Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: DIY

How to Build a Greenhouse

  1. Sketch out your building plans in detail. Use graph paper to scale if possible. In your design, be sure to include any electrical outlets or gas and water lines that are needed.
  2. Decide where to construct your masterpiece. Choose an area that gets full sun and is relatively flat, unless you have time and money to spend on excavating.
  3. Prepare a shopping list and shop wisely. It may take you a few weeks to gather your building supplies if you are a frugal shopper, so plan accordingly.
  4. Prepare the foundation. If your design calls for a concrete, gravel, or brick floor, prepare the foundation and set the posts for your greenhouse (a combination of a gravel walkway and a gravel base is recommended). Be sure to anchor your structure appropriately, especially if you live in a windy area. Don’t forget to bring your electricity, gas and water lines into the greenhouse.
  5. Next, install the framework for your greenhouse walls and roof.
  6. Installing the heating system is next. You can choose from a solar-powered, gas, electric or oil heater for your greenhouse.
  7. Circulating fans, if desired, are installed after the heating system is in place.
  8. After wiring, heating and cooling systems, and framework is in place, you can install the covering of choice in the greenhouse frame. Options include, plastic, poly-vinyl sheeting, fiberglass, Solexx, or glass. See greenhouse paneling comparison chart.
  9. Install your water source and any automated systems you desire.
  10. Arrange benches, supplies, and plants inside the greenhouse.

Click here for more information on designing your own greenhouse

Custom Urban Greenhouses

Using a custom greenhouse allows you to plant in layers, making optimum use of the space you have available. Allowing for only moderate success in greenhouse gardening, you can harvest seven times the produce by using a specialized greenhouse kit compared to what you would harvest using the same amount of soil and planting directly into the ground.

Best of all, you don’t even technically need a yard to grow your own produce in a greenhouse. You can erect a greenhouse kit on top of just about any sturdy, flat surface, including pavement or a flat roof (you will want to verify that the roof can support the weight, of course).

In addition to vegetables, you can grow herbs, fruit, flowers, or virtually anything size-appropriate which grows in the ground inside a custom greenhouse. Not only can you slash your grocery bill by growing your own produce throughout the year, but your family can be assured that the produce from your greenhouse kit is fresh and healthy. With relatively little adjustment, the vast majority of urban families can enjoy produce grown right at home in their specialized greenhouse kits.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Commercial

Commercial greenhouses are a great way to combine your love for gardening with a profitable career. Deciding to start a commercial greenhouse business is a big decision.

If you’re willing and able to do the labor yourself you can shave a considerable amount off the costs of building commercial greenhouses. Best of all, as a business investment, a significant portion of the costs of building and maintaining your commercial greenhouses is tax deductible.

If you want to start small in your new venture, you might consider starting out with a limited line of products. Rather than trying to grow a little of everything, specialize in a few types of plants. For example, you could specialize in flowers. Or, if you want an even more narrow focus, you could build a commercial greenhouse which focuses on water gardens, butterfly gardens, or any number of other novelty garden concepts.

Ideally, you should tailor your commercial green houses to the type of gardening you most enjoy. Not only will running your own business be more fun that way, but chances are you already have a network of friends who share your gardening interests. If you do, they make the ideal first customers. Of course, as your enterprise grows, you will most likely want to add plants and other products which are the most in demand in your area.

Running a commercial greenhouse takes little more than a love of gardening and a willingness to work. Much of what you need to know, you already know by virtue of the gardening you’ve already done. Of course, there are some things you will need to educate yourself about, but you will have no problem finding all the information you need about running a successful commercial green house between the Internet, gardening magazines and your local library.

Obtaining Your Commercial Greenhouse

When it comes to starting a commercial greenhouse, you have two options: 1. purchase an existing commercial greenhouse, or 2. build your own commercial greenhouse. Your local real estate agent can help you locate existing commercial greenhouses on the market for purchase in your area.

If you’ve got your heart set on creating your own, uniquely personalized commercial greenhouse, you’ll need a commercial greenhouse kit and a chunk of land to build it on. Many commercial greenhouse growers opt to build their commercial greenhouses near their home, and haul plants and crops to local businesses for sale. If you live in a high-traffic area, you might consider creating a store area for your greenhouse and selling your own wares.

Getting Started with Your Commercial Greenhouse

Once you’ve obtained your commercial greenhouse, you’ll need to decide what type of gardening you will engage in. Will you grow fruits and veggies for local vendors over the winter months, coax spring flowers and seedlings to life for starter gardens, specialize in tropical orchids, water gardens, or herbs, or your own brilliant combination of gardening trends?

By far, one of your best gardening tools when it comes to commercial greenhouses is marketing. Getting the word out about your new commercial greenhouse will help bring in customers and build a solid reputation and customer base. Of course, growing spectacular crops at reasonable prices is one of the best ways to market your new greenhouse, but you’ll also need a little help with local advertising and word-of-mouth referrals.

Starting your own commercial greenhouse business is never easy, but if you have a passion for gardening, the results are some of the most rewarding you’ll experience in a lifetime.

