For people who want to do more gardening but live in an area with a short growing season, a hobby greenhouse is the answer. A hobby greenhouse is not large enough to produce vegetables or flowers on a commercial basis. However, even if you live in a northern area, it can provide you with a tomato plant or two and a place to grow some fresh vegetables. Greenhouse enthusiasts even have their own association called the Hobby Greenhouse Association, which publishes a quarterly newsletter. The organization also sponsors events and helps connect individuals to get help with the aspects of gardening that interest them, whether it’s growing cacti or saving seeds.
If you are in the market for a hobby greenhouse, there are several types on the market. The smallest type is not large enough to walk into and must be accessed from the outside. It resembles an old-fashioned telephone booth, made entirely of glass and equipped with shelves. This type is designed to hold as many plants as possible in as small a place as possible. The shelves are made of glass to allow as much light as possible to reach the plants on the shelves below. Another inexpensive version of this hobby greenhouse is a shelf covered with a zippered tent of clear plastic. This arrangement is great for small-scale hobby gardeners who want a place to store flowers or houseplants in pots.
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There are various designs of hobby greenhouses that are large enough to walk into, but made entirely of clear glass or plastic. They are usually about the size of a small storage shed. Some independent builders have started making these greenhouses for local sale. One of the prettiest of the national brands is called the “Solar Prism”. It is called so because of its unique construction. These hobby greenhouses are made of a single piece of durable, clear plastic that is designed to resemble small prisms side by side. They capture the sun’s rays and beam them back into the greenhouse from all angles. For this reason, these small greenhouses are said to glow when the weather is cloudy.
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Better hobby greenhouses are equipped with automatic sensors that open the vents so that the temperature inside does not get too high. These are a great way to save labor, but can be expensive. Another benefit sometimes found in nicer greenhouses is a built-in irrigation or misting system. Members of the Hobby Greenhouse Association (HGA) have invented many interesting greenhouse designs.
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If gardening is your hobby, greenhouse gardening will interest you. With a greenhouse, you can have the earliest tomatoes and salad greens available year-round. You can also start seedlings for the main garden early in the spring, when outdoor temperatures will kill them. A hobby greenhouse can be a great investment.