Types Of Greenhouses

The greenhouse trend has provided numerous benefits for gardening enthusiasts from its practicality to the possibility of extended harvests. From the small enclosure designed for the backyard to larger structures for crops, there are many types of greenhouses that may be built depending on the purpose for its use. Before initiating such a project, it is important to take the time to plan and research designs that are best suited to development needs.

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There are a number of cost effective options that are available that can also be implemented more efficiently. Numerous factors should be taken into consideration including the amount of space available, landscape and budget. It is essential that the correct conditions are sought and implemented depending on the type of vegetation that you wish to grow.

More people are interested in the benefits greenhouses can provide including extended growing seasons, year round crops, cost effectiveness and protection from disease, insects as well as birds. The structure will need to be positioned so that it receives the maximum amount of sunlight and therefore location is important. Consider the seasonal changes and the decrease in light intensity with the onset of winter.

The Lean-To

The attached greenhouse is most common for residencies and can be built to half size, full size or a simple extension each providing its own set of pros and cons. Where a small area and budget are available, the lean to may be best where the ridge is secured to the side of the house. Although space will be limited it is most affordable and accessible.

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The Even Span

If you wish to maximize the amount of space while attaching to a structure such as a garage, the even span is most popular. This design can be expensive; however, it allows for ongoing extension proving most advantageous in crop production. This shape is considered best for the even distribution of temperature particularly during the winter seasoneven-span-greenhouse.

The Window Mount

The window mounted house or glass enclosure is by far the most aesthetic and may also be attached to the side of the home. It is certainly a convenient option and allows one to grow vegetation at a more affordable rate in comparison to the other designs. These types of greenhouses are not attached to the side of a building and provides the most light, but requires its own electricity and heating systems.

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Regardless of the type of structure that is developed, one needs to consider available space, storage and the possibility for future expansions. The larger the building, the easier it will be to maintain the temperatures in comparison to a smaller greenhouse. The greatest value may be calculated according to the cost and crop production ratios.

There are specific materials that should be incorporated such as frames of aluminum, steel and treated wood to ensure longevity and the ability to withstand the elements. When constructing your own structure, take the time to assess the types of structures and which are most suitable for the location. Consider the best materials to use in the creation of your own garden assembly.

 

Buying a DIY Greenhouse Kit

Gardening is a good hobby to take on. The benefits are endless and a gardener can expand his or her passion into a small business. Gardening flowers may be different from growing the actual vegetables and fruits. These plants require a lot of attention and materials in order to grow strong and have multiple buds.  Having your own little backyard garden would be a good way to start a small vegetable patch of yours but it would be better if you had your own little greenhouse.

Greenhouses are useful in growing plants throughout the year. Most vegetables and fruits only bud when in season and this is a useful way to get vegetables all year round. Learning to make your own greenhouse would be a hard task. Good thing that there are now DIY kits on making your own greenhouse. There are a number of greenhouse do-it-yourself kits to choose from. There are factors in which you should consider before choosing your greenhouse kit like:

    • The space where you will be placing your greenhouse
    • Learning if the space is the best part of the house that gets most sunlight all day
    • Learning if the soil is most rich at that part

 

These are just some of the factors that a gardener who wants to build his own greenhouse. Greenhouse kits will vary from cost and type of materials used.

Cheaper greenhouse do-it-yourself kits are easy to assemble. Materials of these do-it-yourself kits are often made of material such as plastic and have zippers whereas a gardener can choose to take his or her greenhouse down whenever. The more expensive greenhouse kits are made of wood and steel. These are the greenhouses that cannot be taken down whenever a gardener would choose to. The most expensive of the greenhouse do-it-yourself kits are the ones that are made out of fiberglass. These greenhouses help in allowing sunlight and heat to get stored within its confines.

Gardeners should also be aware of the weather conditions in his or her place. In places that have cold climates, for proper protection of your plants and vegetables, a double wall greenhouse do-it-yourself kit should be bought. For those who experience the opposite, a hotter kind of weather, a greenhouse made out of a single wall with fiberglass as the material should be bought. Other than the type of materials needed in searching for a do-it-yourself greenhouse kit is the efficiency of the materials.

