WHAT IS THE “GREENHOUSE EFFECT?”
Though the greenhouse effect the Earth experiences is similar to what structures of the same name create, it is also a little different. The greenhouse effect takes place when a surface of an area can rise to temperatures higher than it would normally because it has a temperature-mediating buffer, barrier, or atmosphere. In a greenhouse’s case, this would be its glass or plastic covering.
Because light is able to travel through plastic or glass to the surface within a greenhouse and warm it, the heat that the surface then radiates back upward is in effect trapped by the plastic or glass covering. As such, this is the way by which greenhouses allow you to grow some plants into the cold months, or even year-round: you create micro-climates of warmth in which certain plants can survive, where otherwise they wouldn’t be able to.
WHY IS GREENHOUSE GROWING BETTER THAN OTHER TYPES OF GROWING?
Growers invest in these covered structures for a number of huge incentives. The most obvious one is to have more control over the microclimate plants grow in, which in turn yields some very enviable benefits to the grower.
Among some of these: the ability to extend one’s growing season (push production further into winter or start earlier in spring), to control temperature, to prevent weeds and pest issues, and to even have more control over soil conditions (including health, nutrient content, and even pH). Having more control over these factors means you can grow more (and healthier) plants, boost your yield, and raise your profits for your growing operation.
CAN I GROW ANYTHING I WANT IN A GREENHOUSE?
You can certainly grow more with a greenhouse on a space than what’s possible without one. Still, some plants won’t fare well in any setup you buy; without the right accessories, they’ll just heat up, which brings more harm than help to some plant varieties.
Cool weather crops, however, do exceptionally well even in an un-accessorized hoop house or similar kit during spring or fall in cold climates when temperatures drop at night, while daylight amounts and temperature are enough to create ample warmth during the day. During a hot summer, not so much; you may have to invest in cooling accessories or techniques in these instances. For an idea of plants that grow great in greenhouses naturally, check out our article.
CAN I PUT MY GREENHOUSE ANYWHERE I WANT?
While you may have the picture-perfect site in mind for your structure, the difficult truth is that these gardening marvels cannot be placed just about anywhere. There are certain things to take into consideration: such as shade cast from nearby trees or buildings, while even slope and drainage should be looked at.
You must always orient your building facing east-west and never north-south in order to optimize sun exposure on your structure as well. If not, you’ll find that plants on one side will be shading others out on the other side. For some further tips on deciding the best location for where to put your structure, explore our post here.
DO I NEED TO BE A CARPENTER TO BUILD A GREENHOUSE?
While some certainly are masterpieces in architecture and complexity, not all of them are beyond the average layperson. There are many materials that go into all different sorts of greenhouses, so it really depends. Some are incredibly easy to set up, and require little to no carpentry skills altogether – others maybe not so much.
So, the answer to this: no, you don’t have to be a carpenter. Some kits come with instruction manuals that are easy to navigate. On the other hand, larger installments may call on you to hire a carpenter, or even to ask of your retail company to send in a team for you to help you build (something Emerald Kingdom offers).
AREN’T GREENHOUSES TOO EXPENSIVE?
When you compare them to how much money you’ll save – as well as how much they’ll boost your profits – the daunting price of most kits will start to look cheaper, and cheaper…and cheaper.
Sure, basic kits (such as hoop houses and Gothic arch structures) can range in the few thousand-dollar price range. But when you think about the investment you’re making to boost the profitability of your growing space or acreage, you know you’ll be making that money back over time (and then some).
GREENHOUSES ARE TOO BIG – IT WON’T “FIT” IN MY GARDEN OR OPERATION
On the contrary, you may be surprised by the more compact models you can invest in. While some greenhouses can be quite long in length (reaching up to 35 feet), others can fit in a very small space and still look great with some 10 or 15 foot hoop house models.
If you’re still worried about how a greenhouse may look in your smaller yard, garden, or homestead, there are plenty of simple landscaping tricks to help your new structure blend seamlessly into your beautiful garden paradise. Not only will it pump out more plants and produce for you, it will also look amazing, too.
I DON’T NEED A GREENHOUSE – I LIVE IN A HOT CLIMATE
Your covered structure doesn’t have to just be for protecting plants against the cold, or to warm up temperatures (even though they do that naturally). It certainly does make for a great enhancement to your growing operation during the winter, but it has plenty of other functions as well – many of which could sync up perfectly with your business or hobby even in a hot climate.
Some accessories make your greenhouse a cool environment, not just a hot one. In addition, light deprivation kits are a completely different breed altogether that benefits flowering plants (such as poinsettias, cannabis, and more) by stimulating blossoming, while not always necessarily raising temperature.
AREN’T GREENHOUSES REALLY COMPLEX TO OPERATE?
Some of them may be, but most of them aren’t. While they can come with a wide variety of accessories to streamline various functions such as temperature, humidity, light, and even CO₂, others are only built in with doors and/or basic roll-up sides for ventilation – and that’s it. All you need to do is open them once in a while to keep them cool.
Even those with multiple accessories aren’t much of a hassle once you get the hang of them. After all, accessories are designed to make your growing operation easier, not more difficult. For the busiest of growers, too, investing in a fully automated smart greenhouse makes structures even with tons of sophisticated accessories run like a dream – even while you’re on the move, at the touch of a button from your mobile phone.
If you’ve still got anxiety about trying greenhouse growing, make sure to give our tips to starting greenhouse growing right a good read.
MY CURRENT GROWING METHOD WOULDN’T WORK IN A GREENHOUSE
Don’t be fooled (or intimidated) by growing in a covered setup. A lot of planting techniques – including some of your favorites – are possible underneath a covered structure. Not a whole lot will change in the way you approach your method, either.
You also don’t necessarily have to change your favorite growing medium, either. Many different mediums for growing are possible – including hydroponics, aquaponics, or just plain soil, raised bed, row-cropping, or container planting. Whatever works for the plants you wish to grow – anything is possible.