Are you new to greenhouse gardening or just want to change the type of vegetables you grow? Here is a list of 9 best vegetables to grow in greenhouses to make your choice easier.
Greenhouses are useful structures that allow gardeners to grow crops all year round. It opens up all kinds of possibilities in all seasons.
But, having a greenhouse is not all! Many people, especially the newbies, will still struggle when it comes to identifying what to grow in a greenhouse.
Today, we want to make that process a bit easier for you. We will explore and identify some of the best vegetables to grow in greenhouses. This is because vegetables are some of the most common greenhouse plants.
With the right greenhouse, you can have a steady supply of fresh vegetables in and out of season.
Greenhouses ensure that your crops are protected from harsh outdoor weather conditions they’d otherwise face, including:
- Blistering heat
- Bone-chilling cold
This makes a greenhouse vegetable garden flourish in all seasons as well as all kinds of weather conditions. A gardener can create crops’ most suitable conditions by controlling factors such as:
So, which are these ideal vegetables to grow in greenhouses?
Top Vegetables to Grow in a Greenhouse
Here is our best greenhouse vegetables list:
Tomatoes are year-round vegetables that can do perfectly well both outdoors and in a greenhouse. Pick tomatoes seeds variety that resists diseases such as fusarium and verticillium.
Tomatoes come in thousands of varieties that vary in shapes, color, size, and flavors. Some of the most common types include:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Plum tomatoes
Since they have high levels of Lycopene, tomatoes are excellent agents that help unclog arteries and are good for your heart.
You may opt for a seedbed or a seedling tray to plant the tomatoes. Tomatoes seeds germinate within one or two weeks. Transplant them into small pots and later to larger ones after attaining a height of four to six inches.
Apply fertilizers rich in nitrogen and potassium immediately after noticing the second set of true leaves. Also, you should remove or pinch off suckers or the side shoots that usually emerge at the spot where a leaf meets the main stem weekly.
Stake the tomatoes or use trellises for them to climb and spread out. You may need to use a mechanical pollinator to pollinate the flowers. And, prune leaves once your plants begin to fruit.
Freezing temperatures and wind can destroy them and so it’s vital to guard them against such conditions. Also, you should separate your seedlings adequately for a healthy and strong tomato plant. To prevent leaf mold, maintain humidity below 90% and regularly ventilate the greenhouse.
A drip irrigation system is recommended to provide a constant supply of water directly to the root system. Damp soil can promote diseases and so avoid overwatering.
Tomatoes love hot temperatures and cannot stand frost. Ensure the plant receives enough sunlight to avoid pale and frail plants. Tomatoes best temperatures range between around 70°F to 80°F daytime and 55°F to 65°F night time.
Carrots are the most nutritious root vegetable and can grow all-year-round. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and carotenes. This crop can tolerate frosty as well as warm temperatures.
You can grow them during winter, spring, and fall season. A good thing about carrots is that most are immune to most pests and diseases.
Planting carrots in a greenhouse is easy. You just break up the soil with a rake to create a well-aerated soil structure. Loose soil will allow the seedlings to develop deep and strong roots. The crop requires just a small amount of fertilizer applied once a week.
There are two common types of carrot seeds, including heirloom and hybrid seeds. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, whereas Hybrid seeds are produced artificially crossing two or more types of a particular plant.
Plant carrots thinly and separate them with a six-inch space. You can either sow them into a raised bed, larger planter or into the ground. Maintain moist but not soggy soil.
Most carrots typically take 2 to 4 months to ripen though this largely depends on the type and the growing conditions. You’ll notice that the leaves start to wither when the carrots are ready for harvesting.
But before harvesting them, loosen up the soil first with a garden fork.
Spinach is another leafy greenhouse crop that belongs to the Amaranth family. This crop grows all year round and thrives in cool temperatures.
Also, it is resistant to most pests and diseases. However, they are susceptible to aphids, caterpillars, blue mold and leaf miner attacks
Spinach is a very nutritious plant that can be eaten raw or cooked. When compared with other green veggies, spinach has higher levels of:
- Vitamins A, B, and C,
Spinach thrives in well-drained nutrient-rich soil. Planting spinach requires making beds with aged manure at least a week before. Then, plant them in a nursery, and once the seedlings start to sprout, transplant them with a couple of inches apart.
Ensure that you keep the soil sufficiently moistened with mulch. A temperature of between 70°F and 75°F is preferred to increase germination. Shortly after adding fertilizer, ensure that you water them completely.
Spinach requires regular watering of up to at least two inches every week. Also, ensure that they are exposed to sunlight and shady conditions.
Harvest them when they are mature enough to eat by removing the outer leaves. Leave the core leaves to grow bigger and to continue increasing in size.
Eggplants, also called aubergine, are warm-weather green vegetables. They are planted in raised beds with composted manure. Maintain 80–90°F soil temperature prior to transplanting.
After transplanting them, maintain a temp of 66–72°F during the day and 64–66°F at night. Stake your Eggplants for about 24” tall to avoid falling over when packed with fruits. Alternatively, you can opt for a cage to hold them upright.
To prevent diseases, apply the finest potting mix. Sufficient watering sufficiently is important after you plant the eggplants.