Expert Tips

No matter if you are considering opening a commercial greenhouse, selling a few plants from your front yard, or simply want to grow better plants, knowing a few inside secrets of commercial greenhouses is an appealing idea. These tips from the commercial greenhouse experts can help your plants and your business flourish.

  • Best Selling Plants: annuals, herbs, and foliage plants. 6 pots sell best, and carefully pruning off discolored leaves and over-ripe blooms encourages customers to purchase more plants. Marigolds and geraniums are good sellers as well. Ferns are terrific sellers and nearly every commercial greenhouse includes these green favorites. Include a few hydroponic vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, in your selection of plants.
  • Displays: If you are selling your plants to consumers, include a display of basic gardening supplies and seeds to help boost sales. A selection of gardening books and magazines is also a great way to increase your profits.
  • Nursery Log: Include important growing information for each type of plant for easy cross reference on peak times and suggested plant care.
  • Fragrance and Colors: Place fragrant plants near the entryway of the greenhouse to entice customers into the structure. Mix colorful plants in with greens to provide a visually appealing selection.
  • Ventilation: Fresh, moving air is essential to healthy plant growth, especially in winter months. Use a thermostat controlled heater to maintain temperatures of between 70-75° while ventilation flaps are open.
  • Standing Water: Take care of any standing water inside your greenhouse to prevent excessive humidity. Some commercial greenhouses will dig a ditch along the sides of the greenhouse wall to aid proper drainage and avoid standing puddles of water.
  • Cooling Pads: keep the humidity down and the soil moist. Keep in mind that using a cooling fan will decrease the overall temperature of the greenhouse by 10° for each fan used.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Solexx Greenhouses

About Solexx Greenhouses

Solexx greenhouses are designed to allow you to grow your flowers and plants all year in most climates.  When you have a Solexx greenhouse you never have to worry about putting your growing season on hold during the winter, they are designed to allow you to grow during all four seasons; something that other greenhouses cannot do.

The way that Solexx greenhouses work is quite simple. Solexx greenhouses are constructed from a material that looks very much like a translucent corrugated cardboard. This scratch resistant, lightweight material is ideal for greenhouse gardening. It helps hold in heat and admits up to 75% of highly diffused UV rays. Solexx greenhouses come a variety of greenhouse kits and can include different types of glazing for differing climate zones. During a sunny but cold winter day, the greenhouse can reach temperatures of 90 degrees. Because the greenhouse is insulated, you can add heat to keep your plants safe during the night and on cloudy days.

Many people that buy Solexx greenhouses also add exhaust fans to their set up.  This helps to ensure proper ventilation year-round, while also preventing overheating during the summer months.  Fans are great additions to any Solexx greenhouse because overheating is one of the most common causes of plants and flowers dying prematurely. Overall, Solexx greenhouses offer many advantages.  They allow you to grow during every month of the year.  When you buy a Solexx greenhouse you are getting more than a run of the mill greenhouse.  You are getting a year-round garden!

Click here for some hints for applying Solexx

Custom solutions with Solexx

Not everybody can find the right size greenhouse kit for their property. While others might have some existing framework or an old shed that could easily be converted into a greenhouse. These are some of the advantages of working with Solexx:

  • Easy to work with: Solexx is extremely tough yet very pliable. It can be curved over a structure then scored and folded around peaks and corners (to eliminated the need for flashing). You can even cute Solexx to shape while it’s attached to the structure with a sharp knife (no need to cut with a power saw).
  • Convenient sizes: Solexx can be applied on the outside of the structure in one continuous piece across the length of the frame or up and over the opt of the frame for minimal material waste.
  • Easy to work with: Solexx is extremely tough yet very pliable. It can be curved over a structure then scored and folded around peaks and corners (to eliminated the need for flashing). You can even cute Solexx to shape while it’s attached to the structure with a sharp knife (no need to cut with a power saw).
  • Convenient sizes: Solexx can be applied on the outside of the structure in one continuous piece across the length of the frame or up and over the opt of the frame for minimal material waste.
Gothic-style frame covered in Solexx.
Solexx was added to this shed for a
dual purpose shed/greenhouse
Plants love the diffused light in
a Solexx Greenhouse

Features and Benefits of Solexx

  • Diffused Light. The plastic used for Solexx greenhouses gently diffuses sunlight. This enables all of the plants inside the greenhouse to soak in the sunshine evenly by eliminating shadows. This diffusion also helps keep the plants from being burned by the intense sunlight on hot summer days.
  • Insulation. The plastic shell used for Solexx greenhouses offers a degree of insulation, helping you to keep heating costs down in the wintertime.
  • Structural Strength and Functionality. Many of the features that make your Solexx greenhouse flexible and functional are the same features that give it its incredible structural strength. These include hanging rods and benches that are built into the structure. Each hanging rod is capable of holding several hundred pounds while at the same time reinforcing the greenhouse’s structural strength.
  • Composite Frame defies the elements. Your Solexx greenhouse’s composite frame won’t rust or warp from the rain and snow. It won’t hold moisture nor will it conduct heat or cold. Additionally, because it is white, it won’t cast shadows on your plants. Instead, it reflects the diffused light allowing you plants optimum lighting conditions.
  • Flexibility. Most Solexx greenhouse kits are expandable and adaptable. Your Solexx greenhouse is designed to be able to grow with you as you expand your greenhouse gardening.
  • Durable. The plastic covering of your Solexx greenhouse is practically indestructible. Glass greenhouse owners need to constantly worry about a variety of things that could break the glass panels. With a Solexx greenhouse, you can rest easy knowing that rocks and other flying or falling objects won’t break or destroy your greenhouse or require time-consuming and costly repairs.
  • Low maintenance. Unlike most types of greenhouses, your Solexx greenhouse does not require a great deal of ongoing maintenance. For most situations, spraying the outside shell with a hose once or twice a year, or washing your Solexx greenhouse with a warm soapy water for tough grime, is plenty to keep your greenhouse garden looking and functioning great.

