A greenhouse is a structure or building where plants are grown. Greenhouses vary in size from small sheds to large industry-sized structure. Miniature greenhouses are known as cold frames.
Greenhouses can be made using many different materials. The most popular are made of polythene or glass, and it’s also possible to find greenhouses made of plastic.
Greenhouses favor planting because they create favorable conditions for plants to grow. Plants grown in greenhouses absorb sunlight through the transparent greenhouse roofs. The sunlight heats the interior of the greenhouse and as a result, it retains heat for a long time. This creates a perfect environment for plants to thrive.
Benefits Of A Greenhouse
Greenhouses offer a number of benefits. Some of the most common greenhouse benefits include:
Better Pest & Animal Control
Unlike open farms, greenhouses are more effective in keeping out common pests and animals which destroy vegetation. For instance, greenhouses help to keep off garden pests and animals such as raccoons, possums and deer.
These pests and animals are responsible for digging up plants, eating crops and eating flowers in open farms which results in low yields. When using greenhouses, you have the opportunity to control all kinds of pest and animals because greenhouses are enclosed.
Another benefit of greenhouses is that you can be able to control the environment. Unlike open farms, you can be able to regulate temperature, humidity and water (rainfall) to increase crop yields. Environment control is a very superior greenhouse benefit because many crops are lost as a result of unexpected weather conditions.
All Year Round Farming
Another benefit of greenhouses is that they allow you to farm throughout the year. It is impossible to farm continuously without a greenhouse because you cannot control the environment in which your crops thrive in. Greenhouses therefore increase your income and food source by increasing your yields throughout the year.
Increase Home Value
Greenhouses also increase the value of your home. If you love fresh vegetables and you want to increase the value of your home, building your own greenhouse is a good idea. It can be expensive to outsource the construction but it’s actually rather easy to build a simple yet effective greenhouse by yourself.
Types Of Greenhouses
Greenhouses are classified according to a number of factors the most common factors being shape, structure and technology. Below are the main types of greenhouses according to shape, structure and technology.
Greenhouses come in a variety of shapes. The most common greenhouse shapes include; flat arch, gable, raised dome, tunnel, sawtooth and skillion.
Greenhouses can also be classified according to structure. There are very many greenhouse structures. Below are some of the most common greenhouse structures.
- Multi-Span Greenhouses: These are greenhouses which cover an area (surface area) equivalent to a production facility. Multi-span greenhouses have less heat loss which equates to significant energy savings because they are not that big. They are also more robust in terms of design which helps them to reduce the amount of damage they suffer during gale force winds and storms.
- Shade Greenhouses: These are greenhouses that are covered in woven material or any other kind of material for allowing sunlight, air and moisture to penetrate through the gaps. Materials covering shade greenhouses provide certain environmental modifications for protecting crops against harsh weather and reducing light. Typical shade greenhouses can measure up to 8m high. The height may however vary depending factors such as the crop being produced.
- Screen Greenhouses: These are greenhouses covered in material for screening insects instead of glass or plastic. These greenhouses offer protection against harsh weather as well as pests. Screen greenhouses are common in tropical areas prone to harsh weather and pest.
- Crop Top Greenhouses: These are greenhouses which have roofs but no walls. Crop top greenhouses have roofs made of shade cloth, glass, plastic or insect screening. These greenhouses help to modify growing environments in order to reduce light levels and protect crops against rainfall.
Greenhouses can also be classified according to technology namely; low technology, medium technology and high technology greenhouses.
Low technology green houses have little or no technology structures/automation and pest/disease control initiatives.
Medium technology greenhouses have a reasonable degree of automation and pest/disease control. High technology greenhouses have the highest degree of automation and pest/disease control which offers the highest yields.
In summary, greenhouses are the best farming tools today because of unpredictable weather and pest/disease control. If you are want to increase your yields by farming throughout the year without worrying of weather, pests or diseases, a greenhouse is essential for you. Not only will you have a nice relaxing environment to go to, but you’ll also save yourself money in the long run.
To get the most out of your aquaponics system, I highly recommend the following articles, where you can decide from the highest rated and bestselling products for aquaponics.