The Beginner’s Guide to Greenhouses

Hi I'm Tricia, an organic gardener I grow
organically for a healthy and safe food supply for
a clean and sustainable environment for an enjoyable and rewarding
experience Greenhouses are a great asset they're
great for growing all year round for propagating and for
tender plants Today we're going to talk about
greenhouse types so that you can make the best decision First step is to pick your location The best location for a greenhouse is a
southern exposure the next best location is the southeast or east exposure followed by a southwest and west exposure a northern exposure is
the least desirable exposure Greenhouses that are oriented east-west
get less light than those oriented north-south Afternoon shade from deciduous trees can
be really desirable in the summer they can shade the
greenhouse over the hottest part of the day and during the winter the leaves will fall
and the greenhouse will get extra light it needs during the winter
Other considerations include providing some afternoon shade the possibility of storm damage good
drainage accessibility and access to water You
also need to decide whether you're building a free-standing or a lean-to greenhouse A free-standing
greenhouse gives you more options on placement an attached greenhouse however can be
easier to build it'll require fewer materials and can be
heated by radiant heat from your house especially when built on a southern
exposure Now that you've picked your location how big do you want to build a
greenhouse? First decide how wide of a greenhouse to
build you wanna allow nineteen inches for pads if
it's just you walk in the greenhouse and more like twenty four inches if you'll be
bringing in equipment & visitors Benches should be as wide as you can
reach across comfortably if you can access them from one side and they should be twice that width if
the benches in the center of the greenhouse The length of your greenhouse should be
based on how many plants you want You'll want one square foot of space for every six inch pot a word of advice
make sure that your greenhouse is twenty five to fifty percent
bigger than you think you'll need because if you're anything like me your
plant collection gets bigger not smaller Glass is the classic option
it's the longest lived and it can be a very sustainable option This greenhouses is built out of upcycled
single pane windows The downside to glass is that it's heavy it can be expensive if purchased new and
it requires the most sturdy framework also can be damaged by storms
Polycarbonate panelling or fiberglass is the next option It's lighter cheaper
easier to fabricate and with higher impact resistance then glass The downside is that has a shorter life span at about
seven to twelve years instead of about twenty-five years
life expectancy for glass They'll also eventually yellow and have a
high expansion contraction rate Polyethylene film is the cheapest option easiest to install and is readily
available the downside is that it only has a four-year service life The next concern is heating and
ventilation and a lot of that will have to do with what kind of plants your
growing inside check out our blog for a calculator that
can help you determine your heating needs About twenty-five percent of the heat is gonna come from the sun You'll need about sixty degrees for active
growing and about forty degrees for season
extension Typically greenhouses are heated by oil gas or
electricity this can be forced air steam are even radiant heat from water
Some alternative heat sources are heat by compost and passive solar
greenhouses Manual temperature control is really
tricky automatic vent openers like these that work with a wax cylinder can mean the
difference between happy plants and dead ones If you want to use your greenhouse in
the summer a fan will be necessary in the peak heat of the summer your going to
need to cycle the air about once per minute You can either do-it-yourself or you can buy
a greenhouse kit like this redwood greenhouse kit with polycarbonate sides So get started with the greenhouse and
grow organic for life

pexels photo 6850731

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