How to Build Your Very Own Indoor Greenhouse
If your lack of a yard or money is preventing you from enjoying the kind of gardening you would like to do, consider building your own indoor greenhouse inside of your house or apartment. Doing so will save you a great deal of money and allow you to enjoy beautiful plants and veggies all year long.
This article serves as a basic how-to guide in building your very own greenhouse inside your home. It is recommended that you be somewhat handy with tools, or at least have a family member willing to help you in the project.
Items You Will Need
The first thing you need to is gather up all of the supplies that you will be using in this project. The cost is incredibly low, and the items are readily available at any home improvement or hardware store.
Aside from planting supplies that you can purchase at your leisure, you will need cheap plastic utility shelves, a shop light for each shelf you use, 2 fluorescent tubes per each shop light, a power strip that can accommodate all of the plugs, and a light timer. Although you will ideally have your indoor greenhouse next to an electrical outlet, you may need to purchase an extension cord if this is not the case.
Begin by setting up your shelves in the desired location, preferably near a wall outlet. Attach your power strip to the middle and back of the shelves so that no plugs are obscenely far away. You can attach the power strip with anything from twisty ties to duct tape. It’s up to you.
Once you have the shelving and power strip up, you should plug in your light timer to the electrical outlet. You will need to program it for the amount of light required each day for the plants. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in regards to this.
Setting Up the Lights
It’s now time to start assembling the shop lights. This is a pretty simple process; all you really need to do is insert the fluorescent tubes into the shop lights. Be sure that you connect the hanging chains and all of the hooks to the top of each shop light as directed.
Now that they’re assembled, you can begin suspending the shop lights (one or two per shelf depending on size) from the shelves. You can attach the hooks at the bottom of each shelf so that the next shelf down has adjustable lighting. The hooks make it easy to drop the lights closer or bring them further from the plants you choose to grow.
You now need to plug in all of the shop light cords to the power strip. In order to prevent a tangled mess of cords, you can tape them to the back of the shelving unit or bundle them together as possible with twisty ties.
Note: many gardening stores will try to sell you incredibly expensive grow lights. This is not necessary, so do yourself a favor and save the money and invest in fluorescent bulbs instead. They tend to do the job quite well.
Theoretically, your indoor greenhouse should be located in a heated area of your home, such as a big walk-in closet, the garage, or a heated basement. If the area is indeed warm, then you don’t need to worry about further insulating it. If, however, you’ve no choice but to build it in a drafty cold location, you can easily hang some inexpensive plastic sheeting from the top shelf all the way down. This will help keep in heat and moisture all year long.