Product Spotlight: Plant Inn Raised Garden Bed Greenhouse
It is now the time of year to think about what you are wanting to plant in your garden for the upcoming year. The Plan Inn Raised Garden Bed Greenhouse from Palram will give you the leg up you need to kick off the season. Why are we spotlighting this greenhouse for the week? It is because of how useful these yard helpers can be. Let's get digging!
What is the science behind this garden bed? Simple, to keep your plants as hot as possible in weather that is too cold to normally plant. You would think that with all the sides being exposed to the elements that it would be colder than it really is. Especially with the bottom being a hollow storage spot for the gardening tools. We'll get more this storage compartment later.
Believe it or not clear plastic reflects the suns ray's poorly when compared to black plastic. Clear plastic also adds the benefit of heating up quicker than if the enclosure were black. Sure black is an excellent heat conductor, let's think about what happens with your car when the sun shines onto it. In the summer your car will heat up higher than the temperature outside if you have clear windows. If you add a window tint than the sun will hit the tint and the rays will slow down. It will take longer for the heat to penetrate into the car because of the barrier. Clear plastic lets the sunlight in, and it will bounce around before it leaves.
For this reason, professional gardeners will tell you to put down clear plastic over top an area that you are trying to clear the weeds out of. The clear plastic will raise the temperature of the soil to a higher temperature quicker than would happen if you were to just put black plastic over the top.
Now that we know this is how it works, why is this a benefit to you? It can be almost freezing at night, and your plants inside will be safe from the harsh temperatures. This will allow you to grow all of your spring, summer, fall, and even winter crops sooner. The nice thing about the Plant Inn is that it has a tray on the inside that sits deep. I was able to forgo filling the Plant Inn with soil, and used it to quick start my spring flowers by leaving them in their pot until transplantation. This gave them time to strengthen their roots and get used to being out in the sun. If your temperature is going to be above 50 degrees for the day. I have found, that you will want to open the ventilation on the Plant Inn before you leave. The spring flowers that I had growing during the Plant Inn test phase will not thrive to their best in temperatures above 80 degrees. With having the Plant Inn in a spot of my patio where it got direct sunlight, it was not common to be close to that temperature or above right around noon.
From personal experience I have found that planting tomatoes directly in the Plant Inn didn't provide them with enough height to let them thrive. I used a tomato call "Early Girl" that would give me tomatoes around the end of May or June. The Plant Inn made it easy to germinate these tomatoes from seeds, and harden them into seedlings and eventually plants big enough to transplant. The Plant Inn is a great addition to your arsenal if growing your plants from seeds is a hobby of yours. The Plant Inn will save you from having to rig up growing lights. There is nothing like the sunlight from mother nature to give your plant family the energy they need.
One of the funnest seed experiments that I had with the Plant Inn was to grow the more hardy varieties of leafy greens. We had a mild winter this year, and this helped my leafy greens to proliferate. Once they established, I was having a fresh green salad almost every night. I was definitely the envy of the neighborhood when I showed the Plant Inn off to my neighbors. On December 25th a good snow storm come through, and I didn't envy myself that I had to go out and brush the snow off of the Plant Inn. I wouldn't let too much snow accumulate onto the roof of the Plant Inn. The poly panels are sturdy, and can hold up a little snow. Anything more than a few inches I recommend you to brush it off. On half of the roof I sprayed some food safe cooking spray onto the outside of the panel. I wanted to see if the snow would slip off that side quicker if the temperature had gotten warm enough on the inside. Sure enough on that side it slipped of sooner, but it also left a nasty residue on the outside of the panel that wasn't too delightful to look at.
The Plant Inn has ample storage underneath it. It's a big enough space to put almost any basic of gardening need under it for easy access. Of course I couldn't fit a shovel or rake under it. I could however fit quite a few hand tools, and soil bags. I also like hiding my lawn fertilizer in this compartment, and that freed up space in the garage for other things. This compartment is perfect for storing your watering bottle, and it closes up tight. I only had water run into it from under the unit. If you have a permanent spot for the Plant Inn you could run a bead of caulk around the perimeter of the bottom, and it should for the most part create a water tight space.
If you search around the internet and Pintrest for something similar. You may find that people call these units a Cold Frame. Essentially the Plant Inn is a cold frame with a raised garden bed. For all of you who want something easy to put together, and don't have the tools to get creative with your in ground garden beds. Then the Plant Inn will be the perfect solution for you. The Plant Inn is great for people who have little to no yard, or only a small patio. The Plant Inn is perfect for the city, and will give you the opportunity to have a small garden in your personal space. What will be the first thing that you grow in your Plant Inn? The sky is the limit when it comes to the Plant Inn, don't let yourself be the limit.