A greenhouse is a structure used for growing plants, fruits and vegetables. Herbs, botanicals, flora, fauna, berries, leafy greens, cucumbers and peppers are examples of what can be grown in a greenhouse. The purpose of such a structure is to provide heat, moisture and light in an enclosed environment. The temperature inside a greenhouse will be higher than the temperature outside which makes it possible for gardeners to grow year round and nurture delicate or exotic plants. These structures are also ideal for starting new seedlings. You can build a greenhouse with a cardboard box, which is a great way to introduce children to gardening.
To do this, you will need a cardboard box such as a large shoebox, seeds, potting soil, a weather thermometer, plastic wrap, and a desk lamp with a bright bulb. Cover the bottom of the box with enough soil to plant your seeds. Then, plant your seeds and water them thoroughly. Insert the end of the thermometer into the soil. Cover the top of the box securely with plastic wrap and place your greenhouse under the desk lamp for at least 12 hours each day.
The light and heat from the lamp combined with the effect of the plastic wrap will create a greenhouse effect. You can also choose to put your greenhouse outside in the sunlight. If you find the plastic wrap is accumulating condensation to the point that it drips on your sprouts, you need to water less often. A variation on this experiment would be to place your greenhouse beside a regular flowerpot with seeds that are planted at the same time as the seeds in your greenhouse and see which one grows faster and more abundantly.
When you teach kids how to build a greenhouse with a cardboard box, you not only teach them about gardening but also create a low-cost method of starting seeds. For young and beginning gardeners this can be a cheap and effective way to grow plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables from seed. For example, you could start tomato seeds in your cardboard greenhouse and transfer them to ten gallon pots when they are of sufficient size. Experiment with different kinds of seeds to see which kinds do best in a greenhouse environment. If your child has an upcoming science fair, a cardboard box greenhouse project can be a fun and educational idea for a project.
Copyright 2007 Jack G. Nelson - All Rights Reserved
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