Having good greenhouse equipment and accessories can be pivotal to managing a greenhouse efficiently. In order to be able to produce high quality, year-round crops, you will need to know what type of greenhouse equipment to buy. As indoor growing is becoming a standard practice for growers around the globe, your greenhouse equipment and accessories will need to fit into tight-knit spaces and mini greenhouses. Let’s look at what are the best greenhouse equipment and supplies needed when starting greenhouse gardening:
Types of greenhouse equipment you need
One of the essential features of an efficient greenhouse design is having the right accessories to facilitate growing crops. More on our top hacks for greenhouse design in our article here. Broadly speaking, greenhouse equipment is divided into the following types:
- Greenhouse furniture
- Water management — Irrigation and drainage
- Climate control and heating
- Pest control
Each one of these components need to be planned for when constructing greenhouses. As you read on, we’ll discuss the various items that come in each category.
Basic greenhouse equipment
What comes to your mind when you think of beginning your gardening hobby? Perhaps not an entire greenhouse, but definitely seeds, pots and trays? These are the very basic things you need to start growing plants.
Your choice of greenhouse containers is crucial because it will have a large effect on how your vegetables or plants grow. For a greenhouse container, gardeners can use almost anything that grips soil as long as it meets these meets two criteria:
- Firstly, it should promote good health, giving plenty of space for roots and providing excellent drainage.
- Secondly, it should hold the crop well and stabilize its upward growth.
There are many varieties of containers like flats and plugs, hanging baskets and pots. There are even larger containers that are equipped to hold various smaller pots.
Hanging baskets are perfect for growing plants, flowers and vegetables in height while making perfect use of space. They can be made from plastic, metal ceramic or even coconut fiber.
Plugs and flat containers are used frequently for early germination purposes. These containers are available to hold various small plants or flowers while keeping them separated.
As for potting, gardeners prefer greenhouse pots made from clay because they are the traditional way of growing the flowers and plants. However, if you cannot buy clay pots, you can consider materials like plastic, wood, peat moss and wood fiber as well. These are often lighter in weight, more durable and cheaper than clay pots. They are easily disposable as well.
Seed boxes are also considered to be essential greenhouse equipment. Plastic seed boxes are taking over from the wood boxes that many growers used in the past.
The pros and cons of plastic vs. wood are still being debated around the globe. If you really want to go green, cut the plastic option and stay with wood. However, get seed boxes that are around 14 inches X 8 inches X 2 inches. This is the perfect size to grow baby seeds.
Choosing good greenhouse pots and containers:
- Soil in porous greenhouse containers can dry out soon and you’ll have to water it multiple times, hence wasting water. In non-porous containers, the soil tends to grip moisture better, thus averting over-watering.
- When you’re choosing greenhouse pots and containers, bear in mind that they should do more than satisfy a plant’s growth needs; they should also have good drainage and porosity.
- Generally, if you’re planning for year-round crops, you’ll need to plan for mobility. Your greenhouse pots should be easily movable and lightweight.
- You’ll need to be certain that your containers are eco-friendly, which will, in turn, allow for the perfect possible environment for your plant.
Correct greenhouse pots and supplies can raise baby plants from seeds even when the soil is not compatible for germination. Choosing the right type of greenhouse container will make a large difference in the overall development of your greenhouse plants.
Furniture to store your greenhouse equipment and plants
Well-planned furniture and adequate shelving inside a greenhouse are essential to store all your pots and containers. In a small greenhouse structure with limited space, shelving can boost the growing area without any negative impacts on shade. Some greenhouse shelves are mobile (with wheels) and can be moved outside during ideal weather and then back inside at night or during cold temperatures.
Shelves may be created from materials such as glass, wood or metal. It is important to remember that if double shelving is used, the amount of lighting reaching plants may be affected. To save space, you can also locate shelves beneath garden benches.
Greenhouse shelves can be temporary for starting seedlings or permanent, attached to the greenhouse structure. Cinder, wood blocks and metal are ideal for the legs and stands of the shelves. The wire meshes of the shelves enable excess water to drain off. Greenhouse shelving can also help keep crops separated to prevent seeding or cross-pollination.
Garden benches are one form of shelving that allows for maximum space and storage. Their ideal size is generally determined by the width of the hothouse in order to optimize growing space. Benches may be permanent fixtures or temporary ones. If you intend to regularly remove or rearrange them, then sectioned bench options may be good for you. Read in detail about greenhouse benches and their many uses in our blog article here.
Planters are another type of greenhouse furniture that is widely used in today’s gardening arena. Long and deep planters are usually recommended for food crops. These can be made from various materials like plastic, wood or metal. They are generally arranged in a way that each planter contains only one vegetable.