Greenhouses serve as little protective homes for vegetables, fruits and other plants. The greenhouses help protect plants from other factors that may damage and prevent their full growth and development in producing quality fruits and vegetables. When purchasing greenhouses always think of the cost and efficiency of the greenhouse you are to build. Beginners in gardening should stick with the cheaper plastic and detachable greenhouse kits. Those who see gardening as a hobby would more likely find this cheaper and more convenient. Those who want to make a small business out of gardening should shell out more for their greenhouses. Using the more expensive materials such as wood and steel would be a better choice since this would be a year round business.

The most expensive of the materials for do-it-yourself greenhouse kits are for those large and market producing greenhouses. These are usually large scale greenhouses. These greenhouse owners make this a primary business and produce a quantity of vegetables and fruits for selling and export at times. The type of greenhouse kit would all depend on your objective in gardening. Knowing what best suits your and your gardening prowess would help in choosing the right kit for you.

Greenhouses do-it-yourself kits are essential for those who take their gardening seriously. They can have a protective home for their plants and would be able to control and give the best needed materials for their plants to grow. Gardeners would find these highly essential and fun to have. Greenhouse kits should also be efficient in storing heat and having the proper ventilation needed for the vegetables and fruits to grow. For cheaper greenhouse kits, heat lamps and other ventilation outlets would be needed. These are usually not part of the kits that are for temporary use.  Unlike the more expensive greenhouse kits, these have outlets for ventilation that can be modified or change depending on the need and heat can be stored even without the use of heat lamps. Gardening really does have its perks and benefits from buying a do-it-yourself greenhouse kit.

Greenhouse Ventilation & Cooling

Greenhouse Ventilation & Cooling Tips & Methods

Greenhouses are a perfect means in growing various plants, vegetables and fruits. These structures basically trap in heat and moisture suitable for a plant’s survival. Even in the harshest of climates, plant enthusiasts can still grow tropical flora with the help of greenhouses. However, the survival and growth of certain plants rely heavily on the amount of moisture and heat trapped in a greenhouse. If the structure supposedly traps in more heat, chances are, the plants shall wilt due to speedy transpiration of water. Having too much moisture can also be detrimental to the growth of the plants. Therefore, it is an imperative for every plant enthusiast planning to invest in greenhouses to be wary of their greenhouse ventilation and cooling.

Temperature

thermometerThere are four aspects a good ventilation and cooling system a greenhouse must have. The first includes temperature. Conspicuously, ventilation and cooling systems were built to control the temperature inside the greenhouse. Since the materials used to build one is highly resistant to heat escape, chances are, the temperature inside the indoor garden can reach high peaks if not mitigated properly. Good ventilation systems must be capable of removing excess heat—heat that might have emanated by the high intensity lighting of the greenhouse or heat from the sun. A component of this system is the exhaust fan. The fan exhausts unwanted heat and stale air from the greenhouse.

Fresh Air

The second aspect a good ventilation system must be capable of doing is the provision of fresh air. Plants need carbon dioxide for their food-making process, photosynthesis. If a greenhouse is not equipped with the best of ventilation systems, the room might not provide enough carbon dioxide for the plants to photosynthesize. While greenhouse vents might be enough to provide fresh air in the indoor garden, a ventilation system must still provide some circulation fan to keep air moving throughout the greenhouse to ensure all plants can get the needed air.

Pests

potato_beetleThe third aspect that makes a good ventilation and cooling system in greenhouse includes the ability to dispel pests. Good ventilation helps dispel pests and various bugs. Many people fail to realize this important aspect of a ventilation system. If air is not properly circulating inside a greenhouse, chances are, bugs and other pests shall find the indoor garden suitable to breed in. Therefore, placing fans near certain plants can prompt pest populations to leave.

Pollination

The last aspect of good ventilation system includes its ability to induce good pollination. Wind has always been the biggest agent of pollination amongst plants. Since greenhouses are enclosed structures for plants, natural wind is absent. It is therefore the job of a ventilating fan to allow air to move inside the greenhouse to let pollination occur. If one notices that a certain plant is not fruiting, this is probably due to lack of agents for pollination such as moving air. Aside from pollination, the gentle pressure caused by the moving air on one’s plants shall enable them to grow firmer and sturdier stems.

