Off and on for the last several years we have published articles describing the construction of greenhouses. Some of the greenhouses described are fairly elaborate and some are quite simple. Included in those blogs is a story on how to make a cold frame.
For those of you who don’t want to take a lot of time constructing either a sophisticated or basic greenhouse, then simply visit your neighborhood Target or Container Store and purchase various sizes of plastic containers. These items can serve as a mini-greenhouse in which you can start up seedlings that can later be planted in your garden.
Many who have used this tip have grouped multiple plastic containers according to the cold tolerance of the plants inside. So when it gets to cold outside, you simply carry the plants most vulnerable inside the house until warmer weather re-appears. The plastic containers also permit you to move the plants around to locate more or less sun exposure for them.
Keep the lids and use them to cover the plastic containers of seedlings to protect from the cold and wind.
A mini-greenhouse that is even more basic than the containers described above can start with a simple plastic bag.
Plants under plastic bags retain moisture and contain the moisture that the plant itself produces through transpiration. It is not suggested that you use a plastic bag over succulents; they can’t tolerate the moisture permitted by the bag.
The concept also works for shrubs. When there is an unexpected freeze in your area, you can use a plastic garbage bag to surround and protect the shrub. In this case, it is suggested that you remove the garbage bag from the shrub early the next morning, particularly if the sun is shining. Keep the bag on too long and the buds of the shrub can burn.
It is also recommended that when using a plastic bag over a plant that is in a pot or container; place it in a shady spot. This is especially necessary if you leave the plant covered for a long time. If you use a plastic bag over sprouting seeds, it is suggested that you uncover to give it a brief time in sunlight. It won’t hurt to remove the plastic bag for an hour or so every few days.
You should check the soil moisture of the plant that’s covered and make sure that some air circulates around it. This can be achieved by running a fan or permitting fresh air into the house. An indoor heater shouldn’t be used to circulate air. Another way to assist the plant in receiving circulated air is to prick small pinholes in the plastic. The plant will get air and will still be provided with the moisture it needs to grow.
How To Use A Plastic Bag Greenhouse
You will need to prepare a plant to be covered with a plastic bag. The things you need to do include:
- Remove dead leaves.
- Check for pests and get rid of them if necessary.
- Water for two days before bagging it.