An excellent option to cultivate plants all year long is using a greenhouse kit. It's also perfect for a hobby gardener who enjoys spending time in their small garden.
Your new greenhouse kit's materials and construction features can have a significant impact on how well you can grow plants in a greenhouse. The growing season, temperature control, and the entire ideal environment for your sizable growing space are all influenced.
Choosing which greenhouse is best for your project might be difficult because there are so many alternatives with excellent greenhouse features available on the market. But in the end, it ultimately boils down to your greenhouse gardening plans, funds, and maintenance skills.
Common Greenhouse Materials
Glass, polycarbonate, fabrics, films, and other materials are often used to build high-quality greenhouse glazing. Coverings are necessary for greenhouses to retain heat, reduce energy expenses, and provide all-around protection from pests and the weather.
The greenhouse's frame can be constructed out of aluminum, galvanized steel, wood, or plastic. All of the various greenhouse materials perform well with various panel types and structural configurations. For polyethylene sheets or fabrics made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), steel frames are a feasible alternative. A smart alternative if you're on a tight budget is plastic, which won't decay from moisture as wood does.
The productivity and energy efficiency of a greenhouse is significantly influenced by its structure. Although there are different materials available, a lot of people utilize metal frames to design a space with no obstructions.
The functionality of your greenhouse may be altered by using different combinations of materials for the frame, flooring, and greenhouse coverings. You should opt to purchase a new greenhouse that only uses the best construction materials to create an environment where your plants can thrive since plants are only as strong as the greenhouse in which they are grown.
Most people picture a glass building when they think about greenhouses. The most attractive alternative is certainly a greenhouse made of glass panels, but they may be expensive and inefficient in terms of energy usage.
You will need to find a mechanism of light diffusion for your plants if you choose to utilize glass because glass does not have a diffused light feature that can help regulate temperatures. You may pick between single pane and double pane glass greenhouses, which are the two most common varieties.
Thick plastic is used to make polycarbonate greenhouses, which are more affordable and adaptable than the majority of glass greenhouse kits. UV-resistant polycarbonate sheeting is most frequently used for a larger greenhouse. In areas with cold weather, this material is better than glass, yet there are still a number of challenges you'll face when you purchase one.
Polycarbonate panels have been known to cloud with time. The yellowing effect is the term used to describe this clouding. When purchasing polycarbonate panels, keep an eye on the yellowing effect since it reduces the amount of light that enters through the panels. Twin-wall polycarbonate also has an inherent issue with condensation, which can contribute to plant diseases and inadequate light absorption. However, with good care, this kind of covering can survive for 10 years or longer.
The film made of polyethylene is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, making it convenient to use. Typically, the polyethylene (poly) film has one or two layers. This greenhouse film's porosity allows oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through, allowing plants to breathe in a tightly enclosed greenhouse.
Growers love poly plastic sheets because they can customize the product with diverse coatings. The poly film can be treated with a UV stabilizer to lessen fading and yellowing from the sun, and an anti-drip layer will help keep excessive condensation at bay. Poly glazing, which diffuses light, is another helpful layer. By protecting plants and ensuring they receive direct sunlight, the diffusion coat helps growers to make the most of available space.
Another excellent alternative for your greenhouse is fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). The lifespan of FRP is up to ten years, and it distributes sunlight to provide superb light diffusion and transmission throughout your greenhouse. The R-value of fiberglass panels is 0.89, which is somewhat higher than the R-value of glass. The fiberglass, however, gradually degrades under the influence of UV rays, making the cover weak. Applying a fresh UV coating every few years is necessary to preserve the tensile strength of your fiberglass panels.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) cloth is the top choice in terms of durability. Some PVC fabrics are suitable for growers in colder climates because they can endure heavy snow loads and provide more insulation.
Light diffusion for your plants is made possible by translucent PVC fabrics with UV-resistant treatments, including those created with UV stabilizers. The UV treatment also stops the cloth from yellowing. The PVC fabric may also be converted into flame-retardant material for security and insurance needs. PVC cloth also has the advantage of having easy assembly instructions and not demanding specialized skills, allowing you to swiftly put up your greenhouse kit.
Best Greenhouse Kits: Staff Picks Edition
The greenhouse's great 9'6" height makes it possible to quickly grow seedlings into tall plants and even small trees. A massive 5' wide, double-tiered bench frame with plenty of growing space stands in the middle of the greenhouse structure, and two single-tier side benches run the length of the exterior walls.
The basic 8’ x 16’ x 9’ 6” model features over 110 square footage of bench surface and 30' of strong hanging rods for baskets and trailing plants. It has a heavy-duty composite frame that is rust, mildew, and corrosion-resistant. The entire greenhouse is also made of twin-wall 3.5mm Solexx greenhouse panels and has a solid built-in base, two large easy-flow louver air vents, and two lockable doors that enable easy access to all the garden beds.
In the Helios collection of greenhouses by Exaco Janssens of Belgium, the Victorian Greenhouse is one of the sturdiest models. The greenhouse is made of 4mm single-sheet tempered glass secured with heavy-duty rubber seals and is available in 10mm triple-layers of polycarbonate walls for better insulation in cold climates. It has a sliding door with a lockable door handle, adjustable roof vents with spindles and automatic window openers, integrated rain gutters with downspouts, a 6" high sturdy frame, misting system, and a taller design that protect plants from high winds, and provide growers more head space.
With its thicker and stronger rust-resistant aluminum profiles for extra strength, the Royal Victorian Greenhouse offers a lot of traditional English flair and charm in addition to providing a top-notch walk-in greenhouse environment.
The Rion Grand Gardener 2 Twin-wall is made with a heavy-duty extruded resin frame for improved insulation and durability.
A comfortable growing environment and diffuse light for even plant growth are produced by its virtually unbreakable 4mm twin-wall polycarbonate roof panels and 6mm twin-wall side panels, which are both twin-wall polycarbonate and are 100% resistant to harmful UV rays. The twin-wall clear polycarbonate panels also provide excellent, lightweight construction. The greenhouse kit's sturdy steel frame is easier to assemble thanks to the pin and lock system, and the roof panels are installed by simply sliding them into position.
The double doors offer easy entry, the barn-style roof provides enough headroom, and two roof vents help regulate temperature and humidity to give proper ventilation. The construction merely has to be fastened to a concrete pad or a heavy timber foundation, depending on the gardener. Extension kits with all the necessary hardware are available for that additional height and stability on your sizeable growing space.
Think about the goals you have for your greenhouse before you buy or build one. The less expensive, periodically replaceable materials are fine if you only want a small-size greenhouse for growing plants. Consider the frame you're using and the appropriate panel coverings to go with it. And when you're finally done, relax in your backyard while reaping the benefits of your labor with the help of a greenhouse to grow plants year-round.