What is a greenhouse?
A building that is specially constructed for the purpose of growing plants in a controlled environment is called as a greenhouse. These greenhouses can be built in any sizes. Most of them range from small sheds to bigger houses, all to grow plants. Also, there might be high-tech facilities to support these greenhouses. Furthermore, there are also certain computers installed just for this. In these greenhouses, there are different kinds of covering material used. For instance, there is glass, plastic or other such materials that suit the kind of plants that one is dealing with.
How exactly does the greenhouse work?
The saplings are initially grown in a controlled environment. The heat from the sun is absorbed by the structure of the greenhouse. This heat is further retained inside the building. Thus, the warm air that is developed inside is restricted from flowing away from the bottom surface. This heating up of the inner surface helps in the proper growth of the plants by providing the required heat.
Greenhouses can be divided into several classes. There are different greenhouses constructed to suit the requirements of climate, species of plants and the size of the greenhouses. Some of them are plastic greenhouses and glass greenhouses. The plastics that are used for the construction are polycarbonate and polyethylene films. Even acrylic glasses can be used. Most of the commercial greenhouses use glass for the construction. These glass greenhouses are well equipped with heating, cooling and other screening installations. This makes the greenhouse more efficient and capable of housing more varieties of plants.
Greenhouses have certain special uses. Here are some of them:
1) You can easily control the temperature, humidity and other such environmental factors inside the greenhouse. This helps in the healthy growth of plants as you can manipulate their growing conditions.
2) You don’t have to worry about seasonal changes in the atmosphere because this would not affect much what happening inside the greenhouse.
3) Greenhouses are used to grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers too. For pollination to occur bumble bees are used and in some other cases, even artificial pollination is conducted on these plants.
4) The best part about maintaining a greenhouse is that there would be less number of posts and other such plant diseases affecting their growth. This would hike up the efficiency of the greenhouses.
Ventilation required inside a greenhouse:
Proper ventilation is a must especially when you grow plants in a controlled and closed environment that is not much affected by the outside world. If proper ventilation is NOT provided, then there is a risk of plant diseases creeping side and affecting the growth. The temperature and the humidity level must be brought to a certain permissible level so that the plants can transpire and also have the photosynthesis process running properly. If the atmosphere inside is stale and devoid of proper ventilation, there could be plant pathogens affecting the plants. Proper ventilation is a must inside the greenhouse and hence, there should be proper measures taken into account in this direction.
Heating inside the greenhouse:
Another most important factor that could impact on the growth of plants is the heating and cooling arrangements. If you are dealing with a region that has a colder climate, then there should be proper heating facilities to enhance the growth of plants. Some electronic controllers are placed inside the greenhouse to facilitate the uniformity in heat throughout the greenhouse .if it is a simple greenhouse that we are talking about, and then a basic thermostat would do the job. But, if it is a bigger greenhouse, then it would require many expensive electronic devices.
Styles of greenhouses:
1) Hoop houses:
These are the traditional hoop-shaped greenhouses. They have an arched frame that is apparently the basic structure of the greenhouse. These mainly use polyethylene films as coverings and don’t have any heating or cooling system installed insides. They are one of the simplest forms of the greenhouse that you could have in your backyard.
2) Shade houses:
These are also called as saran houses. The cover used in these greenhouses could be anything depending on the requirements. Sometimes the covers are such chosen so that the heat or light falling on it is entirely reflected back. They’re used in subtropical regions and do not have any heating or cooling systems too. They can be mostly used to maintain a nursery.
3) Cold frames:
As the name suggests, they are used to a maintain a cooler temperature inside the greenhouse. They do not have heating or cooling systems in them.
As the name suggests, they are used to maintain a constant hot temperature inside the greenhouse. They can have control over the temperature because of a heating device that is used to it. These hotbeds mostly have composting manures inside them.
The glass material is a commonly used greenhouse covering material. It can be said to weather tight structure that support the growth of almost all varieties of plants .they can even be fabricated in different forms and sizes. The major drawback of having glasses in a greenhouse construction is that they are fragile and may be easily broken too. Furthermore, they are comparatively expensive.
6) Plastic type:
Apart from glass, plastic is also used in many of the greenhouse constructions as it is cheaper than glass. But, these plastic covers mostly have a lower life span when compared to glass and are only temporary structures.These plastic structures can be made up of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and also copolymers.
7) Fiberglass type:
This again is lightweight and also an adamant material. It is advisable to use better grades of fiberglass for the constructions purposes. This is because the lower grades of fiberglass may eventually be discolored and the penetration of sunlight is prevented. Do not use colored fiberglass at any cost.
No matter what kind of structure you plan on having, it should come with a decent amount of heating and cooling facilities. If there is no proper heating source nearby, then there should be a thermostat or other such heating devices equipped inside the greenhouse.
Greenhouses are very essential to grow the kinds of plants that we wish to have. The vegetables and other crops that we require in the kitchen would be easily accessible by just building a little greenhouse in our backyard!