Greenhouses are enclosed spaces with lighting and temperature that is regulated. These spaces can be typically built into backyards or available spaces around your home. Plants can be grown year around in these sheds and it is especially beneficial in places which see extreme temperature variations which do not allow certain kinds of plants to grow. These greenhouses can be built to suit the space you have and it can be small areas or big sheds depending on what your needs and specifications are.
How they work:
The concept is based on creating micro climates. The heat from outside permeates the greenhouse through the covering and heats up the soil, the air, and the plants. This heated air rises and meets the colder air. This air is warmed up as well and this process continues. Hence the temperature inside the greenhouse increases steadily compared to outside temperatures. This creates a micro-climate that is suitable for plants that need such conducive temperatures. This is suitable is moderate climates where there is some amount of Sun. However, where the temperatures hit freezing and below, additional heating techniques may be needed.
The heat emitted from the Sun permeates the outer surface of the greenhouse but the radiation emitted by the plants is unable to do the same and hence the warm air gets trapped inside the greenhouse. To maintain the temperature and prevent the greenhouse from getting too hot, these spaces are also equipped with vents which work to remove excess warm air. These vents not only maintain the temperature but they also work to circulate carbon dioxide that the plants need.
What can you grow in these greenhouses?
Greenhouses are suitable for plants that need moderate temperatures. These could be vegetables or fruits. The vegetable plants can be categorized as cold season and warm season varieties. The vegetables that will fall in the cold season crops are lettuce, peas, carrots and so on. These plants work very well in unheated backyard greenhouses (unless you live in areas which see drastic drops in temperatures which may not suit such plants).
Warm season plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squashes will do well in such greenhouses where the temperature is maintained at a certain level. You can get a good crop of vegetables year around despite wintery conditions outside. However, you should pay attention to extra lighting, and irrigation systems that will help it to thrive.
Apart from these, there are ornamentals and various other floral plants that can be easily raised in such sheltered plots. Not only do they provide the satisfaction of watching your garden thrive despite varying temperatures but they also will give you an organic yield of vegetables which can replace the store-bought vegetables.
How do you get started?
Now that you know you want to get involved and build a greenhouse in your backyard, what are the next steps?
The first most important things to understand is
- The area that has available for such a greenhouse and your commitment towards the greenhouse.
- Once you have identified the area, you must come up with a budget. You should at least have an idea of what you plan to spend and your goals from the greenhouse.
- Ensure you are already aware of the time and effort commitment before you begin the process. You may be surprised that a greenhouse needs as much care and efforts as real gardens do (in fact in some cases even more).
- Depending on the area you live in, you will need to equip your greenhouse accordingly. If you need additional heating, there are many options to choose from biogas to heaters which will keep your greenhouse at the ideal temperatures you need. Similarly, if you want to bring down the temperatures, you can opt for basic vents or choose temperature sensitive hydraulic vents as well.
All the above will completely be dependent on the space and budget you have. Greenhouses can be easily set up without the help of an expert. There are quite a few resources online that will give you the information you need to do it. However, if you are not much of do-it-yourself kind of a person, there are many professionals who can provide the same service to you.