Water management — Irrigation and drainage greenhouse equipment
You’ll need ways to water your plants during the course of their lives. While automatic watering systems are all the rage, there will always be a special place in traditional gardening for good old watering cans. The long spouts on the cans will easily reach all of your plants even at the back of the flower bed. You’ll also be able to customize your watering experience based on what each individual bed needs.
In the watering can segment too, plastic is taking over metal. Plastic cans are generally lighter which makes watering less labor-intensive. Plus, they are often cheaper. But if greenhouse aesthetics is your thing, then stick with the metal cans. Another type of greenhouse equipment is the trickle watering system.
Greenhouse Trickle Watering System
Create a trickle watering system with a plastic hose that has outlet nozzles at different intervals throughout its length. Set the hose along your pots at an appropriate proximity. Connect your hose to a storage tank that fills consistently and releases water whenever it is full. What’s great about this system is it will water your pots or beds in the exact quantities you desire, at the exact time every day!
Other types of water management greenhouse equipment you will need are good tubes, water breakers, valves, misters, hoses, sprinklers and boilers for regulating temperatures. Remember that you will have to find place in your greenhouse or yard to store these items.
The lighting system inside a greenhouse determines the level of sunlight, artificial light and shade for the plants. You might need to consider artificial lighting if the sunlight in your area is not strong enough. To facilitate adequate lighting, you may have to buy:
- Grow lights
- Seedling lights
- General all-purpose lighting
- High-intensity lights
While having an extensive lighting system may be expensive for small greenhouses, for larger ones, it is almost mandatory. Refer to our well-researched and detailed article on choosing the best greenhouse lights here.
Climate control and heating greenhouse equipment
These are often chunky types of greenhouse equipment designed to control the amount of humidity, heat and frost inside the greenhouse. Let’s look at the main components of a climate control system:
The key to a successful greenhouse is in maintaining perfect temperature at all times, which makes a thermometer very important. Install a thermometer that registers maximum and minimum temperatures with a needle position that appears when the mercury retracts. When it comes to thermometers for greenhouses, you’ll need one that can be reset with a magnet. There are more high-end options that have push-button readjustments, but they are not necessary. Thermometers are needed for all types of greenhouses, even portable ones. Also, consider a soil thermometer to gauge the temperature of the soil.
A greenhouse thermostat enables you to know the prevailing temperature in your greenhouse and regulate it accordingly. A temperature gauge or thermometer indicates the temperature changes while a thermostat automatically controls the temperature in the desired area. Ideally, a good greenhouse should have a thermostat.
Other important greenhouse equipment deals with managing the heat inside the greenhouse. Greenhouse heaters are necessary to control the temperature in a greenhouse. They come in various materials, with different modes and energy sources. You can select from electric, gas and propane heaters according to your needs and requirements. You also have the option of either selecting a vented or non-vented heater.
Greenhouse humidifiers or humidistats are necessary to control the amount of moisture in the greenhouse. Some plants are susceptible to dry air, which will hamper their vegetative growth. This problem can easily be solved with the help of an effective humidistat.
Ventilation equipment for your greenhouse
Proper ventilation is compulsory for proper plant growth, not just during certain seasons, but all year round. This is because, at any time of the year, the sun is capable of causing extreme shifts of temperature. A good rule is to have open venting options equal to about 20% of the floor area. Vents may be located on the roof and sides of the structure, as well as included as part of the door. Roof venting is valued as the absolute best when coming to fixing vent systems.
Many automatic venting systems are ideal options for those who are not around to manage the greenhouse all throughout the day. Exhaust fans are another possibility for venting excess air, though whether or not they are a wise choice for any situation, in particular, deserves research.
Pest control equipment
No list of greenhouse equipment would be complete without items for pest control. There are various methodologies for effective pest control; some that use chemicals and others that use biology. Chemicals are easy to use and fairly inexpensive, but some would argue that they do more harm than good. Natural methods, such as using what are commonly called “beneficial insects” are another form of fighting pests. These bugs essentially hunt down and eat the bugs that ruin your garden.
Sometimes, all the plant needs is a good mesh to keep pests outside. Such meshes can be of metal, cloth or thin plastic. You might also need fencing and door sweeps to keep bugs out of specific areas. There are different types of fogging equipment, foamers and sprayers that target bugs. Insecticides and pesticides should be used sparingly, with the first preference going to organic or natural sprays to prevent pests from attacking crops.
Other types of greenhouse equipment and accessories
Whatever soil you are considering using for potting your plants, it would be incredibly useful to have a soil sterilizer. There are many ways to sterilize soil, but the best and most efficient one is by installing a steam sterilization system. Steam systems are very useful and affordable. They won’t take up very much room and do a great job on your soil.
The texture of the soil is an important element to consider when planting your little baby plants. A sowing sieve will be very helpful in helping you achieve your desired texture. A mesh sieve can be used to lightly cover your seeds with compost after you’ve planted them.
