Whether a hobby or done for commercial purposes, many nowadays consider building greenhouses in their backyard or in their farms to improve the quality of whatever they are trying to cultivate. As easy as it may seem though, just like house construction, building a greenhouse take much thought and planning.
Many factors affect plant growth. Since a greenhouse is place meant to cultivate plants, expect to consider the same factors when building your greenhouse. What may seem to be a basic and simple matter such sunlight and soil must be considered when planning your greenhouse. These, amongst other things, will be discussed further in the following paragraphs.
There are those who take gardening as a simple, yet useful, hobby. Others will undergo gardening for commercial purposes. It is important, therefore, to consider what your ultimate objective is when planning your greenhouse.
If you have no intentions of cultivating a large number of plants, then consider building just a salt greenhouse that is just enough to cultivate a mini garden. If you see yourself in the future creating a garden for commercial purposes, then it would be best to build greenhouse that is bigger in size in order for you to plant as much as possible.
TYPE OF PLANTS
Different kinds of plants have different requirements in terms of sunlight requirement, soil requirement, temperature requirement and many more. Before building your greenhouse, know what kind of plants you intend to place inside the greenhouse.
Most herbs will require partial shade to full sunlight. Some fruit trees will require full shade. Some flowering plants will require little to no sunlight.
How big do you expect the plants to grow? Knowing the expected growth of these plants will help in determining the size of your greenhouse as well.
Knowing the type of plants you plant to cultivate will help you in determining the size and location of your greenhouse which, in turn, will help you avoid future inconveniences.
The location of your greenhouse will depend on several factors. Sunlight would probably be the most important factor to consider amongst all the rest.
As previously mentioned, you would have to determine how much sunlight you would want to have in your greenhouse. This will be dictated by the plants you plan to place inside the greenhouse. You might also want to consider the direction in which sunlight enters the greenhouse.
Generally, you would want to orient your greenhouse in a direction where sunlight enters from the east going towards the west. Doing this will maximize the amount of sunlight entering the greenhouse in cases where full sunlight is needed. This is most useful during winter when sunlight is scarce.
If temperatures in the greenhouse need to be controlled, it would help to orient the greenhouse going from north to south. This is done in order to provide equal sunlight distribution. This will also prevent the accumulation of too much heat inside the greenhouse.
In line with this reason, it would not be a bad idea to add proper ventilation to your greenhouse. You would want to enjoy your tie in your greenhouse. Excessive heat, especially during the summer months, will only make you want to avoid the greenhouse if heat accumulates inside it.
A greenhouse is a place which is frequented on a daily basis. Because of this, you would want to keep your greenhouse near your house for convenience’s sake.
Another thing to consider when planning the location of your greenhouse is the presence of children in your household. If there are young children in your household or if young children frequent your home, it would be best to place your greenhouse in an area not easily reached by children.
You would want to avoid accidents which may cause damage to your greenhouse. An example would be baseballs hitting glass! With children present, it is advisable to build your greenhouse using wood and shatterproof material such as styrene that has been UV treated.
Avoid placing your greenhouse under large trees. Large trees will prevent sunlight from entering parts of your greenhouse resulting in a waste of space. They may also become a source of falling branches which may cause damage to your greenhouse.
Make sure that the location that you are considering is of level ground. Building your greenhouse on ground that is not levelled can pose construction difficulties. Slopes should be avoided when considering the location of your greenhouse.
Slopes or inclines serve as frost pockets. During winter time, frost should be the least of your problems. In fact, one of the reasons why you must have decided to build a greenhouse is to protect your plants from frost. Frost pockets would definitely defeat this purpose.
Make sure that you leave a space of at least one meter around the outside of your greenhouse. This will make it more convenient for you to do your repairs when necessary. If there are any tall structures near your proposed greenhouse, the one meter space will ensure that these structures won’t hinder sunlight from entering portions of the greenhouse.
This is especially important if you plan to plant directly on the ground instead of using plant boxes and pots. In this case, you would want to make sure that you are placing your greenhouse on an area where soil quality is good.
Otherwise, you will have to improve soil quality by adding organic matter to your soil. You might also have to consider making raised beds if you have doubts about soil quality.
Another reason why you should consider soil quality is because rocky soil is not only bad for plants, but this type of soil will cause problems during construction. It will be best to avoid locations like these.
Meticulous planning is needed in order to build greenhouse that will not pose problems for you in the future. In commercial planting, problems lead to losses. For hobbyists, gardening is meant for enjoyment and relaxation.
If problems keep on arising because of poor decision making and planning, financial losses and headaches will definitely be a source of burden for you. In gardening, remember that everything starts with the very basics. A greenhouse is one of them.