Greenhouse Gardening Beginner Tips

Greenhouse gardening is a practical experience, allowing you to go green.  Starting and maintaining a greenhouse can be challenging, but you’ll get used to it with time and experience.

Over time, the complex task becomes basic – this applies especially to those with a handy guide like this. There are lots to consider when starting your growing, so use this as your handbook.

Garden greenhouse types are included to help you find the perfect haven for your plants. Helpful tips also await you, giving you a few pointers on how to manage and grow effectively.

1. Invest in the right greenhouse building

Specifically designed to cultivate plant life, greenhouses make a good return on investment. And speaking of good investing, you’ll want to ensure your hard-earned money won’t be wasted.

With that in mind, it’s best to get yourself familiarised with the 3 types of greenhouses. Your top options include timber greenhouse, polycarbonate greenhouse, and metal greenhouse. Besides this being your advantage, it’ll also give you an idea of what suits your plants best.

BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse
BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse

2. Go for a wood material if…

Wooden greenhouses are an excellent choice if you want to keep your harvest warm and safe throughout winter. Known for their natural insulation properties, the material makes the structure environmentally controlled. Moreover, it helps absorb harmful UV rays and, at the same time, contains heat at night.

BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Clear Wall Greenhouse with Opening Roof Vent
BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Clear Wall Greenhouse with Opening Roof Vent

3. Opt for a metal unit if…

A steel greenhouse is lightweight, perfect for manoeuvring, maintenance-free, and long-lasting! It’s a brilliant option if you want a low-maintenance unit.

Designed with an aluminium frame, expect a solid construction base. This ensures the garden structure is more load-bearing than its wooden counterpart. In short, it offers superior protection to plants.

BillyOh Harvester Walk-In Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse
BillyOh Harvester Walk-In Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse

4. Get a polycarbonate if

Looking for something cheaper but durable enough to use year-round? You can never go wrong with a greenhouse polycarbonate. The material is thicker than glass and it offers more efficient light diffusion.

Growing your greens in one will provide them with equal light. Moreover, it provides ultimate protection against radiation exposure thanks to its natural ultraviolet filter.

High Tunnel Farming on Fleshman Farm

(Image Credit: Rawpixel)

5. Pick the best location

After choosing the ideal greenhouse type for your greens, consider where to put it next. A firm and flat surface is ideal, and avoid placing it near standing water.

During the installation, check if you have access to all four sides. Placing it near walls and fences is no good; the same goes for trees or large bushes. Another thing to keep in mind is the sunlight. The location must receive maximum sun exposure. This will help encourage and stimulate your plant growth.

Glass greenhouse positioned amongst the lush greenery and shrubs

(Image Credit: Pxhere)

6. Keep up with the air circulation

Most greenhouses are enclosed, meaning they don’t ventilate completely on their own. This is where ventilation comes in – installing one can solve the problem.

Nice air circulation ensures the plants get the right temperature and moisture level.  Proper air movement within also creates uniformity in humidity, CO2 and oxygen. Remember, plants respond better to environmental consistency.

Large greenhouse with centre fan for ventilation

(Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons)

7. Watch out for pesky pests

Bugs in gardens are inevitable, but there are ways to keep them at bay. For one, keep outside foliage away from the greenhouse.

Another is to create a dedicated area for them, especially for pollinators, with a bug hotel! Also, many insects favour hot and humid conditions to lay eggs, so keep the inside well-ventilated. Top pests to look out for include aphids, thrips, bloodworms, slugs and snails.

Bugs on a vegetable leaf

(Image Credit: Flickr)

8. Seed starting

When it comes to growing, you have two options: 1.) growing from seeds, 2.) buying transplants from the store. If you choose the latter, keep in mind that it can be tricky at first, and patience is a must.

You also have to understand the seed type, whether it’s an heirloom, organic, hybrid, or GMO, to name a few. Next is where to grow them, depending on their needs. Again, you have two choices (see #9 and #10) and once picked, you can move the trays inside the garden green house.

A sprouting seed

(Image Credit: Pixabay)

9. Grow seeds in open flat trays

Here, the seeds are planted in nicely spaced rows. This method encourages ease of watering, fertilising, thinning, and treating diseases.

Once the seedlings have sprouted, they can be transplanted into pots. Unlike single-cell seedling trays, you can grow more seeds.

A person adding seeds on a pot

(Image Credit: Flickr)

10. Or in single-cell trays

Meanwhile, in this planting scheme, only one or two seeds can be planted per cell. But the good thing about this is that it retains more moisture and warmth than open trays. A great factor, indeed, when developing a seed, although it can be consuming.

Seedlings on a single-cell tray

(Image Credit: Flickr)

11. The watering rules

There’s a basic rule for beginners: understand the water requirements for every plant. You don’t want to end up under or overdoing it – either can spell doom for your plants.

