Plant Growing Structures Knowing More about Green Houses, Hotbeds, and Cold Frames
Depending on the area in which you find yourself, or the season when you begin to put out the plants outdoors, you are normally going to start your vegetable crop plants in well-prepared beds, and the young plants are then transplanted later in your field or in your garden.
These plants are going to include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, celery, tomato, potatoes, peppers, and others.
Tomato seedlings ready for transplantation…
Nevertheless, when you are starting them in outdoor beds or under protection in hotbeds, cold frames, or greenhouses, it is going to depend on the climate of the region and the time of the year, the crop has to be grown.
This book is now going to give you plenty of information on how you can grow these plants methodically and properly, and the different plant growing structures which have been in use for millenniums.
If you are living in a region where the winter is long and cold, and the growing seasons are short, all your plants are going to be started in some kind of plant growing structure. When you are growing them as an early crop, the seeds have to be planted in a warm place, so that they can germinate and after that they are going to be hardened slowly – slow exposure to the elements – until they can take the harsh outdoors in their stride.
Even if you are living in a region where the winters are not so severe, there are a number of structures, which have been used traditionally to a considerable extent for starting plants for early crops. I spent my childhood in tropical areas and did not know anything about harsh cold winters until I grew up and came to areas where the temperature was easily -5° in October, and even lower up to March. However, even in my tropical abode, I saw greenhouses being used very often, even though the climate was so temperate and conducive to the growth of plants.
Advantages of Starting Plants before Hand
The important advantages of starting plants before hand in greenhouses or other structures like hotbeds and frames are – firstly, you are increasing the length of the growing season and making it possible to grow long season crops in regions where the summers are basically short. Also, you are making it possible to grow more than one crop on the same land in one particular growing season.
That means you are going to obtain larger years of long season tender crops when they are grown in places where the summers are short and also, you are making it possible to produce an early crop by planting seed before it would be safe to plant in the open, especially when the winter is harsh outside.
Advantages of a Greenhouse
The advantage of having a greenhouse is that you can regulate and control the temperature easilier in greenhouses that in any other plant forcing structures. Also, ventilation can be regulated better and with less danger of chilling your plants.
The work of planting and caring for the plant can be done without exposing yourself and the plants to unfavorable weather. I remember one of my friends during a harsh winter in Montana half seriously complaining, “If only I had not built that greenhouse, I would sitting snug here inside, instead of going out and working in that nice warm and snug greenhouse!”
So if you do add a really nice heating system to your greenhouse, it is possible you may not come back to the main house – through all that snow and slush throughout the winter and make your base among your plants themselves!
Collecting organic fertilizer for placing in hotbeds
The main use of a hotbed is for starting plants. These plants may be grown in the garden or the field. Although they are used to some extent to grow crops to maturity out of the normal growing season. Before greenhouses came into such general use a large percentage of market gardeners, depended on hotbeds for starting plants such as tomatoes, cabbage, eggplants, and peppers. Even where they have greenhouses most gardeners are going to use hotbeds as often as possible.
Proper Location of Hotbeds
You have to look at some factors, when you are locating your hotbed in your garden. They should be near to the house, so that they can be easyily accessible, and not forgotten. They should be near to a good water supply so that they can be supplied with plenty of water throughout the growing season.
This book has given you plenty of information about proper plant growing structures, and how useful they are, in starting up your plants, especially when it is cold outside. Hotbeds and cold beds are also used extensively all over the world, where there is a paucity of land, and you do not have extensive gardens, where you can grow a large variety of plants.
In our area, we have a farmers market held every Tuesday and Friday, where the local produce is brought fresh, and we get our vegetables, fresh off the land, grown organically, and without a middleman to help raise the price. Incidentally, all of us know from experience that the best time to go shopping is after dark, when they are getting ready to pack up. That is when you are going to get the vegetables at throwaway prices because they do not want to lug truckloads full of vegetables back home and feed them to the cattle.
In fact, sometimes, when there is a glut of vegetables in the market, you may find them dumping the vegetables right there, so that anybody who wants, can pick up the vegetable free of cost. Incidentally, nobody does that because it is a matter of pride not to show oneself in such dire straits that one is picking up vegetables, after dark.
Well, I was talking about one particular farmer who decided to make a hotbed in the winter to get an early crop of vegetables, which would otherwise be grown in the spring. He had a couple of horses for plowing purposes in the farm, and he also used farmyard manure to make his hotbed.
So in the middle of January, we were getting vegetables which we would normally expect in March and April. And he caused a near riot, even though he was asking rather high prices. We were willing to pay them just for the joy of eating fresh, unexpected vegetables in the winter.
Within the month, all of the farmers in that village had begun constructing their own hotbeds, thanks to this one enterprising farmer. And we are taking full advantage and benefit of this enterprise, because thanks to a glut of these vegetables in the market, we can pick and choose the farmer who is giving us a more budget conscious price.
So if you have some time to spare, or feeling in the mood to do some constructive work, pick up your tools, and lumber lying about, and try some constructing of hotbeds, cold beds, frames, glass houses, sash houses, and other constructions for helping your plants grow happy, healthy, and profitably.
Live Long and Prosper!