The good news is you don’t necessarily need to buy a sieve. This piece of greenhouse equipment can be a DIY project. Use a small wooden box like the ones you buy bulk fruits in. Take out the bottom of the box and place a piece of perforated zinc in there, and voila — you have your very own sieve! You can delegate this simple activity to your kids and family too.
Plant support equipment
To ensure your plants grow in strength and length, you’ll need to provide adequate support for them. Sometimes, all you need to do is tie up the plants together so that they support each other. While there are many materials used for tying your plants, we suggest raffia as it is reasonably priced and can support most plants.
HACK: Soak the raffia in water for a few hours before using it. This makes it pliable and it won’t split or break when tying strong knots.
You will also be safe with fillis, a soft twine that comes in many types. Split rings, green gardening twine and paper-covered wires are also used by many greenhouse growers. You can also use fencing and greenhouse molds to shape plants into desired forms.
Where to buy greenhouse accessories and supplies
Many individuals are now taking up greenhouse gardening as a hobby. As they try to achieve their gardening goals, they need to improve their skills by getting necessary gardening accesories and supplies.
However, lots of gardening supplies can be expensive. Buying from places that sell wholesale garden supplies can lower costs. You can also get discounted greenhouse accessories and supplies offseason. There are plenty of ways to discover discounted greenhouse supplies and suppliers.
Buying greenhouse equipment and accessories from wholesalers vs. retailers
Many wholesale greenhouse supplies can be discovered through local suppliers and farm organizations. Because lots of large companies buy their items in bulk, these products often have the perfect deals on greenhouse gardening supplies. Also, most of these firms employ individuals who are experts in this gardening field. This can prove to be a reliable resource for a beginner gardener.
Large greenhouse gardening chains often sell wholesale supplies. Again, because they typically buy in bulk, they are ready to offer good deals. They also generally have annual greenhouse accessories sales that can further boost your savings. The prices of suppliers or wholesalers are cheaper compared to retail prices. Also, purchasing wholesale greenhouse accessories from wholesalers gives you better quality products with a wider range of specifications available.
Consequently, you can discover various greenhouse suppliers in local directories and other online sites dedicated for wholesale items.
Some of the most common greenhouse accessories offered in wholesale rates are moss, hooks, liners, brackets and iron frame containers. There are also numerous other items sold in bulk like plant markers, fertilizers, supports, watering cans and moisture retention items. Other common greenhouse accessories include compost buckets, plant stands, sharpeners, pruners, pot feet and decorative supplies. You will also need to find places that sell gloves, soil and shovels for your gardening pursuits.
Going green with greenhouse kits
Having a greenhouse and growing plants can be a real pleasure for the soul. Great watering systems, sterile soil and great beds are just a few things you’ll need for an optimal greenhouse. When making your equipment purchase decisions, consider the following so that your choices can be more environment-friendly:
- Consider using biodegradable pots. Reuse existing pots and old furniture as greenhouse equipment and supplies.
- Check your existing supplies to see if they are certified and standardized.
- Use natural fertilizers and pest control methods over chemicals.
- Using jute, cloth and woolen strings to hold up plants or provide shade saves money and unnecessary purchase of harmful plastic or resin.
- Install a water system that collects excess run-off and re-incorporates it into the water table.
- Save time, energy and fuel spent on multiple trips by purchasing a single greenhouse kit that will give you all you need to make a greenhouse from scratch in a small package.
- You can also consider renting the greenhouse supplies you can’t afford to buy if you own miniature or medium-sized greenhouses.
For more tips on keeping greenhouses green, you can always check out our Greenhouse Learning Center.
More resources on greenhouses and their accessories:
- Amazon bestseller greenhouses — three reliable small greenhouses
- Which is the best greenhouse for you?
- Portable greenhouses perfect for growing sensitive plants
- Hydroponic greenhouse kits and systems
Growing plants in greenhouses has become a sustainable and fruitful hobby for many in this era. To grow good sustainable food, it’s essential to own a stable greenhouse and proper equipment to run throughout the year. Greenhouse equipment should be eco-friendly and cost-effective for the benefit of the owner and the environment.
There are several types of greenhouse equipment, broadly divided into potting, furniture, climate control and irrigation systems, fertilizers, pest control and mini accessories like gloves, shovels and tools. Exhaust fans, flower baskets, sprinkler systems, thermostats, heaters and shade cloths are some of the essential items needed to run a medium-to-large size greenhouse. When purchasing these items, you will need adequate shelving and storage areas to keep them safe and secure.
Reusing home items as garden benches and kitchen containers as pots are good ways to save money on equipment. Otherwise, you can find wholesale dealers who sell seed trays, coverings, pipes and tools in bulk. You can also rent greenhouse equipment to save cost and time.