For many people gardening and messing around in a greenhouse is looked on as something for old people in their retirement, others view gardening as just hard work. But its one of those things that you have to try before you can pass judgement. In my own experience the first property I moved into when I married had a long and large garden. With no gardening experience I simply read a few books and tried my hand at growing some veg for the kitchen table. I was soon hooked. The satisfaction and rewards of growing your own meant I never looked back. In recent years greenhouse gardening has had a resurgence, there is a growing list of reasons why you should have one.


Looking after your your health is a very important part of your life. Gardening will provide you with exercise, whether its a gentle potting on, or a vigorous turning the soil over and double digging. You can decide at what level you want to work at. Also the medical profession has sited gardening as a great way to relieve stress. Many people find it relaxing and therapeutic.


One very good reason for growing your own food is the taste. We have become so used to eating the bland almost tasteless supermarket food, that we forget just how good it is to eat something fresh and really tasty. Take tomatoes. Very easy to grow. Imagine picking a ripe tomato and biting into it, the taste exploding in your mouth. Wonderful. Once you have grown and eaten tomatoes that you have grown yourself, you will never buy another from a shop.


Then you should consider the chemicals and agents used to extend the life of the various foodstuff in supermarkets. For example, when you purchase a sealed bag of salad, do you realise that there is a gas injected into the bag when its sealed to keep the salad looking clean and fresh. Almost all the fruit and vegetable will have been spayed by insecticides and fungicides, to destroy the insects and so called pests that feed on them. What is the long term effects of this, after all we are at the top of the food chain. When you grow your own, you know exactly what you are eating.


Jumping into your car and driving down to the supermarket might be the quickest way to get your hands on some fruit and veg. But lets remember, this foodstuff has been flown in from all over the world, so what about the costs of using up fossil fuels and global warming. Getting into greenhouse gardening can be a ecological socially and responsible choice. You will be reducing your carbon footprint.


A great benefit with a greenhouse is that it gives you the ability to extend your growing season by almost six weeks earlier and and six weeks later in the year. Maybe longer according to the weather. In some parts of the world the growing season is only five months, so the benefits can be considerable. And, if you decide to incorporate some form of heating you can garden all year round. There is something magical in being able to sit in your greenhouse tending your plants in the bleak cold winter months. However, this may not appeal to everyone as there are heating costs to be taken into account.


Growing in a greenhouse will give you the freedom to grow almost anything you wish. Greenhouse gardening can be divided into growing flowers, mainly for showing such as fuchsias and chrysanthemums. Growing fruit and vegetables, or a combination of both. Most people use their greenhouse for growing food for the kitchen table. In recent years food production costs have soared and so has the household food bill. By growing your own food you will soon get back the costs of the greenhouse. It can be a real investment.


Now your probably wondering what type of greenhouse you should get. Well first off always try and get the biggest one you can afford or have room for, because you will be surprised at how quickly you will fill it up with plants. And, remember, plants grow. You might purchase twenty small cuttings but within a few months they will need four or five times more space. There are several types of greenhouse, timber, aluminium alloy, galvanised steel and plastic. If its your first foray into owning a greenhouse, perhaps you should consider one of the small greenhouse kits now widely available. It may be worth looking at a lean to type that can be sited against a wall or your house. In recent years poly-tunnels have become popular. But these are generally much bigger and will need a little more thought before purchasing. However, they will be well worth the money, as the size alone will put you on your path to self sufficiency in growing your own food.