Greenhouses essentially serve as protective shields between nature and the plants being cultivated inside of them. The microclimate inside greenhouses is controlled by regulating the flow and intake of thermal energy, as well as by managing direct exposure to sunlight. In some instances, greenhouses are equipped with cooling mechanisms to further modify the ambient environment to help improve the growth of the plants.The key to owning a well-managed greenhouse is getting the right one. We’re going to help you determine the perfect type of greenhouse for your needs.
Location and orientation
Greenhouses should be placed or built on a location where they can receive uninterrupted sunlight throughout the year. This means they cannot be situated under a tree or in a place where shadows might fall on them. A steady source of sunlight will allow easier management of the temperature and climate inside the greenhouse. Having the right orientation is also helpful. For instance, if you’re in Western Europe, a north to south orientation allows your plants to receive sunlight from two directions (east and west), which will ensure their growth will be uniform. When deciding on the orientation, please take into account the typical direction of the wind throughout the year. While screens can help protect your fragile plants from damaging cold air, they are merely a temporary measure, which requires constant oversight. Besides, with the right set up, you can literally put out a couple of lawn chairs inside your greenhouse so you can spend time comfortably there during chilly summer nights. It’s like having an oasis in your backyard!
Size, shape and material
The shape and size of a greenhouse depends on the area you have in the garden. Always try to get the biggest (and tallest) one that can fit into your garden. Thankfully, you can get them in practically any size. However, make sure that there is sufficient walking space between the sides of the greenhouse and your gate or fence. Otherwise, you might face future issues when mowing the lawn or cleaning. As far as shapes are concerned, it depends once again on the shape of your garden. If possible, however, you should get a square or rectangular-shaped one. Round and octagonal-shaped ones are nice to look at, but they have a higher percentage of negative space, which cannot be fully utilised. In addition, rectangular and square-shaped ones are easier to align to walls and walkways. When it comes to materials, always try to go with aluminium. Admittedly, they are not as attractive as the wooden varieties. However, in the long run, they will require less maintenance and will last longer.
Glazing and Ventilation
Horticultural glass may be cheaper compared to tempered or polycarbonate glasses, but it is actually the best choice for glazing since it lets through more light compared with the other two. Nonetheless, if you have children at home, or if you anticipate a lot of direct human contact with the greenhouse, you may have to reconsider your decision, for the sake of safety. Horticultural glass will break into a million little pieces with a single knock. Once you’ve settled on the glazing, you can now focus on vents. Ideally, the cumulative area of all vents should be at least 20 percent of the floor area. The vents usually come in the form of hinged roofs. Try to look for a greenhouse with an automatic vent opener. This can save you a lot of time during summer, since you have to expend a lot of effort to protect the plants inside the greenhouse from the harmful sunlight and high temperatures. A well-managed greenhouse can help its owner enjoy their favourite fruits, vegetables and herbs throughout the year. So, it is worth the effort to spend extra time and effort to find the perfect greenhouse for the garden.