Different types of greenhouses

hothouse glass greenhouse

hothouse glass greenhouse

A greenhouse is a building where plants can be grown. The main purpose of greenhouse is to grow both seasonal and unseasonal crops. Greenhouse can be built using different types covering material. Glass and plastic can be used for covering the greenhouse. Various equipments are required for building greenhouse such as heating, cooling, screening installation and sensor systems. Different varieties of flowers, plants and vegetables can be grown in greenhouse. Pests and disease should be avoided for the plants grown inside the greenhouse. Irrigation is necessary to provide sufficient amount of water to the plants. Temperature and humidity must be constantly monitored inside the greenhouse. High temperature may cause damage to the plants inside the greenhouse.

Based on cost and space you want greenhouses can be classified. If you consider temperature as a main factor for your greenhouse then based on climatic condition at your place greenhouse can be classified. Three types of greenhouses exist if temperature is taken in to consideration. They are hot greenhouse, warm greenhouse and cold greenhouse.

A hot greenhouse is generally used for growing tropical and exotic plants. Minimum of 65 degrees of temperature should be maintained inside the greenhouse for growing such type of plants. If you are living in a cold region, then you have to install special lights and heating elements. These equipments help in growing tropical and exotic plants.

A warm greenhouse should have a minimum temperature of 55 degrees inside the greenhouse. Very large variety of plants can be grown using warm greenhouses. The plants which you can grow in outdoor region can be grown in warm greenhouse. During winter season, few lights and heating elements must be installed inside the greenhouse to provide proper sun light to the plants. Any kind of hybrid flowers and plants can be grown in warm greenhouse.

A cold greenhouse should have a minimum temperature of 40 to 45 degrees of temperature. A cold greenhouse is perfect to use during summer season as it produces cool environment for the plants. Various kinds of cooling systems and exhaust fans can be used inside the greenhouse for this purpose. Use of light or heating elements is not required for the cold greenhouse.

Based on the kind of material used to construct the greenhouse, they can be classified as glass greenhouse and plastic greenhouse. Greenhouse should be constructed in such a way that sun light should be radiated inside the greenhouse. Sun light is absorbed by the plants, soil or any other vegetation plant inside the greenhouse. Plastic greenhouse can be used for building portable greenhouses. Small greenhouses can be built using either plastic material or glass material. Plastic greenhouse is generally built by using PE film and multiwall sheet in PC or PMMA. The glass greenhouse contains material such as heating, cooling, lighting and screen installation. These equipments inside the greenhouse can be automatically controlled by a computer.

The air inside the greenhouse must be rotated to avoid exhaustion. For this purpose a small window can be opened. Automatic cooling systems can also be used for this purpose.

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Why use a Lean-To Greenhouse?

patio leanto greenhouse kit

patio leanto greenhouse kit

Lean-to greenhouses are non-freestanding structures, designed to lean against another building.  They can lean against a garage, a shed or your house.

There are many advantages to building a lean-to greenhouse.  Cost effectiveness is certainly a major bonus point, but even if money is not the prime concern, there are many other reasons to choose a lean-to greenhouse.

The cost effectiveness comes about in several ways.  First, since it doesn’t have to stand up on its own, they are simpler designs using less material.  Since they’re usually smaller than freestanding greenhouses, this also contributes to less material.  (But, they don’t have to be small!)

There is also potential savings in utility extensions.  Being right next to the home makes it far easier to bring a water line, and electricity and/or gas lines if needed.

There are some personal choice reasons you might want a lean-to greenhouse as well, even if the cost savings aren’t a driving factor.

A lean-to greenhouse can be built against your home and made to match the look of your house.  This makes the greenhouse into an extension of the home, rather than a separate building.  It’s then easy to use as an extended garden living space.  Add some patio chairs and a table to part of the greenhouse space, and you now have a lovely outdoor relaxation space.

Building it against the house also reduces the amount of heating the greenhouse will need in winter months, as the home naturally radiates some of its heat outward.

You could even build it over an existing door to your house, providing an elegant entryway or functional shelter over that door.  This would also help with the outdoor living space idea.

If you’re growing food in your greenhouse, you can build it near the kitchen, if the sunlight angle is correct.  This way you have easy access to the fresh herbs and veggies, bringing them directly from the garden as fresh as possible, and as easy as possible.

A lean-to greenhouse is also an excellent choice, or even the only choice, for those who have small yards.  A lean-to not only takes less space itself, but requires less space around the greenhouse.  Where a normal greenhouse would need to have at least a little open space around all four sides, a lean-to can get away with just two or three sides having open space.

If you’re concerned about the difficulty of assembling a full size normal greenhouse, a lean-to can alleviate some of this anxiety.  It’s much easier to put together a lean-to, since the other building already has most of the “work” done for holding up the greenhouse.

Lean-to greenhouses are also great as a sort of “starter kit” for getting into greenhouse gardening.  The easy of construction, lower space requirements, and lower price make it ideal to get started, or to just see how much you’ll enjoy greenhouse gardening.  If you end up not liking it, less time and money has been expended, and you might even be able to keep it just as an outdoor living space if the gardening doesn’t work out for you.

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Greenhouse Do’s and Don’ts

inside the greenhouse

inside the greenhouse

Greenhouses are usually grown either for profitable purpose or for the personal consumption. Some people also maintain these garden greenhouses as a hobby. Whatever may be the reason for building a greenhouse, there are some tips to be followed both for building up a new greenhouse and to maintain it for a healthy harvest.

