Eating organically grown fruit and vegetables are a great way to improve your health and lifestyle, but what about the cost? When you see the rapidly increasing prices of organic fruit and vegetables in your local superstore, you might be tempted to give up on the whole idea, but don’t – you can save money by growing your own organic crops. You will also be saving the environment a little at a time by preventing stores from having to ship in fruit and vegetables from thousands of miles away just so people can have a choice of whatever foods they want.
The recession has seen a vast increase in sales of new and second hand greenhouses, which will not only provide your family with fresh fruit and vegetables across the whole year, but improves your garden and gives it that particularly British feel.
A controlled growing area
When you install a greenhouse in your garden, your family can share the experience of growing organic produce. This isn’t just for the elderly!
Growing fruit and vegetables in your garden can be successful, but the extra time you need to defend your growing area against the bugs and other food eaters means that it’s easier to grow in a controlled environment, like a greenhouse, so you can maintain the heat, light and ventilation required while controlling the insects and birds.
You can purchase a second hand greenhouse from just a few pounds, and perhaps even get one for free as some people will order a new greenhouse and be pleased that someone has taken away their old model.
A new model can set you back anything from £70 to a couple of hundred pounds, depending upon the size and style of greenhouse that you require.
How best to use your greenhouse
You can start off growing fruit and vegetables and flowers in your greenhouse, to give them a chance to make it through the early growing period before moving them outside, if you do intend to grow food in your garden.
Growing fruit and vegetables that are not usually available at some times of the year will be a great challenge for you. If you balance keeping the greenhouse warm in the winter months and providing sufficient lighting when the sun disappears too quickly, along with ventilating your greenhouse so mould and mildew can’t damage your growing crops, you can keep your family’s favourite greens on the table all year around.
Trying to grow more exotic produce, like melon and sweet potatoes, will give more variety for your dinner table. With a little careful planning, your garden greenhouse will be able to provide you with a range of salad items at Christmas without forcing you to buy from your local superstore.
A solar panel power supply for your greenhouse will supply all of your heating and lighting needs and will save you from installing environmentally unfriendly electricity to your greenhouse – and keep your electric bills down.
Your greenhouse will pay for itself in less than a year and your family will be able to eat organic fruit and vegetables picked from the greenhouse just minutes before. You can’t get fresher produce that that.
Jen Byiers writes for Gardens Galore Edinburgh.