Exhaust Fans

interior exhaust fanTherefore, in choosing exhaust fans, it is essential to take into account these components for ventilation. Exhaust fans are ideally placed toward the roof of the indoor garden, opposite the door. Circulation fans must be placed strategically inside greenhouses to ensure proper circulation of air.

Roof Vents

roof vent greenhouseRoof vents in one’s greenhouse is also important. Adding solar openers to these vents is deemed essential so that it closes and opens roof vents when necessary. Keeping roof vents open during warm weather shall help trap heat inside the greenhouse. Ideally, there must be at least one large vent placed near the roof of the indoor garden to allow for the escape of heat. The entire base of the greenhouse must have several vents as well to allow for the most natural type of ventilation—cross ventilation.

Cross Ventilation

stackchimneyIn this type of ventilation, cool air enters freely inside the greenhouse through the vents placed near the base. The cool air then flows freely across the greenhouse towards the vents placed on top of the greenhouse. With this kind of setup, heat escapes most efficiently. This kind of cross ventilation also allows plants to have the best supply of carbon dioxide along with the other factors to enable good growth. With this kind of setup, circulation of air is best achieved for the benefit of the plants. The other aspects are achieved such as pollination, temperature, avoidance of pests and many other more. In sum, proper greenhouse ventilation and cooling systems shall enable a plant enthusiast to have the best kinds of plants.

Greenhouse Heating

Conventional Ways of Backyard Greenhouse Heating

GREENHOUSE-IN-WINTERGreenhouses or glasshouses control the temperature of the environment to allow the growth of plants and flowers. Building this kind of structure enables plants to thrive under severe weather conditions. Because maintaining the desirable temperature of the place is very crucial in keeping the plants healthy, owners of both backyard and commercial greenhouses must know the conventional ways on heating a greenhouse. Some of these are enumerated below.

Separate Your Plants

First of all, it is very important for owners to identify the type of plants they currently have. Arranging plants according to its humidity and temperature needs help reduce heating costs. For instance, it is more practical to separate fuchsias and wild violets from sunflowers and marigolds. That’s because the first group does not require lots of sunlight whereas the second one needs a lot. A basic test for knowing whether a flower needs more than enough sunshine is its color. Generally, if the color of the flower in its full bloom is brighter compared with others, these flowers should be placed in areas where heat will penetrate through.

Insulation

Second, insulation is a must in greenhouse heating. Using bubble wraps is one of the most reasonable means to do this. Bubble wraps are very cost-effective insulators that allow sunlight penetration in the greenhouse while at the same time blocks the air brought by the weather especially in cold seasons. Before buying bubble wraps, the first thing that greenhouse caretakers should do is to measure the size of the structure in order to make sure that the bubble wraps are enough to protect the whole place from outside air. After that, maintainers can already cover the insides of the greenhouse with nails, wires or duct tapes.

Using a Heater

Third, maximizing the use of heaters saves not only energy but also costs. Heaters are designed to maintain the warm temperature in the greenhouse especially during winter. Without them, plants that cannot sustain extreme temperatures may wither and eventually die. In choosing the appropriate heater for a greenhouse, the area should be considered. If the space in the backyard is huge enough, using forced-air heater that allows air circulation without thorough monitoring can be more convenient. Whereas if the place for the glasshouse is not that big, utilizing steam heaters that help plants prevent diseases can be a good idea.

Proper Ventilation

Fourth, greenhouses also need ventilation. As much as pants need sunlight for its growth, it also needs carbon dioxide. Because of this, the carbon dioxide inside the greenhouse should be replenished with new one to further promote growth among the plants.  Usually, electric fans serve this purpose. In ensuring that these ventilation tools are maximized, it is very important for owners to position them in suitable locations. For instance, placing fans in the central open part of the greenhouse can be convenient as it manipulates the exchange of carbon dioxide particles that plant needs. Also, fans should be angled at a position that will not dry the leaves or foliage of the plants.

