Building a Greenhouse: 10 Helpful Things to Consider
Greenhouse gardening can be one of the most enjoyable and exciting kinds of projects to start. A greenhouse offers you endless hours of opportunity to work with any number of types of plants. Whether you grow vegetables in your greenhouse to eat, or grow flowers to sell at the local market, greenhouse gardening is an activity that pays off in many ways. For many gardeners, greenhouse gardening begins with building the greenhouse.
10 Helpful Things to Consider Before You Build a Greenhouse
There are some important things you should keep in mind when it comes to building a greenhouse. In addition to deciding on the type of building you want to use, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind when you create your starter or ideal greenhouse:
1. Make sure that the greenhouse is as high as it can be. A greenhouse that is higher provides more volume to help buffer the outside temperatures. If you increase the height of your greenhouse by just two feet, you can increase the volume by around twenty percent. The surface area, which is the part of the greenhouse that makes you vulnerable to heating loss, will only go up by around eight percent. A tall greenhouse offers very few direct shadows, keeping frame members further from your precious plants.
2. You will also want to insure that you have adequate drainage for your greenhouse gardening. One way to do this is to utilize gravel to help raise the floor of your greenhouse above the surrounding terrain. This will help the water table lower quickly after it rains, and will keep the floor of your greenhouse much drier overall.
3. An irrigation system can be a huge time saver for your greenhouse. There are nozzles and drippers available for just about any kind of crop, and choosing the right one for your greenhouse is a huge time saver.
4. Be certain that you have sufficient electrical service to your greenhouse. If you have too little voltage, you might be in a pinch once you begin gardening. As your greenhouse grows and you add more equipment, you will need that extra electricity.
5. Be ready to monitor levels of pH, EC and moisture. Using meters that will monitor these conditions can give you some indication of the changing needs of your plants. These monitors are relatively inexpensive, and give you a much more accurate reading than just a visual inspection.
6. Make provisions to keep out pests. Use things like insect screens, tight vents and tight doors to keep the little critters out of your greenhouse.
7. Use solid-state temp controllers. You will want to choose electronic thermostats over mechanical ones, as they will give you much more precise control.
8. Plan to expand. Create an overall plan for your greenhouse that covers the next several years. Make sure your existing structures and facilities will allow you to have expansion.
9. Use quality equipment to save time and energy. Labor is your number one production cost when greenhouse gardening, so using things like container-fillers, carts and conveyors can really speed up your processes.
10. Use a quality air circulation system, which is important for leaf moisture removal, carbon dioxide enhancement, and uniform temperatures.
With a little care and planning, building a greenhouse can be a rewarding experience for years to come.
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