Greenhouses are a huge boon to the serious gardener. They can extend the growing season of your favorite vegetables and flowers while giving you a jump on next season’s starts.
What are the benefits of owning a greenhouse?
A greenhouse attached to your home can help warm it in the cooler months by providing a buffer from the elements. And if you need to fight the wintertime blues, greenhouses offer a place to enjoy the sight and smell of lush green plants.
Some greenhouse owners use it as a fun teaching tool for kids and grandkids. Kids can learn about different types of plants and how they are propagated and pollinated. They can even grow plants of their own, learning how to tend them and harvest edibles.
Greenhouses are a favorite of rare plant hobbyists too. They can be adapted to meet the environmental needs of the type of plant you specialize in, from cacti to orchids.
What type of greenhouse should I choose?
The type of greenhouse you choose depends on the climate you live in.
In cold winter climates, look for double or triple polycarbonate glazing which will increase the energy efficiency of your greenhouse by 50 to 240 over single sheet glazing. Save even more money on energy when you shop for the best rates at http://www.compareelectricityratesinhouston.com. Steer clear of metal frames. Metal is a good conductor of cold and can actually cause icicles to form inside the greenhouse. Look for wood frames instead as wood is 1400 times more efficient than aluminum and won’t shed energy through heat transfer. You can also harness the effect of thermal mass by building a base wall for your greenhouse from brick or concrete. These materials will retain heat longer, saving you money on heating.
In hot climates, preventing overheating, especially in summer, is your main concern. Look for greenhouses that provide multiple options for fans and venting panels. Painting your glazing material white during the summer helps reflect heat. There are also greenhouses made from white corrugated polycarbonate material that are designed to stay cooler in hot climates.
What else should I know?
Be sure to confirm which accessories come with your greenhouse if you’re buying a kit. Often watering systems, shelving, heaters and fans are sold separately. If you are having a greenhouse built, you may need to get a building permit.