Horticultural Fleeces

Fifth, using horticultural fleeces can also be an option for keeping the warmth of the plants inside the glasshouse. A horticultural fleece is a cloth made of polypropylene that serves as a protection of delicate and fragile plants from the winter season. This cloth should only be used in extreme cold nights though. During the day, it must be removed so that sunlight will still be able to access the plants and provide them the necessary nutrients for their development. In addition, plants need to have the appropriate ventilation during the day. So, covering them with the fleece can be detrimental for them.

snow greenhouseFinally, heating a greenhouse is a must in order for plants to remain healthy even in extreme conditions. There are many cost-effective ways that greenhouse owners can do in order to keep their plants warm. One of this is by investing in a good heating system. Another is to maintain enough ventilation inside that will facilitate a hassle-free carbon dioxide exchange. Also, using simple tools such as bubble wraps and horticultural fleeces can be a wise option in adding warmth in the greenhouse. Whether owners utilize one of these tips, it is very important to identify first the needs of the plants inside the greenhouse. That’s because with knowledge about these matters, it is easier to formulate plans as to the preservation of the plants in the greenhouse. Thorough planning is a must because it makes greenhouse owners aware of the different ways they can practice in case unforeseen events arise.

Watering Systems

Greenhouse Watering Systems & Methods

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Water is an essential element for the development of plants. For one, it dissolves the mineral substances in order for plants to absorb them well. Aside from this, it also acts as a means of transporting nutrients for the development of plants. But, the most important function of water is its role in  photosynthesis. With water, plants are able to complete the process of converting sunlight into their food. Because of the importance of water in the survival of plants, it is very important for gardeners and greenhouse owners alike to know the different irrigation solutions.

 

Hand Watering Method


There are different irrigation systems that owners can adapt in their greenhouses. The simplest of them is called the hand watering method. As its name implies, the hand watering technique utilizes manpower in irrigating the entire crops inside the greenhouse. This method is practical for small greenhouses which plants only need spot watering. Also, with this kind of system, a good handheld hose with water breakers at the end is a must.

Overhead Watering Systems


Just like the hand watering method, the overhead watering system is also commonly used in most backyard greenhouses. Overhead watering makes use of nozzles that can move 360°. Usually, these nozzles are situated at the center of plant beds as it do its duty of water distribution.

 

Perimeter Watering

As for greenhouses with medium to large spaces, perimeter watering is a good choice. In this type of irrigation, built-in PVC pipes are spread all over the area. Then, holes are made into the pipes in order to attach the nozzles that do the watering. In order to ensure that plants get the adequate watering, the nozzles can be adjusted in different angles.

 

Twin Wall System

Another method that utilizes pipes is called the twin wall watering system. Unlike the perimeter watering, this irrigation mechanism uses a two-wall tube that allows efficient flow of water for gardening. Also, the dual tubes inside the pipe facilitate more constant water pressure. Because of this, this irrigation method is ideal for reaching inclined parts of the greenhouse.

 

Tube Watering System

Like the perimeter and twin wall systems, tube watering is also a means of supplying plants with water through the use of tubes. This kind of mechanism is only special in that its tubes are already directly connected to each pot in the greenhouse. Because of this, watering plants simultaneously is made easier. Also, the good thing about this method is that it can also be used for aerial plants such as orchids.

 

Saving Water & Minimizing  Waste

waterThe first five greenhouse watering systems mentioned above use pipes and nozzles in its mechanisms. Watering plants through these devices are not that effective in minimizing water waste though. That’s because it releases unnecessary water that plants do not really need. On this note, gardeners may adapt sub-irrigation in their areas. Sub-irrigation is a means of watering plants from the underground. Through this mechanism, gardeners are able to use water efficiently and reduce wasted water.

One way of incorporating sub-irrigation is through the use of capillary mats. In using this, water must be first scattered all over an absorbent mat. Then, the mat maintains the moisture of the plants, making it ideal for crops that require moisture. Aside from employing capillary mats, gardeners may also engage in flood and drain irrigation. In this method, fertilizer is combined with the water during the watering process. After which, wasted water is used for future soaks.

 

Conclusion

So, what is the most ideal irrigation system that one can use in his greenhouse? Well, it depends. If the area is small and the gardener has lot of time monitoring his greenhouse, using the hand and overhead watering is just fine. On the contrary for small to medium backyard greenhouses with plants that need more watering, combining the power of pipes, tubes and nozzles through the last three methods mentioned will surely benefit the plants. As for the perfect sub-irrigation process that gardeners may adapt, one should take note that the costs of these mechanisms should never exceed its benefits.

