Greenhouses shall not be beautiful, whenever they are considered to grow the produce but rather efficient and effective. The structure has to be sturdy enough to withstand the effect of the surrounding environment and precipitations, and rust protected.
The film has to have 95% UV transparency to boost growth and doesn’t cause any harm to the owner’s health in terms of cancer (Polypropylene films). Furthermore, it would help if you considered other factors procuring a greenhouse, such as tying it to the ground using individual anchors to protect your property under the gusts of wind.
Other factors are crucial, too, and shall also be evaluated while spending your hard-earned money. We try to be helpful to outline the major points in this article and protect you from some pitfalls available on the market. Please read it carefully prior to stepping into the growing business either as a professional or as a hobbyist. Obviously, there are some undertakings to consider; however, they shouldn’t be major to bring additional stress into your life as it’s already messed up sufficiently with COVID 19 and other associated significant impacts.
What is the Purpose of a Greenhouse
Greenhouses serve as a shield between nature and what you are growing, and thus allow growing seasons to be extended as well as possibly improved. They provide shelter from excess cold or heat, as well as pests. While we use it tongue in cheek, the term “greenhouse effect” in regard to our earth is a more complex and serious consideration for our global environment, but for the home gardener, the effect of a greenhouse on plants can be very positive. The idea behind a particular type of greenhouse is to create a place to keep heat in. The structure impedes the flow of thermal energy out, and the sunlight that passes through the transparent “walls” of a greenhouse heats up the ground in the greenhouse, which radiates warmth and heats the air. Or, if too much heat is a problem, a greenhouse can help you create or regulate a more temperate environment for plants by adding a cooling mechanism.
Types of Greenhouses
What type of greenhouse you need depends on where you live and what you want to grow. Greenhouses are categorized in a variety of ways.
Temperature – The spectrum of structures based on the environmental temperature needs include the following types:
Cold Houses – (Temperature: Falls below freezing) Provide protection for plants; temperatures can get below freezing because this type of greenhouse has no additional heat source installed. The purpose of cold houses is to extend the growing season in the spring by allowing starting crops earlier and in the fall by allowing crops to grow longer.
Cool Houses – (Temperature: 45-50F). This type of greenhouse will maintain temperatures above freezing so that plants that die from extreme cold can survive.
Warm Houses – (Temperature: 55F) Allows for a broader range of plants to survive cold winters.
Hot Houses – (Temperature: above 60F) Hot greenhouses are used to maintain tropical plants. In order to heat, they require supplemental heat.
Within each of these general types, there are many other considerations. There are very simple greenhouses and highly complex and expensive ones. The more technology that is involved, the greater the ability to exactly control the growing conditions, from temperature to water and moisture levels. Greenhouses can also be constructed simply to minimize direct sunlight (a shade greenhouse) and not have walls, or a screen-only structure to keep out insects.
Design –Greenhouses can also be evaluated based on the design style. This is the fun part. Some of the traditional types of greenhouse “architecture” include A-Frame, Dome, Gothic (arched), Lean-To (can even be designed to use the wall of a home or garage as one side), and Quonset.
Materials – For the residential gardener, the choices are almost unlimited. Price will likely drive some of the decision making on this, as will aesthetic considerations and your purpose. All have advantages and disadvantages.
Support/Framework Options: wood (rots easily), aluminum, galvanized tube frame and plastic. Some have curved eaves; others have flat eaves.
Covering Options: glass (most expensive and fragile, but lasts longest, also beautiful, however hard to assemble and not portable), fiberglass (can become discolored), plastic (cheap but effective), double-layered polyethylene, polypropylene (must be replaced every 2-3 years and can be cancerous under sun radiation), PVC, acrylic (very expensive).
Environmental Control Options – The Budget will impact what you are able to do in this area. Automatic controls are ideal in a greenhouse, but obviously will be more expensive. Your heating equipment options include a simple space heater, forced-air heat, radiant heat, steam or hot-water systems, and soil heating pipes underneath plants. Automatic watering systems for larger greenhouses are nice. Planning for ventilation is also essential for the health of your plants.
The greenhouse uses advantages and benefits
After immersing yourself in the overwhelming amount of information about the vast number of choices and decisions about what type of greenhouse you could build, let’s revisit what some of the reasons, you would want to do this – or not.
The Benefits of a Greenhouse
- Fresh greens, vegetable, and fruit
- Transplant availability and success
- Fresh cut flowers all year long
- A warm place to go in the middle of a cold, gray winter
- Ability to grow things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to grow (exotic flowers, tropical fruit)
- No more battles with squirrels and insects
- Do more of what you love to do, longer Add beauty and visual appeal to a landscape
The Disadvantages of a Greenhouse:
- It can be expensive to buy and build. Please refer to Costco choices to give you a hint for a ridiculously expensive greenhouse that isn’t readily available :
- It can be expensive to heat if you decide to grow all year round.
- It requires constant monitoring, maintenance, and care. Normally it requires one hour on average.
- It could increase electrical and water bills. However, if the water sprinkler system is supplied from the proper manufacturer, such as “Netafim”, see below:
That would help you to minimize and improve water use and consumption.
- May detract from the aesthetic appeal of a garden; however, modern greenhouses can also be appealing and portable if purchased from the right sources.
Main features to consider
- Variety of sizes to select from.
- Antirust sturdy structure, for instance, galvanized 1” ID tubes GA 20.
- Polyethylene film, cheap, healthy, readily available, and repairable using the adhesive dual films.
- Plastic attachment clips that allow easily attaching the film to the galvanized structure or removing it.
- Portable construction;
- Modular construction with extendable options.
- Anchors to protect your assets from wind gusts.
- Doors and latches;
- Openings to ventilate the structure.
- Adhesive films to protect the greenhouse from the bugs and caterpillars.
- Ventilation options.
- Dehumidification options.
- Humidification options.
- Lighting options.
Considering the latest development related to COVID19 it provides you some independence of healthy food supply with a lid on the cost and availability. It also provokes the isolation and promotes physical activity away from phones, TV’s, and computers.
Please note, your greenhouse garden can be constructed cheaply or expensively, it can be made of glass, or plastic, it can look like an adorable glass cottage or simply serve a practical purpose. Ultimately, the decision to get a greenhouse will be based on whether you believe the effect of having a greenhouse will be one that will enhance your life or detract from it.