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Hobby Greenhouse Design

Hobby Greenhouse Design

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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Thanksgiving Point Office

Should I should I not, that is the question? The question is do I want to build own and operate a hobby greenhouse.

We should first dispel a few greenhouse myths. 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.

If you enjoy golf, skiing, traveling or any one of the many hobbies available, you realize they cost money. The same is true of building and operating a hobby greenhouse.

Another myth is that you are going to be able to grow copious amounts of free food inside a small greenhouse. If you think you are going to save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill by growing your own produce – you have 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.

Another 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, you, the grower, must provide the heat, water, ventilation and other conditions that Mother Nature normally provides in outdoor gardens.

Another 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, 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.

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 6 and run for four weeks. The class fee is $40.00 and includes the greenhouse design booklets and other written materials. Please register by calling 801-768-7443 or toll-free 1-888-672-6040 (ext. 7443) to register to guarantee your place in the course. You can also register online at and then click on the education icon.

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.

In future tips we will cover other aspects of greenhouse growing and greenhouse construction including useful materials, fuels and greenhouse coverings.

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