Types of Solexx Greenhouses

Early Bloomer Greenhouse:
  1. 8’W x 8’L x 6’3″H
    • Extra Strong composite Frame
    • Extra large manual air vent
    • Twin-wall Solexx panels
    • 2 full-length plant hanging rods
    • Lockable door
    • Free delivery (to lower 48 states)
    • 10 year Warranty 
  2. Accessory Kit (tie down kit, solar opener, solar opener, 4 base vents, 8 x 10 shade cloth, 10 x 10 flooring and free delivery)
Gardener’s Oasis and Garden Master Greenhouses:
  1. 8’W x 8’L x 8’H, 8’W x 12’L x 8’H, 8’W x 16’L x 8’H, 8’W x 24’L x 8’H
    • Extra Strong composite Frame
    • Twin-wall Solexx panels
    • Easy-Flow Louver Air Vent
    • 2 double-tiered, full length 29″ deep bench frames (hold over 2000 lbs total in 8 x 8 greenhouses) 
    • Lockable door
    • 10 year Warranty 
    • Free delivery (to lower 48 states)
  2. Deluxe Package included (read below for more information)
Harvester and Conservatory Greenhouses:
  1. 8’W x 8’L x 8’H, 8’W x 12’L x 8’H, 8’W x 16’L x 8’H, 8’W x 24’L x 8’H
    • Extra Strong composite Frame
    • Twin-wall Solexx panels
    • 2 full-length hanging rods (4 in Conservatory)
    • Easy-Flow Louver (2 in Conservatory)
    • Double-tiered and single-tiered full length bench frames (hold over 2000 lbs total in 8 x 8 greenhouses) 
    • Lockable door
    • 10 year Warranty 
    • Free delivery (to lower 48 states)
  2. Deluxe Package included (read below for more information)

Deluxe Greenhouse Packages

** Only pertains to four of our greenhouses: Gardener’s Oasis, Garden Master, Harvester, and Conservatory

Based on the size of the greenhouse that is best suited for you and your available space, the price includes:

  1. Sturdy Wire Shelves: solexx-shelf-287[1]
  2. Tie Down Anchor Kit: tie-down-kit-287[1]
  3. Close-able Base Vents: base-vent-287[1]
  4. Solar Louver Opener: solar-louver-287[1]

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Regular maintenance tips

The tasks toward proper maintenance and care can be broken down into three sections of care: daily, weekly and monthly care. If you perform these tasks in their timely order you are guaranteed to be blessed with a well cared for greenhouse.

Daily maintenance

Be sure to open vents or windows to keep a consistent temperature through out the day. Check your thermometers for temperature reading. If this is something you don’t have time for daily you may want to invest in automatic window or vent openers. You can find these in a greenhouse catalog. Also check to see if your shade cloth needs to be put on or taken off, as the day requires. Lastly inspect for pests/bugs on your plants. It’s better to check daily to keep the dangers away from your plants.

Weekly maintenance

This includes: watering or setting misters. Potting new plants or sewing new seeds can be done weekly. Clean your pots and other gardening tools weekly as needed. This keeps your pots and other tools ready for the next use whenever you need them.

Monthly maintenance

Potting new plants, collecting flowers or vegetables as needed. This is also a good time to check the panels of your greenhouse. Do any of them need to be replaced or tightened? You may need to clean the panels if they are overly dirty. Also keep a list of needed supplies and once a month go into town a get what you need in one stop.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Extra info on styles

Hobbyist Greenhouses

  1. 7-year warranty, longer than many companies offer
  2. Easy to design, you will need very few tools and most pieces simply snap together.
  3. The frame is made of high strength resin + walls made of double walled poly carbonate (retains heat well) = extra durability to day to day wear and tear.
  4. Can also withstand the different season in different parts of the world while lasting a long time
  5. Include clearly illustrated instructions can assist with the correct assembly and minimal frustration and confusion.

