How big is your yard? Can it fit freestanding greenhouse designs, or you have to build an attached plan?
A freestanding greenhouse has minimal restrictions, but it takes a lot of space and relatively more materials. With free-standing greenhouse styles, you get the flexibility of choosing the materials and the details from the ground to the roofing. This guarantees high-end performance.
If you are pressed for space and budget, you can choose an attached greenhouse. Attached greenhouse styles act as extra living spaces. Granted, you will spend less building and maintaining an attached greenhouse. However, the attached greenhouse obstructs beautiful views from your house.
Besides the two greenhouse styles above, other styles are determined by the materials used for the frame and the greenhouse cover. Once you choose the material, you can go ahead and choose the shape and size of the greenhouse.
Framing and Glazing Materials
Wood and metal are common greenhouse farming materials. If you only need a small-sized greenhouse, wood is the perfect framing material, thanks to its availability and cost. However, wood requires regular maintenance to keep it in shape.
Metal frames are ideal for large greenhouses, especially commercial ones. Most of these large greenhouses are made of galvanized steel. Unlike wood, metal frames last long and do not require staining or sealing. Aluminum and plastic resins are other common frame materials.
The greenhouse cover material you choose will depend on your budget. For those on budget, a double-inflated poly will be ideal â it offers flexibility, but is less insulating. If you can afford it, rigid polycarbonates are more expensive, but they deliver. You can also use tempered glass for eastern or southern-facing walls. Glass is most appropriate for vertical walls, thanks to its weight. Other glazing materials include fiberglass, polyethylene film, and triple-walled polycarbonate.
Ventilation, Insulation, and Heating
Irrespective of the greenhouse designs you choose, you need to ensure there is no overheating. During cold months, the greenhouse should retain warm air, and during hot months, the greenhouse should release hot air.
You need to have vents near the top of the structure and the base, for sufficient ventilation. Different designs have different forms of vents. You can also install manually or solar operated vents.
Insulation is an essential part of all greenhouse designs. The northern and western facing walls need insulation. You can use foam insulation or insulated panels. Ensure the panels have sealing to keep them dry.
Benches, Storage, and Paths
Paths are necessary if you move carts and wheelbarrows. You might also need working benches where you prepare your seeds or seedlings for planting. The bench material can be the same as the frame. Most benches are made of wood.
Shelving or storage units allow you to customize the interior space of your greenhouse. Aluminum shelves with adjustable heights are standard. These come with varied colors, plastic liners, and wheels. You can, however, have wooden shelves.
In very cold months, you can use greenhouse heaters. Glow lights are the most common as they produce considerable heat while saving on electricity. You can use an air thermometer or other temperature control systems to maintain the microclimate within narrow ranges.
Doors and Guttering
If the frame of your greenhouse is wooden, a wooden door frame will match the entire house. A steel door frame matches a steel greenhouse frame. Gutters direct rainwater away from the greenhouse. There are different designs of these gutters to choose from.