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Greenhouse Myths

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We should first dispel a few greenhouse myths. If you enjoy golf, skiing, traveling or any one of the many hobbies available, you realize they cost money. While I am acquainted with a few individuals whose gardening hobby has escalated into a money-making endeavor, most of us end up with our hobbies costing us money. The first myth is that you are going to be able to grow copious amounts of food inside a small greenhouse for free. If you think you are going to save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill by growing your own produce - you've been reading too many greenhouse ads. While owning a hobby greenhouse is enjoyable, it will not feed your family or make you rich. Before you resolve never to enter your local grocery store again, remember if your outdoor garden is not productive, your indoor one will not be either. A second myth is that plants grow without effort or attention because we are providing an ideal environment for their growth. Commercial and hobby greenhouse growers know that even though they try to provide the ideal environment for plant growth, they also provide the best conditions for insects, diseases and other pests to grow. In addition, the grower must provide the heat, water, ventilation and other conditions that Mother Nature normally provides in outdoor gardens. A third myth is that everyone should own a greenhouse. Many competent gardeners are perfectly content to enjoy the four seasons without trying to grow their own plants during the winter. They spend their time and effort planning their outdoor gardens from their easy chair by poring through various gardening magazines, books and catalogs. If you own a greenhouse or have ever thought of building one, you may want to consider attending our hobby greenhouse short course. The class will cover whether you want or need a greenhouse in your gardening situation. We will also cover constructing a greenhouse with attention to greenhouse structures and greenhouse coverings. Selection of construction materials is important to keep your greenhouse safe, practical, enjoyable and efficient. I will be teaching the very successful Solar Greenhouse Class again this year as either an afternoon or an evening class. Topics covered in the class include; Should I have a greenhouse? Should I build myself or use a kit or have someone else build it? Other class sessions will cover glazing materials, heating and cooling and space utilization. The class is Tuesdays from 2:00-4:00 or 6:00-8:00 P.M. at the Thanksgiving Gardens Visitors Center in classroom. Classes begin on January 8 and run for four weeks. The class fee is $30.00 and includes the greenhouse design booklets and other written materials. Please register by calling 801-768-4971 or toll-free 1-888-672-6040 (ext. 4971) to register to guarantee your place in the course. A special section will cover solar design and managing a solar greenhouse. It is not necessary to own or build a greenhouse to participate in the class. In fact, some participants learn that a greenhouse is not for them and a less expensive hot bed or cold frame or a sunny windowsill is all they need. Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Thanksgiving Point Office

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