Choosing the right Greenhouse
Gardening has become a popular pastime. It is good to see new technologies and attention to the design being applied to the garden as one would expect in one's home. There’s plenty of wonderful ideas for the gardener to enhance their garden and the time they spend on it. A plethora of structures, sheds, greenhouses is available in the market.
Intensive planting and the huge growth in the popularity of ‘grow your own’ produce have driven the need to extend the growing season from February through October and so the garden has placed more focus than ever before on the role of the greenhouse. A range of materials, shapes and sizes often complicate the process of choosing the right greenhouse.
Ventilation is a major tool in ensuring temperature control within a greenhouse and is also key against air born diseases. A series of roof vents should be found along the ridge of the glasshouse to achieve good air movement. As you might expect several vents are much better than few, the preference should be for structures with a combination of roof ventilation and side vents. This enables the chimney effect as illustrated. So if you can afford and accommodate a larger greenhouse then do so.
In addition to ventilation, shading will be needed in the spring and summer if growing is to be a year-round occupation. For the greatest effectiveness, this should be fitted externally. Internal shading reduces light but does little to reduce temperature build-up.
Setting up your Greenhouse
There are three main areas, other than paths, within a greenhouse. These include staging, open soil beds from which plants can be grown or gravel beds at ground level on which plants can be stood and watered. The practice of building the glasshouse on a concrete base should be discouraged. Water tends to stand on the concrete, which becomes slippery with algae. In addition, the evacuation of water is difficult and most importantly the flexibility of what can be grown is reduced. Build small walls or set supporting framework around the perimeter only.
Temperature is always an issue when deciding on how to use a glasshouse. While this is rarely a problem in the summer months, it is the temperature outside of the summer months which really dictates what can be grown. There are four main temperature regimes as follows:
0 degree C – Cold Glasshouse. An environment often provided by a cold frame.
6 degrees C – Frost free
15 degrees C – Warm – almost everything will grow in this temperature range.
22 Degrees C Hot
So one can choose according to the space available at his/her place.