Gable-styled Greenhouses

  • Aesthetically Pleasing Designs
    This architectural style often correlates with other Colonial style buildings on a property, providing a continuity of visual form that is pleasing to many greenhouse gardeners and homeowners. Such an attractive flow of design adds value to a property and is readily accepted by zoned communities and picky neighbors alike.
  • Perfect Choice for Snowy Regions
    The gable greenhouse is ideal for climates that receive a large amount of snow and ice, as the steeply sloped sides of the roof facilitate shedding of heavy snow. Excess snow and ice accumulations can crack or cave in a greenhouse roof. A design free of snow and ice also allows more winter sunlight to penetrate the gable greenhouse’s roof panels, providing extra nourishment for delicate winter plants.
  • Extra Headroom in Less Space
    A gable-style greenhouse is an extremely popular choice for gardeners of above average height. The first steeply sloped angles of the roof provide adequate ceiling height, while the more gently sloping angles provide ample headroom for tall gardeners, even when working near the exterior walls of the greenhouse. This design element takes full advantage of limited greenhouse spaces.
    The added height afforded by the gable greenhouse roof gives greenhouse gardeners the option of growing extra tall plants and climbing vines without resorting to excessive pruning. This design also helps create an open-air feeling in a cramped space for gardeners who dislike confined spaces, but must settle for a smaller greenhouse.
  • Various Options
    Gable-style greenhouses come in many varied options, just as other styles of greenhouses. A smaller gable-style greenhouse could cost as little as $600, while a larger gable greenhouse could run in the thousands of dollars. This style of roof design adequately supports both Lexan and glass roofs, and often features fold out vent windows as an option.

Portable Greenhouses

  • From Sturdy to Flexible: Portable greenhouse kits are available in varieties that are sturdy enough to stand up to bad weather, and others are flexible enough to fold up for storage in a small space. They are versatile enough to meet a variety of greenhouse gardening needs. Some portable greenhouse kits can even be used as an inexpensive permanent greenhouse!
  • Hobby Starters: Portable greenhouse kits are a great way to start a new hobby as a greenhouse gardener. They make perfect gifts for recipients of every age. You can give a portable greenhouse kit as a retirement present, or as a gift for the school age child looking for a science project idea or new hobby. Portable greenhouse kits are the perfect way for a gardening enthusiast to share a love of gardening.
  • Easy Set Up: Most portable greenhouse kits are extremely easy to set up and can be ready for use in a matter of minutes, right out of the box. Portable greenhouse kits are even available that are self-erecting, only requiring the insertion of a stabilizer bar once set up is complete. This makes portable greenhouse kits attractive for gardeners with physical disabilities or generalized physical weakness.
  • Overwintering Paradise: Portable greenhouse kits are perfect for overwintering those delicate plants in a mild region, some plants can even remain outdoors during the entire winter. A portable greenhouse kit eliminates the need to cram your living room with all of your favorite perennial plants during the colder winter months.
  • Helpful for Starting Seeds: Portable greenhouse kits can help you get your seeds started earlier. They provide added warmth during germination and help retain extra moisture for delicate sprouts. Portable greenhouse kits also protect fragile seedlings from downpours, heavy winds, and even trampling by the family dog. You can replace those plastic terrarium trays and peat pots, letting seeds grow in their natural environment without transplantation.

Portable greenhouse kits are versatile and useful tools for the gardening enthusiasts. They make perfect gifts and are a welcome addition to any gardener’s potting shed.

Window Greenhouses

A window greenhouse is a small greenhouse that protrudes from one of the windows of your home, or affixes to an existing window in your home to provide growing space for your plants while maximizing the sun’s exposure. Most window greenhouses are square, and consist of Plexiglas sides and top, and a solid bottom (usually made of solid wood, though other materials may be used as well). They come in various sizes to fit a variety of windows and gardening needs.

Benefits:

  • Added light in the home. A window greenhouse lets in plenty of light, brightening up any room. While the plants may block some of your view from the window, the natural beauty of your window greenhouse adds plenty of beauty to your home while still allowing in plenty of natural sunlight.
  • Delicious aromas. Whether you plant flowers, herbs or vegetables, the fresh, clean scent of your window greenhouse can really freshen up your home, especially during those long winter months and rainy days when you can’t get outside.
  • Allows those with limited space to garden. A window greenhouse attaches to your home without taking up space, allowing you to garden in confined spaces. They have even been used in nursing homes, hospitals, and apartment buildings!

Cold-Frames

Cold frame gardening is an inexpensive way to extend your growing season into those winter months. You can build your own cold frames, or purchase ready-made or easy to assemble cold frames from a garden supply store.

Before you dive into cold frame gardening, you should know a few basics that seasoned cold frame gardeners have learned.

Area: Where to Put Your Cold Frame

Cold frames can either be placed on top of the ground, or below ground level to help take advantage of the insulating properties of the earth. Your frame should be placed in a manner to take maximum advantage of the sun. Position your cold frame at a ten-degree angle, facing in a southerly position. You can also select an area with a slightly sloping landscape to assist with drainage inside the cold frame.

Befitting: What to Grow in Your Cold Frame

Some plants thrive inside a cold frame environment. Gardeners most often place leaf lettuce, spinach, chard, carrots, and even evergreen starters in a cold frame. Depending on your climate and the quality of your cold frame, you can experiment with other hardy vegetables and houseplants to see what you can grow in your area.

