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Desperate times call for desperate measures and so are the changing times. A greenhouse gives you the liberty to grow a variety of food so you can avoid the grocery store as much as possible. It also doesn’t limit you to specific seasons since in a greenhouse; you can grow your favorite crops all year round. From enriching your plate with healthy salads to adding convenience into your life, a greenhouse provides many benefits. Here are some basic things you ought to know about greenhouses.
1. Types of Greenhouses
Whether you are going commercial or you doing it for fun, you have a variety to choose from. The best part is that most of them can be ordered online and pre constructed so that all that remains is its assembly at the proposed site. As per the folks from GreenHouses.com, the common types of greenhouses include lean-to, freestanding greenhouse, and orangery. Based on factors such as the purposes of your greenhouse, the available space in your backyard, and what you want to grow, you can easily choose the option that suits your needs.
- Lean-on Greenhouse – It is also known as the attached greenhouse, where the structure is attached to one side of your house. The small caveat here is that light will not penetrate adequately from the side attached to the house.
- Freestanding Greenhouses – These are stand-alone tents where the plants receive light from all directions. They are relatively expensive but they provide an all-round kind of environment to grow your crops.
- Orangery – This is rather a structure with glass surfaces that can take the purpose of a greenhouse while serving to uplift the look and feel of your home. It can be heated up to ensure your plants survive all seasons, including winter, plus you get additional space for relaxation if you prefer so.
2. Benefits of Growing a Greenhouse
As you walk around your neighborhood, maybe you have spotted greenhouses pop over the fences and wondered why they had to go to that extent instead of just gardening on an open farm. Well, having a greenhouse is beneficial in many ways, including the following:
- They offer the convenience of growing crops throughout the year despite the season
- It protects the plants from harsh weather conditions. It shields the plants from the unseasonal climatic swings
- You have the choice to grow any plant whether it can survive in your region or not
- The enclosed structure helps keep crop pests and parasites away
- The structural construction of the greenhouse can be customized to your liking, so you can develop your ideal environment as a farmer
- It is a great way to ensure you get healthy servings for your family
3. Greenhouse Glazing
Glazing is the material that covers and offers protection of what is grown inside the structure. Some common glazing materials include glass, polycarbonate, fiberglass, plastic, double sheets of polythene, and acrylics. The best type of material to use will depend on the purpose of the greenhouse and how long you intend to use it. However, each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, glass provides the best transmission but when there are hailstorms, it can easily break. The same case applies to fiberglass. Sheets of polythene have been excellent for the longest time, although they tend to wear out faster over time.
4. Selecting Site
Before anything, is your greenhouse a long term investment? That should guide you on where to place it. If you have plans of extending it later in the year, you may have no choice but to relocate and find a better position within your yard. For most people, however, greenhouses are a long term project that needs a relaxed area to implement your gardening ideas. Ideally, ensure that your greenhouse is in an area where it is accessible so that water and electricity can reach the structure without costing you too much. The two utilities should be buried deep below the ground to avoid digging them out and causing danger to the environment.
The drainage system should also be considered when choosing the ideal site for your structure because the pipes need to have a free-flowing inlet and outlet channel. Lighting should also be considered when picking a site. Do not set up the structure in an area where there are tall structures and trees that might hinder growth.
5. Environmental Factors
During our science lessons back in the day, we learned about key elements for optimal plant production. For a brief overview, the environmental factors to consider are:
- Water – You will need to have your greenhouse near a water source. Alternatively, you will want to ensure you have your pipes well distributed and structured to supply water evenly.
- Air – ventilation is critical for plant growth. Having excess or inadequate ventilation affects plant growth in the greenhouse.
- Heat – The greenhouse, being a covered structure, can be a torturous place for some plants. You can insulate the plants when there is heat or install a thermocouple to maintain the required temperatures for the plants.
- Light – This does not need to be discussed but during winter, when darkness sets in earlier than usual, you can have a grow lamp in the greenhouse to keep the plants growing.
6. Some Growing Tips
Have you been thinking of growing your favorite food in a greenhouse but you have no idea how to go about it. Well, this point is for you. First of all, you will need sterile soil to lower the chances of the plants getting infested with pests. Planting seeds and not sowing them in our kitchen gardens is not a new thing, pests are everywhere.
Fertilizer gives the soil more nutrients for healthy yields. When growing plants in a greenhouse, you need to be on point when it comes to lighting, heating, watering, cooling and ventilating. You may also need to do some crop rotation after every one or two harvests to let the soil breathe. When setting up the structure, ensure you consult a professional.
To sum it up, a greenhouse can be a great investment for any homeowner. It can serve as an aesthetic addition, a source of income, or a source of nutrition. You just have to get the facts right, especially when it comes to planning, installation, and maintenance. The above pointers should serve as a reference when thinking of starting a greenhouse in your yard.