It’s that time of year again when even folks with brown thumbs like me get the urge to grow things in the ground. My wife is an expert gardener, but I’ve just started learning about it myself. I confess, though, I’m really enjoying it. Living in Texas, we have a long growing season, and there’s plenty of time to grow all of the farm-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers we want, but every gardener enjoys getting a jumpstart on things when it comes to their growing season. My wife has talked about turning an old dog kennel we have into a greenhouse and it’s not a bad idea at all.
However, until then, she and anyone else who loves gardening can benefit from a great hack that someone shared on Facebook recently. While this isn’t a permanent greenhouse, it’s certainly something anyone can do for cheap, and it’s a lot cheaper than building a large greenhouse. At the dollar store, you can pick up clear plastic umbrellas for super cheap and use them as mini-greenhouses. It’s really easy to get started, too. You just need the clear umbrellas and you need to have your plants in the ground or in containers. Then, just remove the handles and you’ve got your greenhouse.
Once you remove the handles, you can stick the umbrella deep down into the dirt. The clear plastic will allow the sunlight to shine through, giving your tender little plants the nourishment they need. However, the plastic will also insulate the little plants from frost and cold temperatures. Some people who live in cold Northern climates have even done this when there’s still snow on the ground.
This extends their growing season because they don’t have the benefit of the long hot Texas summers that we have. Essentially, the umbrellas serve as a sort of incubator for tiny plants and flowers. And yes, you can do this with flowers, too, not just vegetables. And don’t forget your kitchen herbs.