TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ………………………………………………………………. 3
Chapter 1: a Peek into a Greenhouse: a Primer …………………………. 6
What is a greenhouse? …………………………………………………. 6
How does a greenhouse capture heat? ………………………………… 6
Chapter 2: Types of Greenhouses ………………………………………. 10
Hot Greenhouse ……………………………………………………….. 11
Warm Greenhouse …………………………………………………….. 11
Cool Greenhouse ………………………………………………………. 12
Lean-To ……………………………………………………………….. 12
Detached ………………………………………………………………. 12
Ridge/Furrow …………………………………………………………. 13
Glass …………………………………………………………………… 14
Fiberglass ……………………………………………………………… 15
Plastic ………………………………………………………………….. 15
Polyethylene ……………………………………………………………. 16
PVC ……………………………………………………………………. 16
Chapter 3: Tools and Materials for Your Greenhouse ………………….. 17
Greenhouse tables, shelving and plant holders ………………………. 19
Greenhouse garden coil indoor/outdoor watering wand …………….. 20
Chapter 4: Tips for Your Greenhouse …………………………………… 21
Chapter 5: Greenhouse Resources / References for Hobbyists ……… 23
Your Wonderland ………………………………………………………… 26
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………….. 32

Growing Greenhouse Header

Introduction

A growing number of people at least have one greenhouse story to share.

The idea of growing food at controlled temperatures all year round and extending the growing season have set fire to people’s imaginations. No wonder the green house building industry has recorded phenomenal growth.

From construction plans to tools and accessories for greenhouses, individuals are working on all fours to satisfy the increasing demands of consumers who have made building their own greenhouses top priority. This trend, which started humbly in the 70’s, is now a full-fledged endeavor on the part of greenhouse entrepreneurs and “homesteaders.”

One greenhouse story told by a woman was particularly moving. Months before the spring, her husband bought the materials required for building a greenhouse. His plan was to attach it to the house.

The woman had protested because he was at the same time going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments for his cancer. His wife said he should be resting instead of puttering about with shelves and glass and plastic.

What he said broke her heart. He wanted to build and finish the greenhouse while he still had some strength left because he knew for a long time that she had always wanted one in their backyard. He said he wanted to see the joy in her face when she started planting her tomatoes or gardenias or whatever else she wanted to put there.

Greenhouses are an extension of our personalities. Most especially, it mirrors our soul and what we want from life.

And what we want is a steady supply of home-grown healthy food. During these precarious times when terrorist attacks and life-threatening calamities can cast us in the dark indefinitely, we have one thing we can be sure of – the tomatoes and cucumbers that are in the food basket in the kitchen will tide us over should the country go on emergency mode.

The sweet potatoes and carrots will be around, and there will be more from the greenhouse to feed our families for a few weeks before things return to normal.

Not that we believe that a shortage will ever happen, the country has become much more prepared for any kind of emergency, but just on the off chance…

If greenhouses can save our lives, we may, at some point in time, consider the idea of building one soon, the first step towards self-sufficiency.

It’s not just a constant supply of healthy food that concerns individuals, but a greenhouse – and building it – can be sources of pure enjoyment and clean fun for everyone in the family. Most greenhouse owners are familiar with the advantages of growing their own plants and flowers, prolonging the growing season and the possibility of heating their home. And who knows? They could be selling fresh produce in the communities they live in.

There are many greenhouse models to choose from. You can go from affordable to very expensive. You can build a greenhouse by using junk or a plastic film stretched over a rudimentary structure or purchase elaborate metal and glass pre-manufactured sun-rooms.
Each of them serves the fundamental function of extending the growing season. Even the question of irrigation can be simple or complex, depending on your preferences.

Just want to make it a hobby? Why not? Homeowners attach theirs to their homes. Even schools have greenhouses built by elementary and high school students.

Finally, the wholesome taste of a home-grown tomato! Everyone knows there is a difference. But really, between you and I, it goes beyond just tomatoes.

Perseverance, labor of love and the sweet anticipation of “harvest time” are what truly matter.

Chapter 1: a Peek into a Greenhouse: a Primer

What is a greenhouse?

