The garden everyone loves…
Speaking on the garden everyone loves, ordinarily your mind would go to romance; a place where lovers meet, like the garden of Eden. Lol
Amazingly, the garden that we are talking about here is a greenhouse. A garden specifically designed to optimize the growth of crops like fruits, veggies, and lots more. To eat healthily is to love yourself, this makes it the garden everyone loves.
Before a Greenhouse can be constructed, it is important to have a vast knowledge and understand the history of the plants you intend to grow, know if they can withstand adverse weather conditions, and have a full shelf-life. You must be able to evaluate the kind of result you want from your greenhouse.
What is a Greenhouse?
A greenhouse also called a glasshouse is a structure with a roof and walls mainly made from a transparent material known as “glass”, it is a building designed for the protection of tender or out-of-season plants against excessive cold or heat.
Large greenhouses are important in agriculture and horticulture and for botanical science, while smaller structures are commonly used by hobbyists, collectors, and home gardeners.
A greenhouse or a glasshouse is used for the production of vegetables, flowers, fruits, and any other plant that requires special temperature or conditions for successful growth, it is a glass framed structure. A greenhouse usually has glazing on its sides and roof; examples of glazing materials are glass which has always been used but plastic films such as polyethylene or polyvinyl, and fiberglass are also common. The framed structure galvanized steel, aluminum, woods such as cedar, cypress, etc.
Greenhouses built of wood are generally not a good idea especially if you live in a humid area. Wood tends to warp, and it will eventually degrade. Avoid using wood if you can. A greenhouse is heated partly by artificial means and also by rays of the sun. Example of the artificial means used is hot water, hot air, circulating steam.
The greenhouse could become too hot or cold so therefore a ventilating material or system is needed. This ventilating material comprises roof openings, which can be operated automatically or mechanically, and openings at the wall through which an electric fan draws hair and circulate it throughout the interior. This ventilating system is needed because without it the greenhouse is prone to problems. The main purposes are to regulate the humidity to the optimal level and ensure air movement.
During the nighttime, the air temperature inside the greenhouse decreases. To avoid the cold bite to plants due to freezing, some heat must be supplied. The requirements for heating a greenhouse depend on the rate at which the heat is lost to the outside environment. Various methods are adopted to reduce the heat losses, viz., using double-layer polyethylene, thermos pane glasses (Two layers of factory sealed glass with dead air space), or heating systems, such as unit heaters, central heat, radiant heat, and solar heating system.
Types of greenhouse
- Even span type greenhouse
- Uneven span type greenhouse
- Sawtooth type
- Ridge and furrow type
- Lean-to type greenhouse
- Quonset greenhouse
- Crop top
Even span type greenhouse:
The even-span is the standard type and full-size structure, the two roof slopes are of equal pitch and width. This design is used for the greenhouse of small size, and it is constructed on level ground. It is attached to a house at one gable end. It can accommodate 2 or 3 rows of plant benches. The cost of an even-span greenhouse is more than the cost of a lean-to type, but it has greater flexibility in design and provides for more plants. Because of its size and greater amount of exposed glass area, the even-span will cost more to heat.
The design has a better shape than a lean-to type for air circulation to maintain uniform temperatures during the winter heating season. A separate heating system is necessary unless the structure is very close to a heated building. It will house 2 side benches, 2 walks, and a wide center bench. Several single and multiple span types are available for use in various regions of India. For single-span type, the span in general, varies from 5 to 9 m, whereas the length is around 24 m. The height varies from 2.5 to 4.3 m.
Uneven span type greenhouse:
This type of greenhouse is constructed on hilly terrain. The roofs are of unequal width; make the structure adaptable to the side slopes of the hill. This type of greenhouses is seldom used nowadays as it is not adaptable for automation.
These are also similar to ridge and furrow type greenhouses except that, there is provision for natural ventilation in this type. Specific natural ventilation flow path develops in a saw-tooth type greenhouse.
Ridge and furrow type:
Designs of this type use two or more A-frame greenhouses connected along the length of the eave. The eave serves as a furrow or gutter to carry rain and melted snow away. The sidewall is eliminated between the greenhouses, which results in a structure with a single large interior, Consolidation of interior space reduces labor, lowers the cost of automation, improves personal management, and reduces fuel consumption as there is less exposed wall area through which heat escapes. The snow loads must be taken into the frame specifications of these greenhouses since the snow cannot slide off the roofs as in the case of individual free-standing greenhouses, but melts away. Despite snow loads, ridge and furrow greenhouses are effectively used in northern countries of Europe and Canada and are well suited to the Indian conditions.
Lean-to type greenhouse:
A lean-to design is used when a greenhouse is placed against the side of an existing building. It is built against a building, using the existing structure for one or more of its sides. It is usually attached to a house but may be attached to other buildings. The roof of the building is extended with appropriate greenhouse covering material and the area is properly enclosed. It is typically facing the south side. The lean-to-type greenhouse is limited to single or double-row plant benches with a total width of 7 to 12 feet. It can be as long as the building it is attached to. It should face the best direction for adequate sun exposure.
This is a greenhouse, where the pipe arches or trusses are supported by pipe purling running along the length of the greenhouse. In general, the covering material used for this type of greenhouses is polyethylene. Such greenhouses are typically less expensive than the gutter-connected greenhouses and are useful when a small isolated cultural area is required. These houses are connected either in free, standing style or arranged in an interlocking ridge and furrow.
In the interlocking type, truss members overlap sufficiently to allow a bed of plants to grow between the overlapping portions of adjacent houses. A single large cultural space thus exists for a set of houses in this type. An arrangement that is better adapted to the automation and movement of labor.
Crop top greenhouse:
A crop top greenhouse has a roof but no walls. Although you won’t be able to control the weather, temperature, or humidity, these greenhouses are a budget-friendly investment. They’ll also protect your plants from rain and too much sunlight. Of course, you’ll need to move your planets to another area if you have strong winds. The tops of crop top greenhouses are usually made with glass, plastic, shade cloth, or insect screening.
These are popular greenhouses because they’re simple to build and feature an attractive triangular design. Glass is the traditional material for these greenhouses, but they can also be made with cheaper polycarbonate glazing panels.
Their main downside is that the sloped sides of the triangle frame make the inside less space-efficient.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. You could have a small garden where you plant vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc., and enjoy the goodness that comes with having a garden.