Add a coat of mulch to help maintain moisture and prevent weeding. Removing the terminal buds is vital for a thicker bush.
Harvesting can occur 16 to 24 weeks after sowing when the skin is unwrinkled and bright.
Avoid pulling the eggplant but cut the fruit near the stem and leave around an inch of it still attached.
See Related: Best Greenhouse Lights for Plant Growth
Turnips are cool-weather plants that belong to the mustard family. These crops sprout very fast and can grow in the spring and fall seasons. They are among the best vegetables to grow in greenhouses, and both their roots and greens are edible.
To plant turnips, choose a site that is exposed to sun full time. Then create a 2 to 4-inch layer of a mixture of aged manure or compost. Make sure the soil is well-drained and loosened to 12-15 inches depths.
Don’t create a seedbed since turnips don’t transplant well. Rather scatter the seeds right into the soil. Cover the turnip seeds with more than half an inch of soil.
Mulching can help retain moisture and prevent weeding. And, though this crop does not require much care, keeping consistent moisture is essential.
Once the seedlings attain a 4 inches height, thin them to 4 to 6 inches apart. And, space wide rows up to 12 inches apart.
Also, practice crop rotation to overcome diseases. Protect them from pests by floating row covers. Harvesting turnip greens occur within a month.
Leaves taste best when they are still young and tender.
It’s easier to grow kales than any other vegetable. Kale plant thrives in nearly all situations and conditions. This nutritious vegetable is high in antioxidant properties and is an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Planting kales is very easy. Kales do well in partial shady spots and sandy soils. They only need adequate sunlight to germinate.
You can sow them in a seedbed or a seeding tray. Using a seeding tray is better because it’s easier to develop. The good thing about kale is that it’s one of the toughest plants and is resistant to most diseases.
Give the seedling sufficient watering immediately after planting. After every few days, use a watering can or a hose to give them a deep soaking. After 2 to 3 weeks, they will need watering less frequently.
Eliminate the leaves that turn yellow that will emerge around the base of the crop. Kale is a vegetable that you can often enjoy with the continuous harvest. If you love baby leaves, you can start harvesting kales almost weeks after planting.
Kale keeps on developing new and fresh leaves that you can continue to pick for months. Pick the leaves near the base first and leave behind the tip, to continue developing fresh leaves. And if you are new to greenhouse gardening, kales are some of the best greenhouse crops you’ll come across.
Zucchinis, also called courgettes, are a healthy vegetable that will do exceptionally well in your greenhouse. These plants are easy to grow and produce a bountiful harvest at least in three to four weeks.
There are several varieties of Zucchini, including:
Most of them are greenish-black in color though yellow ones are also available. Also, courgettes spread out when sprouting.
Some seeds may fail, and so it’s good to plant all of the seeds in the packet. Place your zucchinis two feet apart to give them a space for expansion. Zucchinis prefer well-drained, fertile, and loamy soil.
Stake them up to avoid hanging. Water them sufficiently and keep checking them to spot slugs. Healthy ones start to shoot up quickly, and you may want to transfer them into a bigger container.
Zucchini is packed with vitamin C, nutrients including electrolytes, fiber, and potassium elements, which are crucial for a robust digestive system.
Also, they have anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants and are low in fats and sodium. If you are looking for something to add to your greenhouse, Zucchini will be a great choice.
Microgreens, also called vegetable confetti, are a combination of edible young greens. Microgreens love being exposed to sunlight and cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
Maintain excellent ventilation as well as enough moisture to grow microgreens. You may consider using heaters or heating pads to protect them from frost. Ensure a sufficient set of seeds in seed trays as they need to grow in dense to be able to hold each other.
At first, it’s okay to water them from above to soak them in the soil. But as they sprout, it’s advisable to do bottom watering. This helps limit the formation of gray mold and diseases.
Harvesting of microgreens should be done with a pair of scissors. And, microgreens are usually ready for harvesting in less than a month, when they reach at least two inches high.
The seed leaves, stems, and the first set of true leaves are edible.
Okra, otherwise called ladyfingers, is another incredible vegetable grown in a greenhouse. They are excellent enhancements to soups and casseroles.
Okra crops are easy to plant. To start, prepare the greenhouse 3 to 4 weeks ahead of the last date of frost.
Before you plant okra seeds, drench them in warm water for a few hours or overnight. Drenching okra seeds help soften it to promote germination.
Ensure the soil is well-drained with temperatures ranging between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them in a tray and transplant the seedlings when they are big enough. Align them six inches apart and use compost to enrich the soil.
These crops prefer sun, and so choose a spot where they will get enough of it. Pods are picked while immature, as most pods are hard and stingy. Harvest them while wearing protective gloves to prevent irritation from their tiny hairs.
Like what you read? Here are the best greenhouses to buy.
Conclusion on the Best Vegetables to Grow in Greenhouses
With a greenhouse environment, you can extend the growing seasons of your crops by a few more weeks or even months. It’s good to note that some vegetables do well in a greenhouse environment than others.
And, with this list of some of the best vegetables to grow in greenhouses, you can say goodbye to vegetable problems and enjoy abundant harvest every time.