Owning a greenhouse is no longer a luxury for gardeners. Greenhouse kits are available at affordable prices for any gardener. One only needs a few simple household tools to assemble the kit in a matter of hours.
Styles and Sizes
Greenhouse kits come in a variety of styles and sizes. Some are rounded, others are square with pitched roofs, some are shaped like a barn. Most come with coated aluminum frames that resist corrosion and have coverings that are made of twin-walled or triple-walled plastic that allows in filtered light. The coverings generally come in 3.5mm to 8mm. Greenhouse kits made with thicker 5mm to 8mm plastic coverings work particularly well in mountainous area and in areas with heavy snow, extreme cold and strong winds. Greenhouses kits can be as small as 4′ x 6′ or much larger at 8′ x 24′. Greenhouse kits come in two types, freestanding or lean-to’s.
Freestanding and Lean-To Greenhouses
A freestanding greenhouse can be placed wherever the yard has the best light. Its advantage is that it can easily be moved. It will provide a great deal of light when placed in the correct location. It generally will require heating at night because of the amount of exposed surface area.
An attached lean-to greenhouse may be placed against a home or other building. Generally, a lean-to is more limited in space, but some have expansion kits to allow you to add more space at a later time. Because a lean-to is often placed against a house,it is usually close to available electricity, water, and heat.
In addition to the freestanding and lean-to greenhouses, there are also cold frames which are like small, easily portable greenhouses. They are ideal for the gardener who has very little space, but who wants to start seedlings outside. They do not require any heating and the cooling is achieved by keeping the top of the cold frame open.
Where To Place A Greenhouse
A greenhouse may be placed on the lawn, over bare gravel, on a brick patio, or on a concrete slab. Greenhouse kits generally do not require a fixed concrete slab as a base. It is important to place the greenhouse on a surface with good drainage. A lawn or gravel will provide good drainage. greenhouse air conditioner
The best location for a greenhouse is on the south or southeast side of the house in a sunny location. The next best location is on the east side, since it will continue to get sunshine in November and December. After these locations, the next best locations are southwest and west. It is not a good idea to place a greenhouse on the north side.
Greenhouses need at least five or six hours of unobstructed light during the winter, so placement under trees is not recommended. Putting a greenhouse under a tree can also create the risk of falling branches or tree limbs that can damage the greenhouse.
One should try to avoid placing the greenhouse where it may be exposed to heavy winds. If a location is generally windy, the greenhouse should be anchored using long stakes in addition to any anchors that may come with the greenhouse kit.
Heating and Cooling The Greenhouse
Unless the greenhouse is not used in the winter, some kind of heating will be required during colder months. Greenhouses may be heated efficiently by gas, oil, or electricity with a space heater, forced air heater, or electric radiant air heater. A heater should be placed toward the back of the greenhouse and under plant shelving or benches. Adding a small circulation fan to the greenhouse will provide a more even heat.
On bright, sunny days, even during winter months, a greenhouse can get too warm. There needs to be some ventilation equipment to control humidity and temperature. This should include vents and vent openers. Fans may also be used to help maintain uniform temperatures and prevent mildew and plant diseases. In addition, the use of fans can help to reduce the cost of heating.