Climate: Temperature Control in a Cold Frame

Since cold frames essentially act as miniature greenhouses, monitoring and adjusting the internal temperature of the frame is necessary to ensure the survival of your plants. Even when the air temperature is cooler in spring or fall, direct sunlight may heat the air inside your frame to a temperature that will fry or wilt your plants. Opening the sash of the cold frame is often sufficient to vent trapped heated air and protect your plants. A simple window-mounted thermometer is often all that is required to help you monitor your frame’s temperature.

When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, your cold frame will need some additional insulation to keep your plants from freezing. The easiest way to add some winter insulation on those bone-chilling days is to use burlap, newspaper, or old blankets to help insulate the frame. (Be sure to check back and remove the insulation once the temperature warms up.)

Gardening in a cold frame is a fun and easy way to experiment with this late producing plants, and extend your gardening hobby into the winter months. Placement, climate control, and plant selection are the three key points to remember when embarking on your cold frame gardening adventure.

Click here to learn More about Cold Frames

Timber-Frames

Timber framed greenhouses are an alternative which can help you to maintain your garden’s natural appearance. Varied in style and highly adaptable, they can add character as well as giving you somewhere to care for your more exotic plants.

These greenhouse styles have a more old fashioned character and can be stained or painted to co-ordinate with the colors already present in your garden or in the wooden parts of your home. Timber frames can also provide a support for trailing plants, so you can grow ivy or roses across the outside of your greenhouse to help it blend into your garden.

Timber framed greenhouses don’t let in as much light as other greenhouse designs, but they’re still suitable for many types of plant and there’s always the option of adding supplemental lighting. Their heavier frames give them a sturdiness which is useful if you live in an area which is subject to fierce winds – you won’t need to worry about positioning them carefully to give them shelter. They’re also highly adaptable.

When you buy greenhouse designs like these, you’re buying only the basics. What the finished product looks like it up to you. Whilst timber framed greenhouses can work well just as they are, you’ll also have the option of staining, varnishing or painting the frame so that it complements your garden. White paint can give a greenhouse like this a traditional, Neo-Victorian look, whilst dark green paint will help it blend into the landscape without losing any of its elegance. Wood stains can be used to help it match trees and benches in your garden.

Sturdy timber greenhouse frames can also support further structures. If you hammer in some strategically placed nails or attach some wire mesh, you can train climbing plants like ivy or dog-roses up around the outside of your greenhouse. Be careful not to let them grow so freely that they block the light, but let them twine along the frame and they’ll give your greenhouse a truly organic appearance. It’ll fit right into your garden and look as if it grew there.

Click here for more info on the other styles of greenhouses on the Greenhouse Catalog website.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Styles, coverings, and the science behind them

Styles

  • Modern, old fashioned, Early Bloomer, Harvester, Hobbyist, Oasis, Commercial, Gothic/Dome, Lean-to (attached), kitchen greenhouse, window greenhouse, greenhouses at retirement homes
  • Other types: solar, extendable, portable, mini
  • Frames: Cold-framed, Timber-framed

Greenhouse Coverings

Glass, plastic material, and plastic covering can be used to cover a greenhouse, but some are more efficient than others. Talk with the contractor regarding expenses.

  • Glass: expensive and heavy, need to be cleaned every-so-often and simple sealing techniques.
  • Plastic: more efficient, will intensify the sun’s rays, last for 7-10 years, some types can be more expensive than glass, but the majority is less expensive. Needs to be replaced frequently and environmental conditions can determine if this substance needs to be replaced quicker or later
  • Solexx: lightweight, semi-translucent material insulates, looks like translucent corrugated cardboard. Scratch resistant, holds in heat, and admits up to 75% of highly diffused UV rays

The Right Greenhouse Plastic

Choosing the right green house plastic can begin as a simple procedure, but once you are faced with the many choices and options available, your simple decision making process can become confusing. To help you simplify the process of deciding on a type of green house plastic, we’ve provided a simple guide to the most common types of plastics used today.

Poly-carbonate Plastic:
  • Single -Wall – $$
  • Twin-Wall – $$$ (generally needs to be shipped by truck – motor freight)

Poly-carbonate plastic is a durable hard plastic. You can find poly-carbonate in a thin single-wall (think of the plastic you hate cutting open when you buy a toy for your kids)  double-walled plastic (two flat pieces of plastic separated by plastic flutes and air space) and even triple-walled varieties. The thicker the poly-carbonate, the better the insulating quality. This type of plastic is a great choice for the greenhouse gardener looking for a greenhouse covering that’s resistant to tearing. It is more expensive than other varieties, but holds up against severe weather for longevity. Be aware with all plastic greenhouse covering that quality varies. Be sure to consider the warranty, the length of time the dealer and manufacturer have been in business, and steer clear of  ‘Made in China’.

Polyethylene Plastic
  • Film – $
  • Twin-Wall – $$

Polyethylene plastic is the most common plastic used for green houses. You see it often at nurseries. One huge advantage of polyethylene over other greenhouse coverings is the light diffusion properties. Polyethylene diffuses the light extremely well, which means your greenhouse will have a nice even light that reaches not only the top of the plant, but under the leaves as well. Polyethylene film comes in a variety of grades that will last anywhere from a year to several years before it starts breaking down from the sun.  Make sure the film material is designed for outdoor use and has UV protection.

