Shopping Basket

What Vegetables to Grow in a Greenhouse for Beginners

Wednesday, 5 August 2020  |  Matt

freshly grown radish by a beginner gardener

Have you ever considered delving into the exciting experience of growing your own plants and vegetables in a greenhouse? This basic guide will help you decide how to start and succeed at creating your own greenhouse. 

Containers, Beds and Grow Bags - Where to plant?

You have a couple of different options when it comes to deciding what to grow your plants and vegetables in. Both options have their advantages and it really comes down to personal preference. You may choose to start a greenhouse with a soil floor. If you go this route and grow your plants in ground soil watering and fertilizing can be easier to manage. Alternatively, it will be easier to control weeds and soil borne diseases if you grow your plants in containers, grow bags, or bulb crates.

If growing from seed, then you can place seed containers onto greenhouse staging.

What vegetables and plants should you grow as a beginner?

The first step to starting your own greenhouse is to decide what you will grow. You should make an informed decision by researching the plants you are considering. Determining the best environments, temperatures and humidity levels that will be necessary for your plants to thrive is a crucial first step. To help you get started, read the list below of some of the easiest vegetables for beginners to grow. Don’t make the mistake of trying to grow everything! If your greenhouse is overcrowded none of your plants will produce significantly.

If you're getting started with gardening, then you may want to purchase a small greenhouse, or a smaller lean to greenhouse.

You can also learn more about buying a new greenhouse here.

beetroot whole

Here are a few vegetables that are easy to grow:

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Herbs
  • Onions and garlic
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Runner beans
  • Salad leaves
  • Spring onions and radishes
  • Tomatoes

Getting Temperatures Right

It is crucial to keep your greenhouse at the correct temperature so your plants and vegetables can achieve their maximum growth potential. A thermometer will be an essential item for you as you begin growing in your greenhouse. Some plants and vegetables need more or less heat than others so it is imperative to research the plants you want to grow for the temperature they do best in. Check the temperature and humidity of your greenhouse on a regular basis and adjust as needed for the best growing potential.

Take some time to look into greenhouse heaters, vents and fans. All of these items will help ensure that the temperature is correct for your greenhouse and the plants you are trying to grow throughout the seasons. 

And if it's getting too warm, then using greenhouse shading can help to manage it.

The Importance of Light

Do you want to grow your plants all year round? If you do, there are some things you will need to consider as far as lighting. It is easy to get enough natural sunlight in the late spring and summer but you may have to consider what you will do for extra lighting in the fall and winter months. You may decide to just hang a regular fluorescent strip 3 to 7 inches above your plants or invest in some LED grow lights.

Managing Space in the Greenhouse

Be aware that your crops will need enough space to fully grow properly. Your plants should be planted far enough away from each other that they do not touch. This is important for two reasons. Not only will you have a more difficult time getting them to grow if they are close together, plants that are too close together also encourage the spread of disease.

Ongoing Plant Care

Similar to heat and light, there are some plants that need more water than others. Do your research and ensure that you are giving your crops the optimal amount. You can purchase a water-butt to collect rainwater. Rainwater includes nitrates and organic matter so this is a great way to water your plants. Once you have the temperature and humidity under control in your greenhouse, the most important part to keeping your plants and crops happy and healthy is water!

Water your plants gently to avoid too much splashing. Splashing water may encourage the spread of disease amongst your plants.

There are a few unpleasant critters that like to hang out in greenhouses and may harm your plants such as bugs and slugs. Ensure your greenhouse is always clean, this will help control harmful critters.

There you have it! Everything you need to know to start growing your own vegetables in a greenhouse!

See the best vegetables to grow in a greenhouse here.

Even wondered about starting an allotment? See our beginners allotment guide here.