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Glass Greenhouse Structure for Wedding Venues – Gothic Arch Greenhouses

Wedding Venues
Wedding Venues

Benefits of Glass Wedding Venues / Greenhouses: Glass wedding venues and greenhouses provide a unique setting for a wedding ceremony or reception, allowing couples to exchange vows surrounded by natural beauty and under the sun’s warmth. The glass walls and ceilings provide a feeling of openness and lightness, creating an ethereal romantic and magical atmosphere. Additionally, glass wedding venues and greenhouses often have beautiful and well-manicured gardens or landscapes surrounding them, providing a picturesque backdrop for wedding photos.

Considerations when choosing a Glass Wedding Venue / Greenhouse: When choosing a glass wedding venue or greenhouse, there are several factors to consider, such as the size of the venue, the location, the amenities available, and the cost. It’s important to choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guests and fits your wedding theme and style. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the climate and weather conditions, as glass venues may become uncomfortably hot during the summer months or chilly during the winter.

Decoration Ideas: Glass wedding venues and greenhouses provide a stunning backdrop for a variety of wedding themes and decorations. Popular decoration ideas for glass wedding venues and greenhouses include hanging floral arrangements, draped fabrics, string lights, and greenery accents. Consider incorporating the surrounding natural elements into your wedding decor, such as using seasonal flowers or foliage to complement the lush surroundings.

Eco-Friendly Option: Glass wedding venues and greenhouses can be an eco-friendly option for couples who are conscious of their carbon footprint. The transparent design of the venue allows natural light to flow in, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Additionally, some glass venues and greenhouses use sustainable building materials or implement renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or geothermal heating and cooling systems.

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WHY Do You need a Glass Greenhouse?

Glass greenhouses offer gardeners an ideal balance of light transmission, insulation properties, and durability. Constructed from premium-grade glass, these structures provide superior control over climate and humidity levels, making them the perfect choice for various plants.

With an advanced design, these greenhouses allow maximum natural light to enter while also providing ample protection from extreme temperatures and the elements, making them ideal for growing all year round

They come in various shapes and sizes, allowing homeowners to customize their space and make the most of their garden area. Glass greenhouses are perfect for those who want to extend the growing season, increase yields, and have complete control over their health.

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Glass for Greenhouse Covering Materials

This month, and in the following months, we’ll be exploring various greenhouse coverings or glazing.  Last month we provided a broad overview of each type.  Knowing the benefits and details of each will help you decide which choice is the best for your greenhouse in terms of aesthetics, value, and budget.  Each glazing type offers various benefits according to function and longevity, but glass is superior to all with its lifespan and beauty.  With that in mind, let’s explore the appeal of glass.

AC Garden Glass Greenhouse

Glass greenhouses are charming, and luxurious, and provide an excellent growing environment.  The clarity of glass creates the feeling of being outdoors, making glass greenhouses the iconic choice for many.  Because glass provides so many advantages in greenhouse growing, it is not only attractive but practical and useful.  Glass is an optimal choice for not only residential customers, but also research facilities and commercial production houses.  Glass greenhouses set a precedence for all other greenhouses!  Not many would dispute their allure and elegance, but let’s take a look at the incredible benefits of a glass greenhouse.

Advantages of Using Glass:

AC Garden Glass Greenhouse

Glass transmits almost 100% light and will maintain that clarity for a lifetime, compared to 80% light transmission with double-wall polycarbonate.  Glass allows the most sunlight to enter a greenhouse, providing the highest amount of natural light for maximum potential photosynthesis and year-round gardening.

  • Due to the weight of glass, greenhouse structural framing is generally stronger than other greenhouses.
  • You can choose from several glass options to improve insulation and help with solar heat gain, providing better crop protection and using less energy.
  • Glass can function for 40-50 years without failure.  It is non-combustible, resistant to UV radiation and air pollutant degradation, and maintains its initial radiation transmission if cleaned regularly.
  • Although glass is more costly initially, you will save long-term money by lessening your dependence on supplemental lighting.
  • Glass is vulnerable to catastrophic losses such as hail and other weather extremes, but individual panes are easily and inexpensively replaced.

Glass Types:

  • Single-layered glass is treated for safety and durability
  • Double glass has additional insulation with two panes of safety glass pocketing a thin air barrier.  This barrier reduces solar heat gain and also aids in preventing heat loss and condensation in winter.
  • Low E or low emissive glass is further coated to reduce both heat and cold transfer, as well as radiation. The coating reflects heat inside during the winter and away from the structure in the summer.
  • Diffused Glass is a newer technology that has proven to benefit crops.  It helps regulate light and temperature, creating a stable greenhouse environment.  Although it is a more expensive option, the production benefits may balance the initial cost expenditure.

Glass is a fantastic choice for greenhouses, but it is also used for pool enclosures, spa enclosures, conservatories, solariums, sunrooms, and even skylights.  Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help you with each of these choices.  We offer our glass greenhouses in many styles such as Victorian, English Cottage, Grand Hideaway, American Classic, Commercial, AC Garden, and Cape Cod.  We also provide greenhouse accessories and supplies to suit every horticultural need.

Gothic Arch Greenhouses has invested time in selecting the finest glass greenhouse lines for all price ranges, architectural styles, and horticultural applications.  We have been serving growers since 1946, and we bring years of expertise in recommending a top-quality glass greenhouse for any application.  If you want a beautiful, permanent, and valuable greenhouse that will bring you a lifetime of joy, a glass greenhouse is the best choice for you.  Call Gothic Arch Greenhouses’ team of specialists today at 1-800-531-4769 for expert advice on selecting the right luxury glass greenhouse, sunroom, solarium, sunroom kit, conservatory, swimming pool enclosure, and custom-designed greenhouse enclosures for your home, business, or facility.

