Ever since the pandemic started, more people have dipped their toes into planting. Now that more than a year has passed, it’s safe to say that there are more green thumbs in the club. Who could deny the benefits of planting your garden? It isn’t just a soothing break from Zoom call meetings. It’s great to have some ingredients accessible to you too (not to mention, for free).
What started as a hobby has now become something worth investing in. You’ve probably realized that it’s time for the next step: building a greenhouse.
Should I Get a Greenhouse?
Is building one necessary? Is a greenhouse something worth building for your plants? The simple answer is yes.
Having a greenhouse for your plants poses many benefits for them. They can grow in a relatively controlled environment yet still get what they need to grow. Your plants will still be receiving the same amount of sunshine they need but without the risk of being harmed by harsh winds, rain, and even extreme temperatures. To add, it minimizes the infestation of pests. With a greenhouse, you can grow more crops for a longer time frame. Plus, they add charm to your backyard.
To pursue this project, here are some tips to keep in mind during the process.
Draw Up a Plan
The first step is to figure out what kind of greenhouse you want. There are many online for reference, like an arched greenhouse or one made by recycled windows. This is the part where you figure out how big it should be, what features to install, what materials to use, and come up with a budget for this project.
One good roofing material to use is corrugated polycarbonate sheets. They are resistant to weather conditions and provide UV protection to your crops. It’s also lightweight, so installation is not that difficult. As for the greenhouse’s frame, the best material to use is something resistant to rot and moisture, such as galvanized steel or PVC plastic pipes, to name a couple. If you want to use wood, use species like cedar or redwood. You can go for any kind, really, as long as it’s chemically treated.
Choose a Location
Choosing a location can make or break this project. Where you decide to put the greenhouse is crucial to the growth of your crops. Take note of any trees and infrastructure that might block its exposure to sunlight. Prioritize morning sun then afternoon sun since the latter may cause excessive transpiration wherein your plants begin to lose too much water. However, this can still be mitigated by systems installed in your greenhouse.
Figure Out the Systems You Want to Use
In deciding what heating system you want, you have to consider the structure of your greenhouse, specifically the amount of heat loss it will have. Depending on the condition and the materials used for your greenhouse, it may have cracks and gaps wherein cold air could enter.
Some forms of heat transfer you can apply are conduction, convection, and radiation.
On the other hand, for water systems, you can install overhead sprinklers, drip irrigation, sub-irrigation, water trays and saucers, and more. If you want to save on water and fertilizers, you can opt for a sub-irrigation system. If you want a more convenient technique, you can have sprinklers installed. You can implement more than one system, depending on the needs of your crops, your watering schedule, and your preference.
Don’t Forget to Install Vents
You might not place great significance on vents, but they are important. Once you decide which heating system best suits your greenhouse needs, you’re going to need a vent or two with that. The primary purpose of vents and fans is to allow some to escape, which helps regulate the temperature inside the structure.
Going for fans is a good option for all weather conditions since it provides healthy air movement. It takes out the hot air from the inside as cool air enters through the greenhouse’s door, cracks, and holes. If you want to opt for something a little more simple, you can always go for natural ventilation through roof and side vents.
Keep an Eye on the Temperature
Keeping tabs on the temperature is more essential than you think. The point in having a greenhouse is to control the environment of your crops, after all. To regulate the heat and the cold, have a thermometer installed inside your greenhouse. Having one will make it more convenient for you to know what adjustments must be made for the health of your crops.
The Bottom Line
Planting your fruits and vegetables is beneficial to your mental and physical health, so building a greenhouse is not just supplemental to your new hobby. It’s an investment worth having too. Now you can have start planting seasons ahead and reap the fruits of your hard work, car, and patience.