Twin-wall polyethylene like Solexx, offers even better light diffusion and the added benefit of insulation. The R insulation factor of 2.1R is one of the best insulation ratings for greenhouse plastic (meaning lower heating costs for you). It is extremely strong and durable in high winds, heavy snow, driving rain and hail. It is affordable to ship and purchase in small quantities. Solexx is easy to attach to a greenhouse without building a complicated frame. There are other materials on the market that look like Solexx but have no warranty, so be careful when shopping for twin-walled polyethylene or polypropylene. Be sure to check the warranty period. Only Solexx is backed by an 8 year warranty.

Choosing between the types of green house plastic available is most dependent on your greenhouse gardening budget and the level of quality you are willing to settle for. Click here for more information.

The Science

The sun is passed through the panels in the greenhouses to amplify the rays for a fantastic heat source. If part of the greenhouse needs to be cooler, an individual can shade that section from the direct sunlight. They may also add an air conditioner or other coolant to assist in this need.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Kits and Plans

Greenhouse kits are becoming increasing popular, especially among new gardeners, and hobby gardeners. A greenhouse kit can contain everything you need to get started with a new greenhouse gardening hobby or expand your love of gardening from the backyard to the greenhouse.

They teach you how to work with simple materials that you can buy from your local home improvement store and can be as complex or as simple as you want. Be prepared to do a bit of carpentry or simple metalwork, but for the most part there’s nothing too tricky involved in greenhouse plans.

Some avoid the use of glass altogether and utilize simple plastic sheeting. These are ideal for a beginner who is uncertain about cutting glass at home. Many greenhouse kits are lightweight and snap together making assembly quick and easy. Some even boast easy set up and tear down for the ultimate convenience and portability.

Kits also provide a practical option for many people who would otherwise not be able to afford greenhouses. Most Solexx greenhouse kits are expandable and adaptable, they’re designed to be able to grow with you as you expand your greenhouse garden.

Greenhouse plans supply all the basic information you need to know about preparing the different parts of your greenhouse. Be sure to read over the included parts and instructions before purchasing a kit if possible or speak with a greenhouse gardening sales specialist or consultant to make sure you are getting the right greenhouse gardening kit to suit your individual needs.

Set up your new backyard greenhouse kit with a little help from your friends. Most kits are straightforward and easy to assemble but having a few extra hands to hold ends aloft and fetch attaching pieces is always a plus.

Types of Greenhouse Kits:

  • Garden Greenhouse Kits
    • The garden greenhouse is one of the easiest ways to begin a greenhouse gardening hobby.  These types of greenhouses include pop up greenhouses, portable greenhouses, and even cold frame greenhouses that make outdoor gardening easier. These greenhouses can be placed over plants in your outdoor garden or can be used to get a head start on or extend the growing season. These sturdy, lightweight structures are generally small and easy to set up and tear down. They can be transported from spot to spot in the yard or set up over an existing backyard garden if necessary.  These greenhouses can be torn down quickly and often collapse into a compact form for easy storage.
  • Lean-to Greenhouse Kits
    • Many garden-loving homeowners opt for a lean-to greenhouse kit to help them add a greenhouse room onto an existing structure like the garage, workshop, or back of the home. Lean-To greenhouses also are available in completely enclosed structures so you can set it against a wall or fence without the need to fasten it to your home. 
  • Mini Greenhouse Kits
    • Home greenhouses, or indoor greenhouses, are ideal for people with limited outdoor growing space. These types of greenhouses can be placed in a closet or basement, a windowsill, or even on an outside porch. The type of home greenhouse you select is often most dependent upon the amount of space you have available for your greenhouse.
    • If indoor space is not a limiting factor in your selection, you can choose your home greenhouse according to the types and numbers of crops you wish to grow. If you only want to grow a few herbs for cooking, a simple countertop greenhouse will do. However, if you want to fill your basement with greenhouse kits and grow light to produce an entire veggie, flower, and fruit selection, then you may want to select a larger home greenhouse or multiple shelving-type home greenhouses.
    • Mini greenhouse kits are perfect for those who live in cramped spaces. These kits are perfect for starting seedlings or growing cooking herbs and small flowers. These versatile greenhouse kits can fit on a deck, in the grass, or even over an existing vegetable garden. Some are specially designed to be easily folded and stored while others are designed for better protection.
  • Permanent Hobby Greenhouses
    • These greenhouse structures are designed to hold up to the elements to keep you plants safe and thriving. They are available in a variety of sizes, but for tight spaces, you can find a variety of compact sizes to choose from. Hobby greenhouses are a fixture in your yard and plants can be kept in them all year. Many people use their greenhouse to start seed early in the spring or to overwinter their container plants. A permanent greenhouse is a great place for gardeners to escape the dreary weather throughout the year.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a greenhouse kit, but the two major factors are space and budget.

