Buying a greenhouse can be a difficult process, but the results are well worth it. Greenhouse growing is not just for the professional these days. With the high cost of flowers and produce and the increased use of pesticides, backyard hobby growing is becoming more popular.
Figure 1 - Greenhouse kit
If you are a beginner, the number one regret of most beginners is they did not buy a bigger greenhouse. Once you add plants, greenhouse benches and garden accessories your greenhouse quickly becomes very crowded.
As you become more advanced and successful, you will want to increase the volume of your growing space. Upgrading to a larger greenhouse can be more costly down the road. Professional growers may require much larger, durable structures and complex environmental controls to better extend their growing seasons and production.
While building your own greenhouse can be rewarding, it may not always be more economical. Greenhouse plans may be inexpensive, but the materials needed for the construction can be expensive or hard to find.
Because of increasing popularity, there are many greenhouse manufacturers who offer products ready to assemble using easy-to-follow instructions. Greenhouse kits, as shown in Figure 1, are covered by a limited warranty and are backed by a knowledgeable staff - building your own greenhouse from scratch does not offer that security.
You will need to consider your growing zone and your weather. Factors such as snowfall, wind, rainfall, heat and cold may help you determine which greenhouse to select. High snow and wind regions may require a more structurally sound structure.
In areas with extreme heat, you may want to consider a greenhouse with increase ventilation or shading options. Colder areas may require additional heat sources to extend the growing season.
Year-round growing requires a more insulated, tightly sealed greenhouse. Seed germination or early season plantings do not always require the same integrity. Take some time to research the climate requirements for the plants you wish to grow. Heat sensitive plants may require extra ventilation and shading.
The success of your growing depends on how well you keep your greenhouse climate. Most plants have specific climate requirements and will die if they are not met. One of the biggest misconceptions is that a greenhouse will protect all your plants from the elements.
You need to determine how hot or cold your region can get and make the necessary environmental changes using additional heaters, fans, shade cloth or vents. Keep in mind some of these accessories may require electricity or fuel source.
Greenhouses come in various shapes, sizes, materials and complexity of assembly. If you are limited to space, keep in mind how your new greenhouse fits into your yard or garden. The old thought that a greenhouse has to be an eyesore is a thing of the past. In fact, a new greenhouse may make you the envy of the neighborhood.
Also see: Greenhouse Kits.