Initially, you have to decide the crop to harvest and then decide the place, time. Plan everything according to your budget. If a greenhouse is used properly it offers a good way of gardening.

Do’s and Don’ts:

A greenhouse helps to extend the concept of gardening and allows you to grow the plants which are not available in the market all the year. You have to maintain a good environment in the greenhouse.
You should also take care of the soil to be used for the particular crop.

You should try to avoid artificial fertilizers usage and try to use bio-fertilizers or natural fertilizers for a better growth of a plant. As the artificial fertilizers have some chemicals which internally affect the plants and are also cost effective.

You should take care of the crops all the year and especially in the summer unless you have a good ventilator and automatic watering system. It is a good idea to have automatic watering system if you are really not concerned about the money.

A greenhouse can be used for:
•    To earn some money; commercial purposes
•    Some vegetables and fruits can be grown at this greenhouse.
•    It can be very useful to grow medicinal plants which are used to cure some diseases; they require less maintenance.
•    Different kinds of flowers can be grown and can be maintained as garden at home.
•    A greenhouse can also be used for growing fungi which are very useful for experimenting purposes.
•    Can be used to grow hobby plants like exotic orchids.
•    Some greenhouses are used as a part of sericulture; in which mulberry leaves can be grown and used to feed the silkworms.

Size of the Greenhouse:

Usually, greenhouses can be of any length: small, medium and large depending upon the space you can manage for construction.  Also, it different types of crops require different sizes of greenhouses.
For example, some vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, etc require small place whereas to grow mulberry leaves for sericulture it requires lot of space. A greenhouse can be of various shapes: like a frame, round, etc.

However, maintaining a small greenhouse is always beneficial than large greenhouse; because it is difficult to maintain the fluctuation caused by the temperature for a large area. If you have lot of space, it is advisable to choose a moderate greenhouse which can be extended as per the needs and facilities. Many gardeners require much space after a year or two; so it always suggestible to opt for a small greenhouse initially.

Requirements:

Different material is used to build a greenhouse like ventilators, frame, floor, guttering, lighting, etc. Generally, a frame is constructed with wood.

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Rousing success or unmitigated disaster

water-mintThe question we faced was how to run an aquaponics greenhouse without spending a lot of time or effort on the fish part of the equation. With last winter’s -20 lows trying to keeping most fish year round a costly proposition at best.

Talapia aren’t a great option for us since we have such a short spring – we seem to go from freezing to burning in a couple of weeks. We thought of bluegill or koi but licensing and cost seemed to be too much effort – so we went with feeder goldfish.

One of the main reasons that I built the aquaponics setup was so that I could leave the greenhouse alone for weeks at a time without worrying about it – so having to feed daily was quickly a real pain.

So, I came up with the idea of feeding them plants/plant roots. It started with a planting basket suspended into the fish tank with some gravel and a little bit of mint.

water-mint1

soon it had grown a lot and I couldn’t really check on the fish

water-mint2

Today this is the jungle of mint.

water-mint3

I won’t be able to see the fish until I bring in a chainsaw. They have become sort of a “schrodinger’s goldfish”, but I am going to believe that they are alive and doing their job and I just add a little “fish fertilizer” to the sump tank from time to time to help them out.

The one good thing about the mint tank is that no matter what else I manage to kill in the greenhouse at least I have one nice leafy green plant doing great!

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Humidity in the Greenhouse

Every plant has special needs, with humidity being a very important part of success for some types of plants. Humidity is the amount of moisture that is in the air. Often, when it is humid, gardeners have a more difficult time breathing but this is the ideal condition for plants that require high humidity and moisture in the air.

The amount of moisture in the air is going to affect how plants grow and the health of a plant. The purpose of raising humidity in the greenhouse is to moisten leaves, stems and even portions of the plants that are a far reach for the plant from the roots. Moisture keeps leaves shiny, and healthy looking.

Plants that become too dry too fast, when you live in an area that has a low humidity level, will have dry leaves, dry roots coming out of the soil and you will have to mist these plants to keep them healthier. The easiest way to add moisture to a plant is by misting them with a spray bottle when the humidity levels are very low.

It is important to remember not to mist plants during the sunniest portions of the day or the sun could possible burn the plants, leaving more damage then good after misting. Moisture should have a chance to sit on the plant for at least an hour or two before the high temperatures of the sun ‘come on’ for the day.

What are some signs of having too much humidity?

The leaves are looking droopy. Sometimes if you have too much moisture in the air, fungus and bacteria can start growing making the leaves look hairy.

Leaves that are curling up without turning brown have too much water. The moisture from the high humidity levels has already filled the leaves with all they need so they curl no allowing any more moisture if possible.

Plants that have many leaves that are turning black or brown are becoming diseased because of excessive amounts of moisture brought on by humidity. Picking off these leaves and helping the plant to dry out will be important to saving any plant in this condition.

How can you tell if you need higher levels of humidity in your greenhouse?

When the environment is too dry in the greenhouse, you will notice that your leaves will become shriveled, often curled up and then they will turn brown. You will have no choice but to cut off and trim back this plant, but you will have to keep more humidity on the plant if you expect it to continue growing.

If your plant is not getting enough moisture from the air and the environment, the flowers will lose their colors and brightness. The flower buds will wilt often without openings. The colors of the leaves will become very dull looking, not shiny at all.

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