Signs of inappropriate watering include the following:

  • Irregular drying
  • Decreased shoot size
  • Root growth and immature plants with bad quality and shelf life

Top tip: Invest in a good drip system with a timer or dip gauge to avoid overwatering. For newly seeded areas, water them often – every couple of days. By late spring, waterless – once a week, but more deeply to encourage roots to go down.

A gardener watering a plant

(Image Credit: Pexels)

12. Rely on a thermometer

No beginner green house garden should be without a thermometer. Your thermometer will inform you when to ventilate, when to shade, when to heat, and what area to cool. Put simply, it will give you a better idea of how your plants are doing and what needs to change.

When you have greater control over your plants’ environment, expect better results. You can choose from hygrometers, humidity metres to hi-low memory thermometers. But a standard one can do the job for you!

Digital white thermometer

(Image Credit: Flickr)

13. Start growing greenhouse-specific varieties

Try your hand at growing plants that only thrive inside a greenhouse in your first year. Tropical flowers and heat-loving vegetables, such as tomatoes, are great starters.

This gardening trick will help add interest to your gardening efforts. Plus, the success of growing ‘within your reach’ will be exciting and worth it. Check out our guide on what to grow in a greenhouse for more information.

A gardener on a plant-filled greenhouse

(Image Credit: Pexels)

14. Then add the easy-to-grow ones

Next, kick off your greenhouse growing efforts with easy-to-grow greens! Lettuce, basil, and coleus are some ideal vegetative options for you to cultivate. Besides tomatoes, move on next to seedless cucumbers, eggplants, and hot peppers. They are especially promising to grow when you have more experience.

Top tip: Avoid starting with bushes and trees as they take up more space and time to grow. Focus on what you can provide on the table first year-round.

Lettuce grown in a greenhouse

(Image Credit: Pxhere)

15. Equip your greenhouse with a lighting system

Most plants need light to photosynthesise and flourish. In summer and late spring, your greenhouse should receive adequate sunlight.

And with those seasons, there’s nothing to worry about. But the problem arises in winter or late autumn, and this is where the lighting system comes in. LED grow lights and fluorescent lamp strips will serve you well in this regard. Place them in a propagating or germination room that experiences no natural light.

Greenhouse plants with a lighting system

(Image Credit: Flickr)

16. Add a mist system

With a mist system, your greenhouse can produce consistent conditions throughout the year. Misting also helps fight off plant diseases, minimise stress and increase growth rates.

Another benefit is it can be used to apply fertilisers. The mist lands on the leaves of the plants, making the fertiliser easier to absorb.

Misting greenhouse vegetable

(Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons)

17. Work on a potting bench

Rather than stooping on the ground, get a potting bench to have a comfortable height to work on. Depending on the size, it can also serve as small storage for pots, tools, and soils – and to display your plants. It always comes in handy for doing small gardening tasks like transplanting seedlings.

Small corner potting shed

(Image Credit: Flickr)

18. Have enough shelving

Shelves are excellent space savers, keeping your greenhouse neat and organised. With their addition, you can maximise the space for plants and provide support for climbers.

Opt for adjustable shelves for flexibility, so you can move them up and down accordingly. Alternatively, you can invest in an easy-fit frame with a heavy-duty cover just like the one below!

With one, you can easily take care of seedlings and young plants without compromising space.

Greenhouse with Easy-Fit Frame and Heavy Duty Cover
Greenhouse with Easy-Fit Frame and Heavy Duty Cover

19. The need for shade cloth

With 8 hours of direct sunlight, overheating and sunburn are likely to occur to your plants. Protect them with a quality shade cloth.

Shade cloths are especially important in your greenhouse if you have automatic vents. Securely tarp the shade cloth over the top of your structure.

Note: Choosing the right shade cloth colour can make a big difference to different types of plants. Do your research before buying.

Greenhouse shade cloth

(Image Credit: Flickr)

20. Consider pea gravel flooring

Use pea gravel over weed fabric for your greenhouse flooring. It’s cheap and easy to install, providing good drainage. The porous ground cover will also allow water to drain through the fabric. Or use a polypropylene ground cover and hos it with pea gravel to keep out weeds and pests.

Note: Don’t place pea gravel directly on top of the soil.

Pea gravel flooring

(Image Credit: Pxhere)


A greenhouse gives plants the ideal environment, allowing for an extended growing season. If you’re thinking of growing your own fresh produce, it can be your mainstay.

When you get it right, greenhouse gardening can keep you limber and improve your well-being. Besides bringing healthy greens to the table, of course. Lucky for you, these greenhouse gardening beginner tips have shown what you have to do!

Enhance your gardening setup with our greenhouse for sale UK, paired with a potting shed. This combo saves space and adds convenience. Explore now!

Up next on your reading list: How to Create a Greenhouse Setup on a Tight Budget

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