Finally, one must keep in mind that not all plants need lots of water. Some crops prefer dry conditions. So, grouping plants first according to its water needs will save time and watering effort. Also, in choosing the appropriate greenhouse watering methods, it should be noted that too much splashing can be damaging to plants. That’s because as much as water serves as a vehicle for photosynthesis and other important processes, it can also deliver unnecessary contamination that may cause the death of plants.

In addition to watering systems, heating your greenhouse during those cold winter months will help keep your plants alive.

Picking a Location

Where do I build my greenhouse?

So, where to build your greenhouse? This is one of the critical questions that a gardener must consider before setting up his very own greenhouse. That’s because once the structure is already built, it is there for a long time. Transferring it into another location can be very costly and impractical. That is why at a very early stage, people who are planning to make their own greenhouse should be able to identify places fit for the plants that will be placed inside the structure. Also, spotting the right venue saves not only money and effort. It also promotes efficiency especially in energy consumption as well. For these reasons, some factors should be assessed in looking for the right lot.

Echinacea purpurea blooming cone flowerThe Right Plants

First, studying the nature and needs of the plants to be placed in the green house can help gardeners choose the right location for the greenhouse. There are plants that require humidity for its development. There are also plants that thrive under dry conditions. For instance, if one wanted to grow cacti or purple coneflowers, situating the greenhouse in a dry environment is a good decision. In the same way, raising squash and beans that prefer moisture should be placed in greenhouses that are humid enough.

 

Water

water_spraySecond, water is a basic need for plants. A good watering systems help in distributing and dissolving the nutrients crops derive from sunlight and fertilizers. For these reasons, building the greenhouse in areas near bodies of water is a good thing to make sure that there will be enough water for the plants. Also, greenhouses near rivers or springs facilitate more efficient irrigation. It is just important to dispose the water used in the irrigation process properly as it may contaminate other water forms. As for urban areas that are not able to get its water supply from natural bodies of water, positioning the greenhouse near water systems or tanks is enough to keep plants always hydrated especially in summer seasons.

 

Sun

Sunlight_Through_LeavesThird, the sun is a very important figure in greenhouses. That’s because sunlight serves as the source of food of most plants and flowers. On this note, greenhouses should be located in spaces that receive adequate sunlight. For plants like the sunflower that needs more than enough sunlight compared with others, placing the greenhouse in a place where direct sunlight can penetrate through is a must. Although some plants don’t require much sunlight, the greenhouse, on the average, should still be positioned in spaces that can be reached with enough sunshine.

 

Soil

Fourth, the type of soil is also crucial in growing plants. The more fertile the soil is, the more it is suitable forHands Holding a Seedling and Soil developing crops. Usually, backyard soils are already fertile enough for plants. But for gardeners who wanted to make sure that the soil where they will build their greenhouse is really ideal for their plants, they may make the soil fertile by allowing the decomposition of decaying matters into the soil before actually deciding to set-up the greenhouse. Also, gardeners should be able to identify the different types of soils that plants grow in. Normally, loam soil is perfect for most plants. That’s because it combines the power of silt, sand and clay. It also includes high levels of pH and calcium that promote plant growth and development.

 

Level Surface

Fifth, the greenhouse should be located in places that have a level surface. As much as the greenhouse needs fertility in its soil, it also needs a good foundation. Positioning the greenhouse in sloping areas can be detrimental to the stability of the structure. Also, greenhouses are fragile. So, it is really advisable to build them in stable soils that are not susceptible to erosion. In addition, putting the greenhouse in level surfaces is a must because it allows balanced sunlight distribution among the crops inside the glasshouse.

Finally the answer to the question, “where to build my greenhouse” can be formulated by evaluating the different factors mentioned above. Knowing the needs and backgrounds of the plants one would like to grow in his greenhouse is the first consideration that gardeners should assess before deciding the location of the greenhouse. Also, looking for areas that will efficiently and effectively satisfy the basic needs of plants is a must for owners. The more accessible it is from the greenhouse, the better it is. Additionally, continuous monitoring of the plants is necessary in order to respond quickly to its needs. So, putting the glasshouse in areas that are convenient for caretakers and maintainers alike is very necessary.