A greenhouse is also called a glasshouse or a hothouse. It is a structure where plants – fruits, vegetables, flowers – are grown. It attracts heat because the sun’s electromagnetic radiation warms the plants, soil, and other components within the greenhouse. Air is warmed from the hot interior area inside the structure through the roof and wall.

How does a greenhouse capture heat?

A greenhouse uses a special kind of glass that acts as a medium which selectively transmits spectral frequencies. Spectral comes from the word “spectrum”.

In layman’s terms, a spectral frequency can be defined in terms of the following principle: any object in the universe emits, radiates or transmits light. The distribution of this light along an electromagnetic spectrum is determined by the object’s composition.

Therefore, the glass of a greenhouse traps energy within the greenhouse and the heat, in turn, provides heat for the plants and the ground inside the greenhouse. It warms the air near the ground, preventing it from rising and leaving the confines of the structure.

For example, if you open a small window near the roof of a greenhouse, the temperature drops significantly. This is because of the auto vent automatic cooling system. An auto vent is simply a device used by greenhouses that maintain a range of temperatures inside. This is how greenhouses trap electromagnetic radiation and prevent convection (transference of heat by currents within a fluid).

Curious about how the idea of a greenhouse came about? It goes back to the days of the Romans, who – as history annals show – were the first people to create a structure to protect plants. Using heated pits, they put up slabs of rock to form primitive greenhouses. The term “glasshouse” which is the correct name of this structure, was adopted sometime in the 17th and 18th centuries.

At that time, however, the error was in believing that heat was more important than light for plants to thrive. Structures were being built to exclude the entry of light, but by the time the glass tax of 1845 was abolished, the design of greenhouses started to change.

Builders realized then that a curved roof instead of a flat one allowed higher concentrations of the sun’s rays, and that by using iron instead of wood, the greenhouse could be structurally reinforced and made capable of absorbing more light.

A man named Joseph Paxton, a horticulturist, appeared on the scene and introduced changes to the greenhouse design concept. He was famous for the Palmhouse at Kew Gardens which he built in 1842. It measured 110 meters long, 30 meters wide and over 20 meters high. Nine years later, he built the Crystal Palace.

It has been forty years now since major improvements in materials and design have been integrated into the greenhouse, and it is now very much a feature of any home garden.

One greenhouse principle is the ability to extend the growing season. Early vegetables can be planted indoors and then transplanted when they mature. A greenhouse owner also gains several weeks to the growing and sowing period especially if there is a form of heating installed.

Controlling temperature, light and moisture is one of the things that greenhouse owners can do; this way they obtain the guaranteed results they want. Our science classes taught us that many plant varieties enjoy a warm, moist temperature.

In addition to extending the growing season and being able to control temperature and moisture inside a greenhouse, a gardener learns to hone his gardening skills by getting acquainted with as many varieties as he can in the greenhouse.

He may choose to specialize in one species of fruit or vegetable or flowering plant. Many have built greenhouses for the purpose of growing and preserving their orchids.

Whatever the intent is, a greenhouse will deliver hours of emotional satisfaction to owners. Imagine being able to grow juicy tomatoes or producing new kinds of plants by the simple act of propagation.

Don’t be discouraged by the fact that you have limited space in your garden or that is completely paved or concrete. You can still make use of limited space.

If space is a problem, there are what people call “free-standing” greenhouses that take just a few square feet of space, and some can be installed on balconies or rooftops.

Today, you can choose any greenhouse frame you want, including color. If you’re not into aluminum, you can build one with a dark frame color or go for earth colors instead.

Let’s mention a few of the numerous benefits of greenhouses:

  • Control of growing conditions for plants to obtain desired results,
  • Protection from the elements and from birds and animals,
  • Facility in controlling pests and diseases,
  • Easy access by the elderly and disabled, given that greenhouses are less physically demanding than wide open crop spaces and fields,
  • Possibility of reducing gardening costs because the owner or gardener grows his own plants,
  • Possibility of widening the variety of plants for general gardening purposes.
  • A greenhouse serves as an escape or refuge after a trying day.

Click to Read Full eBook

Comments

FREE ONLINE READING

Login! You can free to read most online eBooks instantly!

FREE DOWNLOAD

Login! You can free to download many eBooks quickly!

FREE DELIVERY & RETURN

Free deliver eBook and return your order anywhere in the world!