A greenhouse garden offers several advantages over a traditional garden. Regardless of the scale of your garden, these advantages can be availed.
The idea of a greenhouse has existed in ancient times such as the Roman era, where plants were grown in environmentally controlled situations.
Around the 17th or 18th century, greenhouses became prominent in England and the Netherlands. The basic idea behind a greenhouse is to provide adequate heat to plants (and thereby protecting them from the harsh weather) through the approaching solar radiation through the transparent glass.
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A greenhouse consists of a glass (preferably transparent) enclosure (such as dome) inside of which plants are grown throughout the year.
- Greenhouse materials
- Greenhouse plans
- What can I grow in a greenhouse?
- How can I make a greenhouse at home?
- What is the best type of glass for a greenhouse?
- Is green or clear better for a greenhouse?
- How do you keep a greenhouse warm?
- What vegetables grow well in a greenhouse?
- Can you grow all year round in a greenhouse?
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Modern-day greenhouses are enclosures framed using glass or plastic. With the rising concern for climatic aberrations (or climate change), biodegradable plastics are also used for making greenhouse structures.
Technically speaking, there are 2 common ways of greenhouse design. Span- type and lean-to type. The former comprises of double sloped or A-shaped structures and the latter consists of a single roof and is supported on to the side of a building.
At least one of the sides of a greenhouse needs to be facing the sun’s rays and hence needs to be made of glazing material such as glass.
Nowadays, Polyethylene or Polyvinyl are commonly used for making these enclosures. The frame for a greenhouse can be made using steel (galvanized against corrosion), wood or Aluminum.
Modern techniques for heating a greenhouse include complimenting solar radiation with hot water and steam. In this way, the energy from the sun can be used for heating water. Based on the temperature requirements, a greenhouse can be classified into
· Warm greenhouse
· Cool greenhouse
What can I grow in a greenhouse?
The selection of plants for growing in a greenhouse depends on the plants’ temperature requirements during day, night, and topography. Vegetables, ornamental plants, shrubs, and tropical plants can be grown in a greenhouse.
In a warm greenhouse, temperatures during nighttime are relatively higher than that of a cool greenhouse. Hence, flowery plants such as roses, orchids, African violets, and ferns are best suited to grow in a warm greenhouse.
Plants such as fuchsias, sweet peas, geraniums, tulips, and hyacinths that require lower temperatures during nighttime can be grown in a cool greenhouse.
How can I make a greenhouse at home?
Making a greenhouse at your home can be done in a matter of a few hours. Always choose a flat area where there is little obstruction to direct sunlight.
Some do it as part of landscaping your garden. Wooden frames can be used to support the glass/plastic enclosure. For removal of rainwater, attach PVC pipes to the foundation’s side-boards. For heating water requirements, use PVC pipes, which can run along with the frames of your greenhouse.
The material for covering your greenhouse could be clear plastic (4-6 milligram thickness) if the purpose is for growing plants. Polymer films lower the temperature and light content inside the greenhouse, resulting in a constant setting inside the enclosure. Polypropylene shaded plastics (up to 35%) also does the same job.
What is the best type of glass for a greenhouse?
Different types of glass material exist for making a greenhouse most efficient.
- Single pane glass
- Double-paned glass
- Tempered glass
- Annealed glass
- Laminated glass
The choice of glass depends on a variety of factors such as budget, location, purpose, and longevity.
Is green or clear better for a greenhouse?
Clear glass is more efficient than a coated glass enclosure for greenhouse since it allows more solar radiation to pass through. It also offers better heat and light conditions inside the greenhouse.
How do you keep a greenhouse warm?
If the location of your greenhouse gets very cold during winter, providing an alternative heat source can be thought of. Covering your greenhouse using insulating material is also a worthwhile option. Providing thermal water storage tanks and additional glazing to the enclosure will also keep the greenhouse warm.
What vegetables grow well in a greenhouse?
Depending on the season, different varieties of vegetables can be grown inside your greenhouse. Lettuce, cabbages, peas, broccoli, and carrots can be grown in the warm season. Peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash can be grown during colder times.
Can you grow all year round in a greenhouse?
Yes, it is very much possible to grow plants throughout the year inside your greenhouse due to its artificial nature, adaptability, and ability to change plants depending on the season.
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Growing plants inside a greenhouse has the following advantages compared to the traditional field.
- Energy-saving option
- Highly customizable
- Keeping useful insects inside
- Need not use harmful pesticides
- Environmentally conscious approach
- Protection for plants from harsh weather
- Growing variety of plants
- Grow throughout the year