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Easy Steps to Build a Perfect Greenhouse

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Are you ready to build a small slice of heaven in your backyard? Yes! You read that right. As David Hobson said, “You may grow plants for a lot of reasons… to please your eye or your soul, to challenge the elements or your patience, for novelty or for nostalgia… but it should always be for the love to see them grow”.

By building a greenhouse, you will have an opportunity to provide a controlled environment where your plants can thrive. Greenhouses range in sizes from a shed to an entire industrial building. They can be made with transparent materials like glass or plastic which keep the inner temperature warmer and allow the plants to grow better.

Once you are set you can choose to optimize the space in your greenhouse with multi-level planters. Whether you decide to grow your own food or create a marvelous herb garden with you greenhouse farming, here is how you can create your garden, rather a sanctuary.

Determine a budget

The cheapest greenhouses can be built under $25 (INR 1700). But before you jump the gun, do know that like all things in life, cheap may mean lesser durability and sometimes lower quality materials. There really isn’t an upper limit as the greenhouse cost depends on the sophistication of technology you add in and the size you choose to make.

On an average, if you want to build it sturdy consider the greenhouse cost to be around $25 per SQ. foot. You’ll need to figure in costs to prepare the site, materials for the walls and roofing, vents, exhaust fans and heating equipment.

You can find ways to make a DIY greenhouse from recycled materials to save costs.

Choose a desired location facing the south

 Garden  by Greenhouse Stores
Greenhouse Stores

Swallow Kingfisher 6x4 Wooden Greenhouse

Greenhouse Stores

When deciding the placement of your greenhouse, you will want to allow maximum morning and evening light. So let the greenhouse length run in the east-west direction. Keep the door away from facing a windy direction. A good factor to keep in mind is that you want your greenhouse to receive the winter sun.

A south facing greenhouse will trap more heat and a simple one side shade will do in the summer. If you have a lean-to side in your greenhouse, then have it on the south side as it will benefit from the head during the day and warmth during the night.

Well drained area with electricity access

 Garden by Greenhouse Stores
Greenhouse Stores

Swallow Eagle Greenhouse

Greenhouse Stores

Drainage becomes of paramount importance if you have to grow from the ground. If you soil doesn’t drain too well then prepare the ground with additional drainage. While you are at it, also level the ground so that there aren’t any slopes where the water can ‘sit’.

Planning your electrical system needs to be done in advance. What system you will use will depend primarily on the size. You need to estimate to meet current and future needs and prepare a backup too. Think through where the wires will enter the greenhouse and if you want them overhead or buried in the ground. Determine what will consume maximum electricity before your pick up your fixtures. If you have a large area, you will need more lamps. If you are growing bulbs, you will need more coolers. All your electrical fixtures also need to be weather resistant – they can’t sag in warm temperatures or break down in UV light. Don’t forget the circulating pumps and exhaust fans which may just need to run 24x7.

This is a product of the UK-based Garden and Landscape Suppliers Greenhouse Stores.

Choose building materials

 Garden  by Tabary Le Lay
Tabary Le Lay

L'invisible petite Serre de Nantes

Tabary Le Lay

Drainage becomes of paramount importance if you have to grow from the ground. If you soil doesn’t drain too well then prepare the ground with additional drainage. While you are at it, also level the ground so that there aren’t any slopes where the water can ‘sit’.

Planning your electrical system needs to be done in advance. What system you will use will depend primarily on the size. You need to estimate to meet current and future needs and prepare a backup too. Think through where the wires will enter the greenhouse and if you want them overhead or buried in the ground. Determine what will consume maximum electricity before your pick up your fixtures. If you have a large area, you will need more lamps. If you are growing bulbs, you will need more coolers. All your electrical fixtures also need to be weather resistant – they can’t sag in warm temperatures or break down in UV light. Don’t forget the circulating pumps and exhaust fans which may just need to run 24x7.

Greenhouse kits for beginners

 Garden  by Greenhouse Stores
Greenhouse Stores

Swallow Kingfisher 6x6 Wooden Greenhouse

Greenhouse Stores

What isn’t plug and play these days!. You can purchase greenhouse kits off the shelves and get everything from the aluminum frames to the roof vents packed and delivered without a hitch. A local store may offer installation help too. With a mix and match of accessories and features and with a little help from the store, you can get your kit up and run within no time!

Choose the frame

 Garden  by Greenhouse Stores
Greenhouse Stores

Swallow Kingfisher 6x10 Wooden Greenhouse

Greenhouse Stores

The type of frame your greenhouse needs depends on its size a purpose. Cold frames or mini greenhouses are directly set in the garden to help seedlings sprout and grow ready for transplant. Midsize starter greenhouses are ideal for hobby and first-time greenhouses. Grower greenhouses are large ones that need higher fabrication and support. Wood is great but susceptible to rot. Aluminum is light and strong and most commonly used. The steel framework is strong and generally used for commercial greenhouses.  Plastic frames are popular as they are cheap but can be less sturdy.

Covering options

 Conservatory by Hampton Windows
Hampton Windows

Hardwood Conservatory

Hampton Windows

There are a number of options available to cover your greenhouse. There are varieties of plastics or tempered glass that come as sheets or panels and range in clarity from transparent to diffused. Plastic is easy to use but may not stand the test of time. Glass, while more expensive to build, can last much longer. A polycarbonate cover is durable, lightweight and UV treated. If used as multi-walls it can have a lifespan of up to 15 years.

Ventilation

A greenhouse without proper ventilation may overheat in the summer causing the plants to wilt. Though most greenhouses have manual vents that can be opened on a hot summer day, it is good to invest in automatic vents that can do the job for you. Vents should also be present at the bottom for the intake of fresh air. You may also need to add exhaust fans to prevent overheating.

Heating system

Your greenhouse insulation should be strong enough to help your plants survive a cold winter without you having to put in additional money. An inexpensive way to do this is by using bubble wrap! A local expert can supply you with wraps that have bigger bubbles and is UV treated too.

From self-sustenance to creating a sustainable planet, greenhouse farming can be a great activity to take up. If you have space and the love, go for it!

For more knowledge you may read: Why a greenhouse always pays off.

Which idea from here inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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