A greenhouse is the best structure for protecting plants from extreme weather conditions. Greenhouses are also ideal for providing plants with a comfortable environment with suitable amounts of humidity, warmth and sunlight. Having a greenhouse will allow you to grow flowers, vegetables, exotic fruits and herbs all year round. Whether these structures are lean-to, or stand-alone, here are important tips to help you construct an energy efficient greenhouse.
The first thing to consider when building a greenhouse is its size. These structures can either be large and expensive or small and inexpensive. It depends on your preferences and the kind of plants you plan to grow. The size of your greenhouse also depends on the area where you plan to construct it.
Greenhouses can have foundations of solid concrete or more lightweight material like wood. You can even use railroad ties for attaching the greenhouse frame. Whatever you use as your framework, ensure it is secured safely and firmly to the ground.
If you used solid concrete for your foundation, concrete flooring is the ideal option for your greenhouse. Laying decorative rock or brick in sand is another great flooring option. However, you can leave the ground bare and have a gravel path down the middle as you wouldn’t want to walk about in the mud. Whatever kind of flooring you use, remember that it should be porous.
Generally, greenhouses have walls that are two feet high. From then on, the covering that you are using is attached to the rest of the framework from the walls. It is important that the covering is square to make construction a little easier.
There are different kinds of coverings that you can use for your greenhouse. Glass is the best option, although it is a little expensive. You can also use plastic sheeting. However, it will weaken quickly. A great alternative to glass is fiberglass or any other rigid plastics. This requires less cooling in warmer climates with good light transmission.
This is extremely important for greenhouses, especially if you live in a cold place. For instance, heating systems are great for providing your plants with warmth during the winter season. In warmer areas, swamp coolers are an ideal alternative to keeping plants cool and fresh.
Regardless of where you live, it is vital that your greenhouse has air circulation, ventilation, humidity and pest control. You will also need electricity and water in your greenhouse. Make sure to use water resistant electrical outlets to prevent shock and cover your water lines so they do not freeze. You also need to have other accessories like tables, benches or places to hang your plants. It is also a good idea to set aside a place to store fertilizers, potting soil and tools. This will help you care for your greenhouse and plants better.