When you first set up a greenhouse, beginners should take it slow by only planting a few varieties of vegetables or flowers at a time.
I went gung-ho during my first greenhouse planting experience. I found it very stressful to manage all the different plants while also learning the nuances of my particular greenhouse conditions.
Avoid making my mistake and stick with maybe three to five plants in your first season and gradually build your variety and amounts. I also recommend holding off on planting delicate herbs for the reason above.
Here are my top picks for common greenhouse plants for beginners.
I’ve had tremendous success growing all types of tomatoes inside my greenhouse and in my home. I believe the warmth and pest-control aspects are the factors that make tomatoes an almost no-fail crop.
So you will want to look for varieties that are disease resistant and produce large fruit sizes and high yields to get the best results as a beginner. Check out Cherry, Glacier, and Bush Early Girl tomatoes.
They’re all fast-growing crops, and you can expect to harvest each in about two months from planting. Want them sooner? Buy seedlings from your local greenhouse or start your seeds indoors before moving to your greenhouse.
Lettuce does so well inside a greenhouse that you can easily have more than you can consume daily. Plant it, and within a week or so, you can harvest your first crop of baby greens or wait between 30 to 60 days for a full head.
I try all kinds of varieties, and they all do well, but I suggest only two or three small pots to start and stagger the planting so that you don’t have several heads of lettuce ready to be harvested at the same time.
This perennial flower does fantastic in the greenhouse as long as it receives proper ventilation. You can force lavender to bloom all year, providing loads of stems for fresh bouquets, and can be dried and used in soaps, candles, and other homemade toiletry items.
The smell is always soothing, and you can sell extra lavender to local flower shops or crafters. But I love lavender because many pests are repelled by its fragrance, which can also help protect your other plants.
When planting, keep your lavender from hugging close to your other crops to avoid problems unless you know they are a companion plant.
Strawberries are another nearly perfect greenhouse plant for beginners. It’s much easier to control diseases or pests while the fruit develops, which leads to a more abundant harvest.
Growing strawberries in a hanging pot will give you a taste of upside-down gardening.
Be aware that you should leave an open door or upper panel open during flowering to allow bees and other pollinators access or use a manual pollination tool for best results. If not, you will be disappointed in the yield in size, color, shape, and taste.
Peppers and chilies benefit from the longer growing season a greenhouse provides. More time on the vine brings more flavor to the vegetable. Since peppers can be harvested when green, yellow, orange, or red, you have a large window for harvesting.
To protect your plants, look out for caterpillars, aphids, and slugs, as they are attracted to peppers. Consider Lady Bell, Early Crisp, or Bell Boy peppers to get you started.
While planting seeds is often the cheapest way to grow peppers, starting from seedlings will give you the best chance if you’ve never grown them before.