If you’re planning on building a greenhouse in your garden, you have the opportunity of growing plants from all over the world. However, greenhouses are more than just structures with walls and roof.
Read on to learn about all the types of greenhouses to make your most informed choice.
Details to Consider
Before you even begin planning the design of your greenhouse, think about your needs. This will save you time and money down the road if you find out that the greenhouse you built isn’t optimal.
Before you begin building or purchasing a greenhouse, consider what plants you’ll be filling it with. Plants have different humidity and temperature requirements, and some greenhouses are able to provide more insulation than others.
For instance, if you want to grow primarily orchids, you’ll need a greenhouse that provides the optimal temperature and humidity year-round. This is something crop top-style greenhouses can’t provide, while post and rafter greenhouses will provide superior protection.
Overheating is a huge problem for plants in greenhouses. You need proper ventilation in order to avoid this. Make sure the design you choose provides vents near the top and bottom of the structure. Some will even come with exhaust fans for the spring and summer.
Good greenhouse ventilation will also allow bees to come in and out. Why are bees important? In order for your plants to be most fruitful, they need to be pollinated. Sometimes this can be accomplished manually, but it’s best for bees to do the work. Appropriate ventilation will mean you get a more fruitful harvest and will keep bees from becoming trapped inside.
Consider the weather where you live and whether more or less insulation will be required. The kind of material your greenhouse is covered with will determine how well it’s able to insulate your plants.
A single layer of polyethylene film provides the least amount of insulation, while 5mm twin-wall polyethylene provides the most.
Effective budget-friendly insulation material is UV-stabilized polyethylene bubble wrap!
Clear vs. opaque panels also have an effect on the growth of your plants. Clear panels will provide direct, uninhibited light while opaque panels will diffuse and soften the light. If you plan on growing seeds and starters, they thrive with direct sunlight.
On the other hand, growing plants thrive with diffused light. This is because diffused light is spread evenly throughout your greenhouse, reaching your plants at all angles.
Photosynthesis becomes more efficient with diffused light. Plants will grow with a more balanced structure because they aren’t dealing with hot sunlight on one side and shade on another.
Ensure that some of your greenhouse coverings are treated with a UV coat or your greenhouse is UV-certified. Plastic is prone to breaking down in sunlight, and this will greatly improve its life expectancy.
If the plan is to keep your greenhouse for the longterm, you need to be able to customize the inside to account for different plants and gardening plans. For instance, you’ll need taller shelves for large, mature plants and shallow shelves for seedlings. Some greenhouses can be designed for future extension.
Types of Greenhouses
With all of these factors in mind, choosing a greenhouse type depends on the size of your backyard, the amount of insulation you need, and the weather where you live.
1. Multi-Span Greenhouse
This is also called a multi-purpose greenhouse. If you live in an area with a lot of inclement weather, this could be the best choice for you because they’re known to be stronger.
These greenhouses feature high-roofed structures and are energy efficient with good heat retention.
2. Crop Top
A crop top greenhouse is one that has a roof but no walls. Although you won’t be able to control the weather, temperature, or humidity, these greenhouses are a budget-friendly investment.
They’ll also protect your plants from rain and too much sunlight. Of course, you’ll need to move your planets to another area if you have strong winds.
The tops of crop top greenhouses are usually made with glass, plastic, shade cloth, or insect screening.
3. Hoop House
This is a small, budget-friendly greenhouse. The name comes from its shape, which helps rolling snow and rainwater from collecting at the top. These greenhouses are made with aluminum or PVC pipes and a few layers of plastic sheeting.
Although it’s not going to hold up as well in the case of storms or high winds, it’s good for people with smaller backyards.
These are popular greenhouses because they’re simple to build and feature an attractive triangular design. Glass is the traditional material for these greenhouses, but they can also be made with cheaper polycarbonate glazing panels.
Their main downside is that the sloped sides of the triangle frame make the inside less space-efficient.
5. Post and Rafter
If you have a large backyard and want to build a greenhouse that lasts, this is the design for you. Post and rafter greenhouses are one of the oldest designs available. Made from wood, metal, and glass, these are solid structures that can withstand harsh weather.
Even better, their large size provides great air circulation and plenty of space for all your plants. These greenhouses don’t have to look bulky and awkward in your yard, either. The best Victorian greenhouse adds grace and romance to any outdoor space.
6. Cold Frame
These designs are made to protect your plants during the winter. They’re typically a box structure made of wood that’s placed over the plants. You can also add glass or plastic panels for better control over the humidity.
Let Your Plants Thrive with the Optimal Greenhouse
These different types of greenhouses all provide unique benefits. You’ve probably found that choosing a greenhouse is a lot less straightforward than you assumed, but taking some time to consider your plant’s needs and your environment will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Want to learn more about how to create the perfect greenhouse? Read our blog for more informative articles!