10 Ways to Keep Greenhouse Temperatures Just Right

controlling greenhouse temps

controlling greenhouse temps

The whole point of a greenhouse is creating the ideal growing environment for your plants.  The most important factor of the growing environment is the temperature.  There are many ways to maintain proper temperature, but here we’ll cover ten ways to keep the temperatures just right, automatically.

 

In the Winter:

Electric Space Heaters.  This is a basic idea, and there are as many kinds of electric space heaters are there are greenhouses, probably more.  In order to have any automation of the temperature control, the space heater will need to have it’s own thermostat.  Larger greenhouses will need larger heaters, or more of them.

Thermostat controlled power outlets.  If you’ve got a powerful electric heater, but it has no thermostat, you can plug it in to a thermostatically controlled electrical outlet.  These can be plugged into an ordinary outlet, then you set the desired temperature and leave the heater’s power switch in the on position.

Propane Space Heaters.  If your greenhouse has no electricity available, you might need to get a propane powered space heater.  The drawback of course, is that you’ve got to ensure it’s always got enough propane to keep going.

Heated pots.  There are even heated pots available to keep individual plants warm.  These don’t really affect the whole greenhouse.  But if only some of your plants need to be kept warmer than the others, this might be the right method.

Soil Heating Cables.  These cables will keep the soil at ideal temperatures automatically.  Some are not adjustable, set to a static 70F for example, but others allow setting a range of temperatures.

 

In the Summer:

Auto-opening vents.  These are pretty neat.  They automatically open and close vents, without any external power source.  When the temperature reaches the adjustable or preset opening temperature, the vent will begin to open, reaching fully-open status after the temp rises another 20 degrees or so.

Thermostatically controlled fans.  If the vents being open isn’t enough to keep the temperature right, you may need some fans to get the air moving.  You can either circulate the air inside the greenhouse, or direct the fans to push or pull air through the vents.

Powered shutters.  These are vents, usually mounted vertically, that will be opened by an electric motor at a specified temperature.  If you have a natural breeze available, installing these in the right direction on your greenhouse can allow the breeze to cool things down.

Fan-shutters.  This combines the shutters and a fan.  But these shutters open automatically by the force of the fan pushing air through them.  When the fan is off, gravity pulls them shut.

Greenhouse Evaporative Air Coolers.  Evaporative air coolers use air and water together for maximum cooling power, short of an air conditioner.  A powerful blower pushes air over pads which have water pumped over them.  The water forcefully cools the air to actually lower the air temperature before blowing it out.  These are more expensive, so you’ll only want to use them if maximum cooling power is required.

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Backyard greenhouse gardening

Greenhouse gardening has gained immense popularity in the recent years. If you too are gardening enthusiasts you can build a backyard greenhouse and save a lot of money. If you are interested in leading a healthier life, saving money and eating better you should consider growing your own fruit and vegetables. You can do so by building backyard greenhouses. Building your own greenhouse garden can be fun and exciting as it helps you to be self sufficient by growing the vegetables and fruits that you need. In these tough economic times if you are looking to save some money greenhouse gardening can help you do so by helping you grow your own vegetables and fruits.

greenhouse gardening

gardening in riga greenhouse

People who are just starting out with greenhouse gardening often look for cheaper options to build their own greenhouse. You can easily get a greenhouse at an affordable cost and save money by growing your own vegetables in it.  A major advantage of growing your vegetables in a greenhouse is that it gives you the option of growing a variety of vegetables as a lot of vegetables can’t be grown in outdoor gardens as they require special type of soils or need special heating and watering.

Another unique advantage with having backyard greenhouses is that you can save the vegetables you grow in the greenhouse garden from moles. Several areas have a lot of moles and if you grow your vegetables in traditional outdoor gardens you are likely to suffer a loss as the moles will eat them up. This will never happen if you grow the vegetables in a greenhouse. In a greenhouse you don’t grow vegetables directly on the ground but use small boxes or containers filled with soil to grow your plants. This means that the moles cannot reach your plants and destroy the vegetables etc.

