One of the most exciting things for any plant enthusiast is to erect a greenhouse. This is the ideal place to grow plants regardless of the prevailing environmental conditions or season. If you want to have a greenhouse, you can consider building a greenhouse or buying a greenhouse kit. Whether you are building a greenhouse or buying one, there are some important factors that you must consider before choosing a greenhouse. Here are some tips on how to choose a greenhouse.
Location: The first thing is to choose the perfect greenhouse location and decide the right size. A greenhouse operates by trapping solar energy and then converting it into thermal energy. Therefore, you should erect it on an area that receives maximum sunlight. Ensure that the location is not blocked by large trees, buildings and other structures. When it comes to size, you can go for a mini or large version, based on the size and plan of your area.
Style: There are many types of greenhouse structural styles. There are two basic styles of greenhouse for your garden; free-standing and lean-to unit. The lean-to unit is attached to a garage or house. The major advantage of this style is that you will not worry about accessibility to electricity and water. If you opt for a free-standing greenhouse, consider the construction cost as well as availability of water. The most popular type of free-standing greenhouse is the span roof type.
Foundation: The greenhouse requires a strong foundation. A poured concrete foundation or any other permanent foundation is the best if you want to support units with heavy frame materials such as glass and fibreglass. For smaller types, wood foundation can do. However, choose pressure treated redwood, cypress and cedar which are highly resistant to decay and moisture.
Frame Material: A perfect frame should have great strength and offer insulation. You can choose aluminium, resin, PVC or wooden greenhouses. Wood offers great insulation but can promote disease infestation and mould growth. Aluminium is less expensive than wood and have great strength but can fail when it comes to insulation. Finally, the PVC offers great insulation, but scores low with regards to strength.
Covering or Glazing: This is usually chosen depending on heat retention, durability, reliability, budget and light penetration. Glass maintains good humidity levels and reduces heat loss but is fragile, expensive and requires a solid foundation. While plastic is less expensive, it would require replacement after every 1-2 years.
Watering System: With regards to the irrigation of plants in the greenhouse, you can either water manually or install an automatic irrigation system. Watering by hand may be used in smaller greenhouses, but not larger ones. The automatic systems have a mechanical evaporation sensor. Although the cost of setting up this system is a bit high, it can benefit busy people.
Type of Ventilation: Proper ventilation is very important for efficient working of a greenhouse. Roof vents help to remove warm air from the greenhouse. On the other hand, side vents tap cool air outside to support better growth of the plants. (150)