Sumo Gardener

Building a Greenhouse – List of Things to Consider

Is building a greenhouse in your to do list this year? Growing plants is an effective way to relieve stress and boredom. According to experts, plants help people calm and relax their bodies and minds, improving their quality of life. 

No wonder why most of them are so obsessed with establishing and beautifying their gardens and landscapes. But what if someone tells you that there’s more to gardening than you could ever imagine, like building your greenhouse? 

After all, there are great plants that you can cultivate due to specific growing conditions that you can’t control with a garden. This article will provide everything you need to know when building a greenhouse. But first, what is a greenhouse? 


What is a Greenhouse?

What is a Greenhouse

As the name suggests, a greenhouse is an enclosed garden that allows you to control and mimic specific conditions that will help you grow different kinds of plants.

For example, it enables you to grow tropical or warm-loving plants while living in cold regions with accessories that store heat underground and supply it to them. 

Also, it protects your plants from harmful weather conditions, pests, and other pollutants while continuously letting the sunlight and warmth in. However, is it easy to build a greenhouse? Find out what you need to consider 

Things to Consider When Building a Greenhouse

Things to Consider When Building a Greenhouse

Choosing the Frames for Your Greenhouse Construction 

When building a greenhouse, the first thing you need to think of is your indoor garden's structural or skeletal framework. You want to make sure that this is powerful enough to combat different weather conditions, such as storms, hurricanes, and heavy rains.  

Here are the factors you need to consider when choosing the perfect framing system:

  • Durability
  • Insulation
  • Appearance
  • Strength

And here are the materials you can choose from:

  • Wooden Frame: This is used for building low-cost and traditional greenhouses. However, it’s one of the weakest materials to pick. But it’s the easiest to construct and best in providing insulation for plants.
  • Metal Frame: This is the most durable and strongest among other types. Usually, they are made of stainless steel, preventing any issues like wood rotting, rusting, staining, and pest infestations. If you’re interested in metal framing, learn more here.
  • PVC Frame: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is the cheapest option among other framing materials used for greenhouse construction. Also, it doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing like other types, and it’s also the weakest material you can use. Nonetheless, it carries the same functionality, just like other types.

Also read: How to Choose the Best Siding for Your Greenhouse

Greenhouse Site Selection

Where you place your greenhouse might be more important than the materials you use to build it. This is because greenhouses work by capturing the natural light and heat while keeping out cold, wind, moisture, and pests.

Traditionally, the best place for a greenhouse was the most open, least shady area of your yard - but that isn’t necessary the case in all circumstances. For example, if you live in a climate that is especially hot and dry, too much light and heat could roast your garden.

Instead, a truly idea spot for a greenhouse is one with naturally level ground and at least six hours of direct sunlight in the winter. Typically, this means your site should be somewhat shaded from the north, so the hot summer sun doesn’t burn your plants alive. 

To help you understand what affects the warmth of your greenhouse and how to keep your greenhouse heated during winter, here is our guide on greenhouse during winter climate.

Additionally, you should try to orient your greenhouse east to west, so its largest windows capture sunlight all day long. Finally, the closer you place your greenhouse to your living space, the better; that makes it easier for you to visit your greenhouse, monitor its conditions, and enjoy its bounty.

Installing the Best Greenhouse Door for Security

Installing the Best Greenhouse Door

Choosing the perfect door is essential when making a greenhouse to keep your it secure and protected from outside forces that may harm your plants.

It also helps you keep your greenhouse energy-efficient by ensuring that your greenhouse is adequately insulated, especially during intense weather conditions. 

In addition, make sure your entry ports are aesthetically pleasing and functional and fit your specific needs. If you live in colder climates, it’s best to choose a well and adequately insulated door.

This will help trap the heat inside your greenhouse, saving you money and reducing your energy use.   

Decide Which Type of Greenhouse Cover to Use

Choosing the covering for your greenhouse is critical because it will influence the amount of sunlight that can pass through and will be absorbed by plants.

So, the suitable material should be based on the types of plants you plan to grow. If you wish to grow plants that don’t require much sunlight, go for a covering that permits less sunlight. 

Otherwise, look for materials that allow the flow of the sun while still protecting your plants from outside forces. When it comes to covering, one of the best materials to look for is plastic-based, according to experts.

Unlike traditional plastic, greenhouse plastic rolls and sheets are tough and can’t be easily torn and cut into pieces. It is also created to stand up against different weather conditions like torrential rains, hurricanes, and gusty winds. 

What’s more is that they are extremely cheaper than using a large frame of glass, which can be very delicate and high maintenance in long-term usage.

Greenhouse Glazing

For your greenhouse to function properly, you need to wrap your frame in transparent or translucent material called glazing. Throughout history, the largest and most ornate greenhouses have been glass, but few modern greenhouses are built with glass because the material is expensive and relatively delicate.

There are advantages to glass: Double-paned glass is indisputably the best insulation and both double- and single-paned glass are aesthetically stunning.

Yet, for most greenhouse growers, the costs of glass are prohibitive and require consideration of other glazing options.

Polycarbonate plastic is by far the most popular glazing material. Strong and durable, polycarbonate can last upwards of 10 years and transmits light as efficiently as other plastic films.

Plus, you can purchase multi-wall polycarbonate, which boasts an air buffer that enhances your greenhouse’s insulation and looks better than singe-wall polycarbonate.

No matter what glazing option you choose, you should keep these three important aspects of glazing in mind: light, insulation, and longevity.

Types of Greenhouse Cover

Does Your Greenhouse Need A Cooling And Ventilation System?

The process inside the greenhouse starts and ends with a proper, sufficient, and efficient cooling and ventilation system. But to do this, make sure your greenhouse has useful structural functions that support this.

Otherwise, you won’t provide your plants with the proper temperature and moisture conditions, leading to poor harvest. You may consider using mechanical fans and shutters to improve the airflow inside your greenhouse. 

These allow hot air to leave and fresh air to enter. Also, these will enhance the quality of your harvest and speed up the return on investment with quality plants.

Does Your Greenhouse Need A Heating System?

Reliable heating systems are essential in greenhouses, especially for those people living in colder climates. If they want to grow tropical and warm-loving plants, they can use it to their advantage and cultivate the plants they love.

Reliable heating systems are essential in greenhouses

Here are some heating options you want to consider:

  • Hotbeds: These provide gentle heat that prevents frost from damaging your plants. It is made using compost materials, such as decomposing straws and manure. They are usually placed below the soil into which the seeds can be placed and grown.
  • Hot Water Heating: This is a traditional way of heating your greenhouse. First, water pipes are coiled above the greenhouse exposing it to the sun, using coal boilers or solar panels to heat up.
  • Mechanical Heaters: This is the most effective way to provide heat to your greenhouse. However, it’s also the most expensive than the other options above. But with this, the temperature can be controlled and maintained, depending on your needs. 

Do You Need A Carbon Dioxide Generator?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the essential compounds plants need to grow. If humans inhale oxygen and exhale CO2, it’s the opposite cycle for plants. So, it’s necessary to use a device that will help regulate and control the movement of the gas inside your greenhouse. 

Remember, this is not required in most greenhouses. Plants may grow beautifully without it, but it can help you significantly in the process.

Wrapping Up Our Building a Greenhouse Guide

Greenhouses are among the best ways to help you grow different kinds of plants, even if they don’t usually grow in your region. With these, you’ll be able to control specific conditions necessary to grow the plants you like, such as temperature and irrigation supply.

If you want to start building your greenhouse, you may refer to this guide to check the things you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re building a greenhouse a hobby or not, it will surely improve your quality and way of life by boosting your moods and relieving your tensions.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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