Consider the amount of space you have available for a greenhouse kit and look for a kit that fits within your measurements. Then, you’ll need to determine how much your budget allows for purchasing and installing your new greenhouse kit. Purchasing a new greenhouse kit is a great way to start a greenhouse gardening hobby or expand your love for gardening in an a few easy steps.

Useful tips while getting prepared for your greenhouse kit:

  1. When ordering a greenhouse kit, make “ease of assembly” a priority. Sure, you’ll want to ensure the kit has everything you can afford and desire. But, be sure to get one which is known to be simple to construct. There are many out there, so look around before purchasing. Most easy-to-assemble models will say “requires no need to hire a contractor” or something similar. Unless your technical knowledge of construction is advanced, this is important for you to remember.
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed when you first open the greenhouse kit boxes. You’ll see oddly shaped bundles, aluminum bars, nuts, bolts, wire clips and glass holders. You may also see plastic pieces and manuals of instruction. Most manuals look overwhelmingly large. However, if you look closer, you’ll likely see they are thick due to the various languages the instructions are offered in.
  3. Be sure to follow the manual! While it may be tempting to try to figure out where everything goes without reading the instructions, it’s vital for proper construction to read the manual. Most manuals show drawings and written step-by-step instructions, which can make the task much easier than guessing where things go.
  4. Most greenhouse kits require a proper foundation before construction. Many kits can include the base frame for an additional cost. So, be sure you have this in place before starting. Some greenhouse designs require concrete to be poured into the pipes and then leveled.
  5. Don’t expect to need many tools. Most greenhouse kits require only the parts included, the base, and basic tools like a screwdriver, electric drill, level, ladder, rubber mallet, tape measure and knife.
  6. Greenhouse kits are available to meet the needs and tastes of nearly every greenhouse gardener and purchasing a kit makes greenhouse gardening fun and easy. No matter what your gardening need or level of expertise, there’s a greenhouse kit available to help you fulfill your greenhouse gardening dreams.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Preparations

Successful Gardening: Tips

  1. Look online for the best choices of greenhouses, supplies, accessories and information. Online sites are convenient and offer the garden enthusiast the chance to purchase everything needed at one time and in one place.
  2. Before you a purchase a greenhouse give some thought to the size and type of greenhouse you need. Are you interested in a greenhouse that will allow you to grow flowers, plants and herbs all year or do you plan to concentrate on one season?
  3. Will you need a greenhouse that can be built to accommodate heating, cooling and ventilation systems? Many greenhouses are manufactured that can fill these needs,
  4. Set up your budget and find the best greenhouse and supplies for the money. This gardening endeavor can be expensive but you should be able to find a greenhouse and supplies that will allow you to have all the things you need while staying within a budget.
  5. Find out if you will need a permit for your greenhouse. Some cities tax anything these days! Also make sure that your greenhouse site is well-planned and properly prepared. 

Setting up a Greenhouse

1. Order a lightweight backyard greenhouse kit that fits the space dimensions you have available to devote to your new greenhouse garden. Today’s greenhouse gardening kits come in affordable packages that include everything you need to get your greenhouse up in a jiffy!

Be sure to read over the included parts and instructions before purchasing a kit if at all possible, or speak with a greenhouse gardening sales specialist or consultant to make sure you are getting the right greenhouse gardening kit to suit your individual needs.

2. Find North, then plan to situate your backyard greenhouse with the ridge of the roof facing east to west, with the door facing east or west. This will help you reduce your heating and cooling costs and get the most use out of the suns rays inside the greenhouse.

A greenhouse that gets only northern exposure may require artificial supplementation in the heating and cooling department year-round. A west-facing greenhouse will take advantage of the greater warmth and sunlight in the late of the day, where as a south-facing greenhouse takes optimal advantage of all that nature has to offer in the heating/cooling and lighting departments.

3. Set up your new backyard greenhouse kit with a little help from your friends. Especially if you don’t have a history of being Mr. or Ms. Handy Person, you might want to call in a few friends to help you assemble your greenhouse kit. Most kits are straightforward and easy to assemble, but having a few extra hands to hold ends aloft and fetch attaching pieces is always a plus.

Be sure to read through the instructions and gather any necessary supplies before starting the assembly process, and call your provided support number for any assistance you might need. Many greenhouse kits are lightweight and snap together making assembly quick and easy. Some even boast easy set up and tear down for the ultimate convenience and portability.

Tips for Beginners

1. You don’t need to purchase a ton of supplies to get started. A few pots, some soil, and some seeds or plants are enough to get you started. You can add more and better supplies later on, after you develop a deeper passion for greenhouse gardening and find your gardening groove. Buying everything at once can actually dampen your enthusiasm, whereas spreading out your purchases can give you something to look forward to and stoke your enthusiasm.

2. Your growing options are unlimited with greenhouse gardening. Want to try out those tropical orchids? Found some interesting genetically altered varieties of vegetables to grow? Go for it! The greenhouse environment makes growing any type of crop possible; that’s part of the excitement of greenhouse gardening!

3. Compost is a greenhouse gardener’s best friend. Compost is like liquid gold when it comes to growing healthy plants, and best of all, it’s free. You can create your own nutrient-rich compost in your backyard from table scraps, newspapers, lawn clippings and other biodegradable materials.

