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Summer Project? Build Your Own Greenhouse

Planning Your Greenhouse

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The greenhouse that you will be building should primarily serve its purpose of maintaining a proper environment for plants to grow. Here are some tips that will help you plan and build a greenhouse that will become your gardening asset for years to come …

Building a greenhouse is like building a house. You should have a well-designed plan and several things need to be taken into consideration. There are different types of home greenhouses but your choice should depend on the growing area, architecture, location, and costs. Most importantly, the greenhouse that you will be building should, of course, serve its purpose of maintaining a proper environment for plants to grow.

As mentioned, there are several things that need to be considered when putting up a greenhouse. To give you some tips, here are the things to be included in the planning stage:

Greenhouse Location

The first thing to note in building a greenhouse is its location. The best location for a greenhouse is a place where it will get maximum sunlight. Morning sunlight is best for plants because it makes them start processing early which will result in maximized growth.

Thus, the best location is on the east side where it gets maximum morning sunlight, especially from November to February. North of buildings or any major structure is the last location to be considered as it only provides little light. Also, it is best to make sure that the trees nearby the chosen location will still allow enough sunlight to reach the greenhouse.

Other things to be considered when choosing location are good drainage, the location of sources of water, electricity, and heat. The location should also be convenient for the owner or the caretaker as well as to the utilities.

Greenhouse Type

In general, a home greenhouse can be any of these two types: a free-standing structure or one that is attached to your house or garage. Attached greenhouses also have different kinds. One example of an attached greenhouse is the lean-to. This is a half greenhouse attached directly to one side of a house or building with a doorway, if possible. This type is close to sources of heat, water, and electricity and is the least expensive. However, this kind of structure also has some limitations on space, ventilation, and sunlight.

Another attached greenhouse variation is the even-span. This kind of structure has one gable end connected to a building. It provides more usable space and allows for better airflow to maintain temperature. It is also the most costly, though, among the attached ones.

The third type of an attached greenhouse is the window-mounted. This type can be attached on the east or south side of the house or building. This is a glass enclosure that extends a foot or so, which gives enough space for growing a few plants at low cost.

Freestanding greenhouses are separate structures that are not limited to a small space. Since it is set apart from an existing structure or building, it should have its own water and electricity sources as well as the heating system.

When choosing the preferred structure, make sure that enough space for benches, storage, as well as future expansion is considered. The University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service suggests a minimum area of 6 feet by 12 feet for a free-standing or even-span greenhouse.

Greenhouse Structural Materials

Your greenhouse should also have a good structural foundation to withstand extreme weather conditions. There are several options for a frame and framing materials to choose from. Do-it-yourself greenhouse plans commonly use wood or metal pipes as their structural material. There are different kinds of frames available which range from simple to complex designs. Some examples of frames are Quonset, gothic, rigid-frame, post and rafter, and A-frame.

Another material to be considered is the covering for your greenhouse. Your choice of frame and covering should correctly match. Some factors to be considered to choose a good covering is its ability to trap the most amount of heat inside, as well as its lifespan. The different choices for greenhouse covering include regular glass, fiberglass, double-wall plastic, and film plastic.

Greenhouse Foundations And Flooring

Glass frames and the double-wall plastic need a permanent foundation and the plan should be provided by the manufacturers of the frame. It is also recommended for the greenhouse to be elevated a little to have enough space for water to flow. Thus, permanent flooring is not advisable as the soil may stay wet and make the floor slippery. A walkway made of gravel, concrete or stone is advised for easy access to all the plants.

Environmental Systems

Once you now have a good plan for the structure of your home greenhouse, the next thing to consider is its proper maintenance. Aside from sunlight and heat, different elements are important to maintain the ideal growing condition for plants. These environmental systems that should be included in greenhouse planning are heating, air circulation, ventilation, cooling, controllers and automation, water and lighting systems.

Building a greenhouse can prove to be demanding and challenging. Complete knowledge about greenhouses is needed for you to be able to build a productive structure. A considerable amount of time is needed to make a good plan which should cover all aspects. It pays to learn and scout for different options before making your final

Greenhouse Kits For Amateur & Professional Gardeners

greenhouse kit

Today, greenhouse kits have become readily available and affordable for the enjoyment of every amateur or professional gardener …

A greenhouse kit is a great way for both amateur and professional gardeners to enjoy year-round gardening. Greenhouses are garden structures designed to cultivate plants by harnessing the heat generated by the electromagnetic radiation coming from the sun. The heat is retained within the structure’s walls and roof to heat the plants and the soil within it.

Greenhouses can be used to effectively farm various plants such as flowers, fruits, and even vegetables within their controlled environment wherein humidity, condensation and light are the key factors that contribute to their effectiveness. These structures are generally freestanding however other designs may also be joined to the house or built in a lean-to manner.

The size of greenhouses also varies depending on the purpose of the structure. Miniature greenhouses may simply be a window extension that can be used for growing herbs while massive greenhouses can be as wide as a block and are usually for business purposes.

In previous years, greenhouses were generally custom-built with a huge price tag attached to them. But today greenhouse kits have become readily available and affordable for the enjoyment of every amateur or professional gardener.

Things to Consider When Before Buying A Greenhouse Kit

Ready-to-build greenhouse kits have become quite popular as they offer an extensive selection of sizes and styles. These kits give a gardener the opportunity to adapt the structure to the design of their garden in order to fit and match. Before choosing and buying a greenhouse kit, it is important to consider a number of factors in order to be able to select the ideal kit.

It is important to take into account the type of plants to be grown within the structure as well as the type of gardening to be done along with the climate of the region where the greenhouse structure would be assembled.

For instance, a gardener interested in planting within a wintry climate should consider a greenhouse kit that has a double-walled area that is securely sealed. On the other hand, a gardener that wants to start seed planting should think about getting a greenhouse kit constructed with plastic frames and sidings.

Greenhouse Kit Details

Greenhouse kits come in various sizes ranging from 6 feet by 8 feet to 16 feet by 24 feet. The styles of greenhouse kits are also varied to represent classic conservatory designs that are marked by the typical gable roof with straight eaves. Victorian style greenhouse kits are also available. This style features either a rustic look with wooden frames or a gothic vaulted roof with curved eaves.

In most cases, the frame of greenhouse kits is usually made either of plastic, aluminum, galvanized steel, cedar or redwood. However, many favor plastic greenhouse kits as they are more affordable and provide the smallest amount of heat loss compared to other kits.

In traditional custom-made greenhouses, the siding is built with either a double or triple wall of glass in order to keep the heat trapped within. Greenhouse kits use mainly plastics that provide excellent insulation and at the same time unbreakable. Commonly plastics used are polyethylene, polycarbonate, and fiberglass.

Greenhouse kits are generally easy to put together as the parts are already pre-drilled and pre-cut. There are even greenhouse kits available that use a snap-together frame for easier assembly. A reasonably priced greenhouse kit may possibly include aluminum or galvanized steel frames, a see-through plastic cover with a door incorporated into it.

The door may either be a zippered side-flap or a roll-up depending on the design of the greenhouse kit. The typical ceiling height of a greenhouse kit is about 8 feet to allow for headroom of the gardener. There are times, however, when a greenhouse kit may not include certain items such as shelving, flooring or anchor system.

Some greenhouse kits provide the owner with information on how to lay down a foundation for the hothouse, using any of these weather resistant materials like wood, poured concrete or even concrete patio stones. The purpose of a level-flooring surface is to provide good drainage as well as hinder wind damage for the structure. Reasonably priced floor-framing kits are readily available at gardening stores that also sell greenhouse kits.

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