What’s a DIY greenhouse cabinet?
My first urban garden was located in my backyard, on a garden plot. I was so happy that I grew a lot of plants like tomatoes, peppers and even some flowers. Then the cool season came and I soon found that some of my plants cannot tolerate the cold weather! So I found ways and I learned about DIY greenhouse cabinets. This greenhouse cabinet stays warm inside even during the cold months so that all your plants can survive there! If you are wondering how to create a DIY greenhouse cabinet, read on!
A lot of plants need to be sowed indoors. In the first year that I started my vegetable garden, all my plants were able to fit on the window sill in the kitchen, where they had had direct sunlight. At that time, I only had 5 tomato plants, so there was more than enough space for them. I was very happy with the coziness of the kitchen and the way everything fit perfectly.
The year after, my kitchen garden got a bit bigger (8 times bigger), at 8 m2. This caused the amount of plants on my window sill to grow and there was not enough space to find a place for all my plants there. In the kitchen, the previous occupant of the apartment placed a curtain rail. I attached two safety-pins to this curtain rail and cut four holes in a wooden plank. I attached a thick rope to the safety pins and the holes in the planks and in this way, I created my own extra window sill.
The third year, my garden got even bigger (to 35 m2). You can imagine that more plants fit into this garden therefore, I had to sow more plants inside. This was the case for zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, beans and many more. My window-sill started to bulge, so I had to come up with another solution. In the living room I have two big radiators. I put two large wooden planks on top of them and placed the plants on them. This is how I managed to grow all my plants inside in the third year.
The fourth year, it got a little out of hand. My garden got even bigger and was now 80 m2 (double in size compared to the previous year). This meant that I had to grow twice as many plants on my window-sill this year. This was not going to work the way I managed it the previous years, so I had to come up with a new solution. It is very important that all plants receive the same amount of light and direct light is always the best option. So what did I do? I bought a second-hand wooden cabinet. This cabinet had four layers and I placed the cabinet in front of the window. My DIY greenhouse cabinet was made.
At the beginning, this went very well and I was very enthusiastic. My boyfriend however, was not that enthusiastic that the cabinet was located in the middle of the living room and took away all of the sunlight. Afterwards I noticed that the plants grew very gangly. This is not a good sign, because it means that the plants are often very weak, they will not survive outside and are prone to get a disease. I was able to save quite a few of the plants by bringing them to my parents’ greenhouse, where they grew for another three weeks. In the end, it turned out alright, because I harvested a lot of vegetables from those plants.
This year, I decided that I come up with another solution. My garden is not going to become any bigger in the near future, but what am I going to do about those gangly plants? I do not want this to happen again. I did some research and found lamps that give very good light. Using these lamps makes sure that I do not have to place the cabinet in front of the window anymore. The growing lamps from Ikea turned out to be a good choice.
These lamps are designed for the growth of plants. It has a specific spectrum of colours which is good for the growth of the plants. It contains white, blue and red LED light. These lamps will cause a good growth of the leaves and makes sure that your plants will become very strong and healthy. A big advantage is the fact that is LED light and it will last a very long time, namely 25.000 hours. This is in total 4,5 years if you turn on the lights 16 hours a day. They have energy label A+, so they do not consume a lot of energy. I placed the lamps on the bottom of the wooden planks of the cabinet that I bought last year. I am very happy with the final result!
So far, I am very happy with the results. I’ve been using them for two weeks now and use them to grow my bell peppers and hot peppers. The plants grow very compact and straight, so this is exactly the way I want them. Even the lettuce and spinach grow very well!
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