4. Too much water can be a bad thing. While it may seem essential to water your plants once or twice a day, too much water can actually be harmful to your plants. If you are new to container gardening or greenhouse gardening, be sure to use a well-draining soil, and make sure your pots allow excess water to drain away from the plant’s roots. Too much moisture can rot the roots and can actually kill your crops. Watering once a day, or twice a day in smaller amounts is best. Other than during days with the hottest weather, you can even water every-other day for many types of crops.

Back to our home page

Categories
Greenhouse Supplies

GREENHOUSE: Reasons to try Greenhouse Gardening

  1. Reduce our carbon fingerprint
    • Most of the food on our table has traveled hundreds (if not thousands of miles before it ever hits our dinner plates. The impact on the environment as our food rambles down the road emitting carbon emissions is significant. Creating a greenhouse or outdoor garden is a terrific way to reduce our own carbon footprint. There’s nothing quite like the taste of truly fresh, pesticide-free food for the palette.
  2. Provide fresh produce
    • Greenhouse gardening is a terrific way to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for your family at a fraction of the cost of purchasing those same items from a commercial retailer. Growing your own fruits and vegetables in the greenhouse also allows you to grow organically and to control what, if any, pesticides are used in growing your family’s fruits and vegetables. Greenhouse gardening produces fruits and vegetables all year-round, providing fresh, balanced nutrition for the whole family.
  3. Provide a relaxing space
    • Some of the larger greenhouses for your garden can provide a place to sit and relax, great for when you want to get out of the house but the weather’s not co-operating. Lounging in your greenhouse with a book, enjoying the scents of your various plants, can be a very pleasant experience.
  4. Family Involvement
    • It is also very relaxing and fun for many gardeners. The whole family can become involved in working in the greenhouse and reap the benefits of the satisfaction of producing fruits and vegetables with your own hands. Greenhouse gardening is also an educational experience for gardeners of all ages. Adept gardeners study soil types, bacteria, chemistry, pollination, water quality, and hundreds of other scientific factors affecting crops.
  5. Saving Money As far as investments go, greenhouse gardening is a fairly safe bet. You can choose any crop, in any quantity, and make a lucrative business (or simply enough to fund your hobby) with a little effort. Garden starts, Mother’s Day bouquets and planters, gifts, fresh veggies, or even exotic plants and genetic hybrids can all yield enough profit to make your greenhouse gardening investment profitable, which makes investing in a greenhouse a win/win deal.
  6. Various types to choose from
    • With many different greenhouse types to choose from, it’s easy to find one which suits the way your garden and home look, and you’ll find it a useful resource for all sorts of things, like having an extra room. With the option of keeping all sorts of plants which wouldn’t survive outdoor weather conditions, all the old limits on what you could grow will be gone.
  7. Protection for your plants
    • Greenhouses for your garden don’t just enable you to keep plants warmer, they also protect them from fierce wind and from bombardment with sand or snow. They allow you to control soil type and to deal with drainage issues which could be causing problems for your outdoor plants. They also let you keep plants in a controlled environment where you don’t heed to worry about them spreading their roots underground and taking over your garden.
  8. Provide a great culinary garden
    • You’ll also find that greenhouses for your garden can be helpful with your day to day chores. Some greenhouse types are designed to stand right up against your house, making them ideal for growing fresh herbs for your kitchen. Kitchen garden greenhouses are among the most appealing greenhouse types because they’re always filled with the delicious scents of culinary plants. As you get used to tending your plants you may find yourself wanting to spend more and more time there. Greenhouses for your garden extend the culinary experience beyond the kitchen itself and into the world from which all those rich flavors are drawn.
  9. Allow for business ideas
    • Start a greenhouse business plan by reading everything you can find on greenhouses. Greenhouse businesses require a large time commitment but if you have the time and money to invest, you can be very successful, in an area that you enjoy! Find out what things will grow the best in greenhouses where you live. Also, as part of your greenhouse business plan, you will need to determine your market. Make sure there is a demand for your product.
    • Herbs, organic fruits and vegetables are crops that are selling well.  People are becoming more health conscious and are looking for organically grown food.
    • There are a also couple ways you can supply a valuable service for people selling their homes. First, you could use flowers you have grown to landscape the homeowner’s yard for a one time service fee. Another great suggestion is to rent out your container plants and hanging baskets on a weekly or monthly basis while the home is for sale. Part of your service fee could be to maintain and water the plants. It will be easy to find your clients by just driving through nearby neighborhoods and leaving flyers on the doors of homes with for sale signs. Also, you can network with realtors and educate them about your service.
  10. Grow a variety of plants
    • Will you choose vegetables, fruit trees and bushes, flowering plants, decorative plants, or exotics? The choice is nearly limitless and is purely a matter of individual choice. Easy to grow crops like tomatoes, lettuce, and raspberries are a good choice for beginners. Flowers like begonias, petunias, bush roses, and day lilies are also a good choice for the beginning greenhouse gardener.

Back to our home page