What is a Greenhouse made of and How does it Work?

A greenhouse is a structure with walls and roofs mostly constructed of transparent material, in which plants that require controlled climatic conditions are cultivated.

These structures come in a variety of sizes, from smaller sheds to large industrial constructions. The term “cold frame” refers to a tiny greenhouse.

When a greenhouse is exposed to the sun, the inside temperature rises substantially above the outside temperature, safeguarding the inside from extreme weather.

Commercial glass greenhouses are high-tech buildings for growing vegetables, flowers, or fruits.

The glass greenhouses are outfitted with screening systems, heating, cooling, and lighting to enhance plant development, all of which can be fully automated.

Figure 1 Image Source: Владимир Иванов Victoria amazonica (giant Amazon waterlilies) in a large greenhouse at the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden.

The greenhouse is a structure that protects plants from extreme cold or heat. Greenhouses in the 17th century were simple brick or wooden structures with a reasonable amount of window area and some form of heating.

By the mid-nineteenth century, the greenhouse had evolved from a simple shelter from a harsh climate to a carefully regulated environment tailored to the demands of specific plants.

The modern greenhouse is often a glass- or plastic-enclosed framed building used to grow plants that require unique temperature conditions. There are two basic greenhouses: a double-sloped roof or an A-shaped roof and a lean-to greenhouse with a roof slope leaning to the side.

The plants in a greenhouse are exposed to natural light for much of the day due to the vast expanses of windows on the sides and ceiling.

The structure’s frame is aluminum, galvanized steel, or woods like redwood, cedar, and cypress. Because a greenhouse may be too hot or too cold, it needs a ventilation system.

This generally includes roof apertures controlled manually or automatically and end-wall holes that electric fan utilize to pull air and circulate.

What is a Greenhouse made of?

A greenhouse’s design has a significant influence on its productivity and energy efficiency. Metal frames are commonly used to create a free-span interior, despite the availability of other materials.

A greenhouse’s fundamental structure consists of rafters, an end wall, side posts, sidewalls, and purlins. The three varieties of greenhouses that result from these components are lean-to, detached, and gutter-connected greenhouses.

The lean-to greenhouse is, therefore, mostly used for personal gardening.

On the other hand, the detachable greenhouse can be placed anywhere, making it suitable for both business and non-commercial usage.

Finally, commercial growers choose gutter-connected greenhouses because they can link several greenhouses.

The frame, flooring, and greenhouse covers may all be manufactured from various materials, which will affect the greenhouse’s performance. Choosing the correct building materials for a healthy atmosphere for your plants is critical.

·      Structure

Aluminum, galvanized steel, wood, or plastic can be used to construct the greenhouse’s construction. Each greenhouse material has its own set of structures and panel kinds that work well with it. Steel frames, for example, are ideal for polyethylene sheets or textiles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). If you’re on a budget, plastic is a fantastic alternative because it doesn’t decay like wood.

·      Flooring

Common greenhouse flooring materials include concrete, porous concrete, gravel, and soil. The type of flooring you pick affects the heat efficiency and light transmission of your greenhouse.

Gravel or dirt flooring should be avoided since they do not retain heat. They do not keep pests away from your plants. Porous concrete allows water to drain, retains heat better, and forms an impenetrable barrier that keeps pests out of your plants.

·      Covering

The most crucial part of your greenhouse is the covering, as it determines how much light your plants receive. To cover your greenhouse, you can use glass, fiberglass, acrylic, double-sheet polyethylene film, polyvinyl chloride, and polycarbonate.

Different materials enable different quantities of light to flow through while also providing different levels of diffusion. When choosing a cover material, keep in mind that too much light will overheat plants, while shade might cause plants to perish from a lack of vitality.

Figure 2 Image Source:  Wikipedia

Building a Greenhouse

Building a greenhouse used to be ridiculously expensive, and it was only used for commercial purposes. Today, a wide range of materials may be used to construct greenhouses or provide a suitable climate for plants to grow in.

After you’ve determined your budget, available land, and greenhouse location, you’re ready to select the greenhouse that best meets your needs. Follow these simple steps to design a greenhouse.

Choose Greenhouse Frame: This is one of the most important aspects of the greenhouse construction process, as it will define the operation’s usefulness and efficacy. Each greenhouse construction is tailored to specific uses and may be used in several ways.

Hardware: Another crucial stage in constructing a greenhouse is deciding on the hardware to keep your structure together. You must ensure that your greenhouse designs have the appropriate nuts, bolts, and brackets so that your construction can withstand even the most extreme weather.

Covering: Choosing the right coverage for your greenhouse structure is an important step in producing a productive growing environment. There are many different types of covers available in various materials and thicknesses, giving you the freedom to choose the perfect covering for your needs and budget.

Ventilation: To protect your plants from overheating, you must add a system to cool your greenhouse building. Mechanical ventilation, natural ventilation, and shading are all choices for cooling systems.

Heating System: It’s important to keep total control over the heating and cooling to build a functioning and energy-efficient greenhouse construction. To provide your plants with an appropriate growth environment, you need to have a sufficient heating system in your greenhouse design.

Conclusion

Beginners who want to learn how to build a greenhouse should learn about all of the systems making a fully working greenhouse. Your plants’ development can be aided by using a CO2 generator.

Installing a basic irrigation system will guarantee that your plants are always well watered. There are various methods that may assist you in creating a healthy and efficient growth environment in a regulated atmosphere.

Lastly, you have to create the structure after you have selected all equipment for your greenhouse. While this may appear to be a difficult endeavor, there are instruction manuals and info sheets available to assist you in building your greenhouse.