Building a Greenhouse

Building Your Own Greenhouse – Discover How to Start And Manage Your Own
Greenhouse Effectively
How Does A Greenhouse Capture Heat?
A greenhouse uses a special kind of glass that acts as a medium which selectively
transmits spectral frequencies. Spectral comes from the word “spectrum”.
In layman’s terms, a spectral frequency can be defined in terms of the following principle: any
object in the universe emits, radiates or transmits light. The distribution of this light along an
electromagnetic spectrum is determined by the object’s composition.
Therefore, the glass of a greenhouse traps energy within the greenhouse and the heat in
turn provides heat for the plants and the ground inside the greenhouse. It warms the air near
the ground, preventing it from rising and leaving the confines of the structure.
For example, if you open a small window near the roof of a greenhouse, the temperature
drops significantly. This is because of the auto vent automatic cooling system. An autovent is
simply a device used by greenhouses that maintain a range of temperatures inside. This is
how greenhouses trap electromagnetic radiation and prevents convection (transference of
heat by currents within a fluid).
Curious about how the idea of a greenhouse came about? It goes back to the days of the
Romans, who – as history annals show – were the first people to create a structure to protect
plants. Using heated pits, they put up slabs of rock to form primitive greenhouses. The term
“glasshouse” which is the correct name of this structure, was adopted sometime in the 17th and
18th centuries.
At that time, however, the error was in believing that heat was more important than light for
plants to thrive. Structures were being built to exclude the entry of light, but by the time the
glass tax of 1845 was abolished, the design of greenhouses started to change.
Builders realized then that a curved roof instead of a flat one allowed higher concentrations
of the sun’s rays, and that by using iron instead of wood, the greenhouse could be
structurally reinforced and made capable of absorbing more light.

Types Of Greenhouses
After you decide that you want to build a greenhouse, you have to decide next what type to
build. This should not be a difficult one to address, provided you know what kinds of plants
you want to grow. You will need to answer questions such as:
ð What will my greenhouse be principally used for?
ð Do I want a large or small greenhouse?
ð Will the greenhouse be the main attraction of my garden?
ð Is my garden exposed to strong winds?
ð Are there young children or wild animals in the area?
Factors such as cost and space will determine the type of greenhouse you build. If you do live
in a windy area, it may be worth to spend the extra money for a solid and sturdy greenhouse. If
you live near a large hardware store or a nursery, or even a do-it-yourself home center, go and
visit some models. The customer service representative should be able to provide you with
valuable information before you make a final decision.
So as not to mislead you, while there may be different types of greenhouse designs, we’re
talking about the same greenhouse. You get to decide which type you want it to be. For
example, if temperature is the main factor, because of the plant varieties you want to grow,
then there are three types in terms of temperature control. There are also different types of
greenhouses based on structural design. We’ll start with temperature control factors.
For temperature control purposes, three types of greenhouses exist:
ð a hot greenhouse
ð a warm greenhouse
ð a cool greenhouse.

Tools And Materials For Your Greenhouse
Remember that you are not limited to a certain variety of plants to grow in a greenhouse. Bear
in mind, however, that your preference for certain fruits, vegetables and plants will determine
the type of greenhouse you like to build. “Know thy crop” is an important factor before deciding
on the greenhouse type you will install.
You will need a good soil for planting seeds. Compost, potting or gardening soil and a little
sand or perlite are a good start. Read all directions in your seed packets.
Keep some of those black plastic flats that nurseries use to display their plant
containers. These are useful for starting sees and transplants.
Benches in greenhouses are essential, as they hold trays of plants that have already sprouted
from seeds.
Styrofoam cups – have several of these handy. Seeds sprout quickly and once they grow large
enough to move into separate containers, they can be gently lifted and transferred into ordinary
Styrofoam cups.
You can also use yogurt plastic cups, and large commercial type containers that can hold
more than one plant. In fact, any container you can think of will be suitable.
Other materials you should have on hand are broken clay pots, cracked walnuts, marbles,
charcoal or gravel. These help in proper drainage. Be sure to soak clay pots in water a few
minutes before using them. This will prevent the clay from absorbing the moisture from the
potting soil.
If you want to have trellises inside your greenhouse, you can make them out of coat hangers,
which you can bend to any shape your heart desires.
Herbs are perfect for keeping pests at bay. They are what one writer calls “nature’s insecticides”. Have a variety of them inside your greenhouse. You can make a natural insecticide by adding onions or garlic to a jar of water. Leave it for a week and spray on your
plants.
Other garden tools that will help you run your greenhouse efficiently are air coolers for the
hot summer. This is to maintain the temperatures at desired levels. Power vents in the roof
are also a good idea to release hot air that can build up suddenly in the summer.

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