When you are building backyard greenhouses to grow vegetables you need to try and simplify the process for yourself. A great way to making your greenhouse easier is by using greenhouse kits. Greenhouse kits are easy to use and once you follow the manual setting up your greenhouse can be extremely easy process. If you are short on budget and buy one of the cheaper kits you will need to make arrangements to irrigate your greenhouse. Irrigation is a critical component of greenhouse gardening and you may even try and learn about drip irrigation supplies for your greenhouse.

With backyard greenhouses it is also important to maintain the optimal temperature and moisture for providing an ideal environment for the growth of the plants. In the summer months it may be a bit difficult to maintain the temperature of the greenhouse and you should consider greenhouse shades to keep the greenhouse from heating up too much.

Greenhouse gardening has a number of benefits and can save you lot of money by helping you grow vegetables and fruits almost all year round. Backyard greenhouses can be a great way to enhance your experience as a gardener but you should acquire some knowledge about the working of a greenhouse before getting into greenhouse gardening.

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Battling the Greenhouse Pests

 

greenhouse pests

greenhouse pests

Greenhouses are places of peace and serenity.  However, they are also a battlefield where thousands, maybe even millions of combatants perish.  Unfortunately for us and our plants, we can still lose the war after slaying legions of pests.

Aphids.  Aphids can multiply at a mind boggling rate.  They reproduce asexually, so every single one of them is a potential mother.  Adult aphids can produce six to ten offspring each day for 20 to 30 days!  It’s easy to see how this can create a massive army of aphids in a short time.

Controlling aphids requires a regimen of insecticide treatments, just one spraying won’t usually take care of the problem.

Whiteflies love fuchsias, poinsettias, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  The immature whiteflies are unaffected by insecticides used on adults, so the treatment must be administered several times at specific intervals.

Fungus Gnats, Shore Flies, Bloodworms.  These pests love high humidity and moist soil, so greenhouses are their paradise.  Fungus gnat larvae are a frustrating problem, attacking the roots, crown or stem of plants, often for quite some time before the infestation can be noticed.  Shore flies are similar, but don’t damage plants directly – they spread soil pathogens around the greenhouse.  Bloodworms are larvae which accumulate in standing water.

Avoid excess watering and clean up standing water or wet areas in the greenhouse to combat these annoying pests.

Cutworms, Armyworms, Loopers, and other Caterpillars.  These guys love chewing on leaves, stems and fruits of almost any plant.  Get rid of these pests by using a spray with bacillus thuringiensis – a soil dwelling bacterium.

Thrips.  Tiny slender bugs of about one twenty-fifth of an inch long, thrips feed directly on the plant surfaces, and lay eggs in the leaves.  Screens help keep them from flying in, but they may also catch a ride on newly arriving plants.

Leafminers are small fly larvae which feed between the surfaces of leaves.  Since they grow inside the leaf, insecticides are ineffective.  Good practices and removal by hand, and getting rid of the infected leaves are how to defeat them.

Mites are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate, as they’re resistant to pesticides.  One way to combat them is with predators.  Predators need to be specially chosen for specific infestations.

Slugs and Snails are night feeders, hiding in the daylight hours.  It’s easy to spot an infestation as you can see their slimy trails everywhere.  Keeping your greenhouse clean and sanitary is important to combating slugs.  There are a variety of ways to keep them out.  One of the cleverest methods is installing salt-embedded plastic strips around your plant benches.

With most pests, the best way to defeat them is to prevent them from infesting your greenhouse in the first place.  Ensure your greenhouse is pest free before planting, inspect new plants before introducing them, and only buy plants from a place you trust.  Keeping the greenhouse clean and tidy, and putting screens over the vents will also help a great deal.

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Some tips for greenhouse gardening

For gardeners who take their farming very important, greenhouses are the best to consider especially when there are bad seasons or seasonal changes and especially for farmers or gardeners who live in cold climates or weather conditions. If you have always been dreaming or wishing you could garden all year without any distractions what so ever then building a green house will be perfect for you. Although it might sound very good and promising, it is always important to know that building the greenhouse and having it in your home does not end there because no matter how beautiful your greenhouse might be if you do not have the right greenhouse gardening techniques to maintain and take very good care of it; it will be of no benefit to you.

royal greenhouse

royal orangerie greenhouse

Greenhouse gardening is not expensive to go through all you need is the expertise to ensure that all plants are in the best of conditions by ensuring that the greenhouse has the right temperatures at all time which is warmth. There are so many benefits where greenhouse gardening is concerned like eating only fresh fruits and vegetables, your plants being protected from all kinds of harm, and so on. Most people use greenhouse gardening for commercial purposes and other private purposes but with all these two purposes, the single and common feature is the fact that quality plants are cultivated.

Vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs planted using the greenhouse are always unique and have special out ward looks which is why many gardeners advise individuals to cultivate the habit of involving themselves into greenhouse gardening. There is no problem if you think the whole gardening process seems very confusing to you so you need help, there are greenhouse gardeners around who are and will always be willing to help you out some for very little money and others nothing at all so all you have to do is to look for one who is willing to help you.

Here are some tips you can use to protect your plants and greenhouse when gardening. It is always better to water your greenhouse in the morning not evening to prevent red spider mite. Growing vegetable crops in grow bags or tubes helps to prevent any plant diseases or infections. Use roll up bamboo blinds for adjustable greenhouse shades because they are affordable and do not have to cost you so much. Make sure there is adequate supply of heat to your greenhouse by channeling an avenue where electricity supply will be frequent and easy to the greenhouse. Also, most gardeners say it is very important to keep cloches out on the growing areas before adding plants or seeds which should be done at least 13 or 14 days minimum.

Do not take anything for granted and make sure you know the best ways possible to keep your greenhouse garden in the best shape. Starting your greenhouse gardening in early spring is the best and also do not forget to make provision for water.

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Building your own greenhouse

backyard greenhouse kit

backyard greenhouse kit

Greenhouses can be extravagant or simple, expensive or affordable.  Many styles are easy to build, while some require uncommon skill.  Your construction abilities, budget, and personal style are the most important factors to consider.

A greenhouse design can be as simple as a PVC pipe frame plastic sheet covering.  They can be highly complex as well, with custom steel frames and double paned glass.  Some are even made entirely from old windows.

Other factors to keep in mind are the local climate.  Will your greenhouse need to endure a lot of wind?  Maybe your chosen location will require a floor under the greenhouse.  Snow, hail, and heavy rains can all affect the features and design needs.

Obviously, a PVC pipe frame with plastic sheet for walls and doors will not be very strong.  It is also unlikely to withstand any significant amount of snow accumulation.  But it can work fine in a calm climate where strong winds are rare, and cold winters are a myth.

If you’re a skilled carpenter, you’ll no doubt want to construct your greenhouse from lumber.  If you’ve got metalworking skills, you could consider a metal framed design.  But even if you’ve got relatively low skill levels in the construction area, there are still suitable greenhouse designs that you can build with the basic tools.

It’s still important to keep in mind the local requirements, though.  Strong winds will require every part to be well built and well designed.  Even the shape is important, the strongest construction will still topple over in the wind if the greenhouse is tall with flat and vertical sides.

Harsh winters also have special needs.  How much snow might pile up on the roof?  Snow is heavy, and could crush an inadequate greenhouse.

Whether or not you need a structured floor is usually personal preference.  But if the build location is soft ground with frequent heavy rain, you might actually need one.  Concrete is a common option, but wood floors are possible as well.

Style is a consideration, but not just a preference.  Some greenhouse styles may only work well in certain climates.  Such as the type which look more like a sturdy shed or a tiny house, with just one side being all-windows.  If your climate is harsh, you may not have much choice in style, and will have to build to withstand the elements.

  • ·         Budget: cost of all materials, shelves and benches, tools, and time to build
  • ·         Climate: Snow and hail, clear warm skies, wind and rain?
  • ·         Seasons: Year round growing, or just 2 to 3 seasons
  • ·         Size: Just a few plants, or a grand garden
  • ·         Floor or no floor
  • ·         PVC, Wood, Metal?
  • ·         Style

The most important overall consideration is whether or not your greenhouse will last.  Whichever plan you end up choosing, be as sure as you can that it will withstand whatever the harshest and most severe weather occurs over a several year period in your area.  Otherwise you might end up with an overturned greenhouse, or worse, it could wind up crashing into your house!  Better to overbuild and be safe than under-build and be sorry.

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