic strawberries
Hydroponic tomatoes
Hydroponic lettuce
Nutrient solution
Hydroponic Vegetables
Do plants need soil?
Can You Grow Anything With Hydroponics?
Can Rosemary Grow in the Shade?
Hydroponics overview
Can plants grow without water?
Growing Spirulina
Hydroponics vs. Soil
How Often Should You Change The Water In A Hydroponic System
How Old Should Seedlings Be Before Using Nutrients
Do plants grow better in water or soil?
Grow lights

Grow lights

Artificial lights can be used to supplement the natural light that plants receive. Or, you can use grow lights as the sole source of light for your plants.
Spider Farmer SF300 33 Watt Grow Light Product Review
What light is best for plant growth?
LED Lights Fire
Build Your Own Grow Light
How do you tell if a ballast is going bad?
Can Plants Grow With Artificial Light?
How Many Watts for Seedling Grow Lights?
Can Rosemary Grow in the Shade?
Can Plants Grow Without Sunlight?
Are LED Lights Safe for Cats?
How Long Should You Leave Grow Lights On?
Can You Grow Vegetables With Grow Lights?
HPS Distance From Seedlings
Indoor Greenhouses with Grow Lights
How Far Away Should LED Grow Lights Be From Plants
Do LED Grow Lights Work?
Do plants grow better in sunlight or artificial light?
Does The Color Of Light Affect Plant Growth

Growing plants, vegetables, fruits, & flowers in a greenhouse is one of most rewarding hobbies. Some people can actually supplement their income by selling what they grow. Understanding the basic concepts for building a greenhouse, heating & cooling it, and even using artificial lights or hydroponics to grow your plants gives you a thorough understanding for using & operating your greenhouse as an indoor growing space.