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Greenhouse Coverings for your Greenhouse Project

Greenhouses can be a beautiful and functional addition to your home, whether you want to grow lush flowers and foliage, delicious and organic produce; or maybe you just want an attractive entertainment space or beautiful pool enclosure.  Greenhouses add value and appeal to your home, so it’s important to choose all the right features for your intended use as well as your budget. 

One of the most important features of a greenhouse is the covering, also known as glazing.  Choices in greenhouse coverings provide function and aesthetic appeal.  Let’s discuss the various options briefly, and then in the following months, we will dive into the details of each covering choice.


Glass greenhouses are luxurious and beautiful, and for many, an iconic choice.  Glass will not likely need to be replaced over the life of the greenhouse, making it an appealing and mostly permanent choice.  Glass transmits almost 100% light and will maintain that clarity for a lifetime with regular cleanings.  Glass greenhouses are also generally stronger because the framing must support the weight of glass.  Glass is non-combustible, resistant to UV radiation and air pollutant degradation, and maintains radiation transmission if regularly cleaned.  Although glass is vulnerable to inclement weather and storms, replacement panes are easily installed and fairly inexpensive.  While it costs more initially, the durability and long life of glass make it an excellent choice.  Options include single layer, double layer, Low E, and diffused.  Each option offers important functions for differing needs.

Poly Films:

Poly film is comprised of polyethylene/EVA copolymers with other materials and additives that provide important properties.  Poly film is available in several quality grades as well.  Costs are low because the greenhouse framing can be much lighter, making this choice one of the most budget-friendly.  Although light transmission is comparable to glass, the life of the poly film is limited to degradation by sunlight and heat.  Light transmission varies from about 77% to 91% depending on thickness, additives, and degradation.  Poly film is a temporary choice and is typically warranted for about 4 years.  It is mostly available in 4 and 6 mil thicknesses.  Gothic Arch Greenhouses offers several different choices in the poly film depending on your need for light transmission, durability, and heat retention/loss. 


Polycarbonate is the perfect lightweight, cost-effective glazing for your greenhouse.  It is virtually unbreakable and features a surface treatment that provides resistance against degradation caused by sunlight and UV radiation.  It typically comes in widths of 4’ and 6’.  Polycarbonate is also much stronger than glass with greater impact resistance.  It allows light transmission of about 80% and also has significant heat retaining properties. It is easy to transport and assemble in comparison to glass.  Although polycarbonate can scratch and build up algae, dust, and condensation, you can keep it in near-perfect condition with regular cleanings. Polycarbonate is a great budget-conscious choice for greenhouses while still providing a nice clean aesthetic appeal.

Shade Cloth:

While shade cloth isn’t technically a greenhouse covering, its function is very important in conjunction with coverings.  Using shade cloth is one of the most common and economical ways to keep a greenhouse interior cool and cut down on solar radiation.  In all-around warmer climates, and during hot summer months, shade cloth can help your greenhouse cooling system work more efficiently, thereby saving you money.  Shade cloth can be installed on the outside of your structure or just inside the roof.  Shade cloth helps to block out a percentage of the sun’s rays, depending on which thickness you choose.  You want to choose shade cloth according to the size of your greenhouse and what plants or products you are growing.  If you have an existing greenhouse, shade cloth can be easily retrofitted.  Gothic Arch Greenhouses provides a wide variety of shade cloth, available in different percentages of sun blockage, and in different colors to help promote the growth of certain plants. 

Insect Screen:

Here again, insect screens aren’t technically a greenhouse covering, but their function is so important in every modern greenhouse.  Insects can destroy your greenhouse production efforts, making screens a necessity. Insect screens are strong, UV stabilized, lightweight, easy to install, transparent, and easy to clean.  Correctly installed, they prevent insect penetration while still providing maximum possible airflow.  Screening your intake vents will produce dramatic results, but ALL greenhouse openings should also be screened.  Anti-insect screen choices are differentiated by hole size or mesh size. You should choose mesh size according to the insects prevalent in your area.  You want to target mesh size choice according to the smallest pesky insect.  The higher the mesh percentage, the smaller the insect prevented from entering your greenhouse.  An added bonus with insect screens is some degree of shading.  The highest mesh percentages available can provide as much as 50% shade. 

So now you have a complete overview of greenhouse coverings to help you make the best choice for your new greenhouse project or to add to an existing structure.  Gothic Arch Greenhouses provides a full selection of glazing and coverings to fit every taste, function, and budget.

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Insect Screens for Greenhouses All You Need to Know

August 2022

Summer may be coming to a close as cooler temperatures seem like a promising relief for many parts of the country.  But one thing remains along with the oppressive heat…bugs!  For many of us, insects don’t disappear as fall approaches.  Annoying critters can destroy our bountiful produce, beautiful blooms, and lush foliage.  Growing concerns over the use of pesticides dictate demand for a cleaner, more organic option.  The proven answer is insect screens, and no modern greenhouse should be installed without the proper insect barrier.

Insect screens are strong, UV stabilized, lightweight, easy to install, transparent, and easy to clean, making them the perfect choice for today’s greenhouse.  Correctly installed, they prevent insect penetration while still providing maximum possible airflow.  Screening your intake vents will produce dramatic results, but ALL greenhouse openings should also be screened. 

Now let’s talk about screen varieties and how to choose!  Anti-insect screen choices are differentiated by hole size or mesh size. Hole size accuracy and strong UV-resistant yarns will ensure the highest quality products from your greenhouse.   You should choose mesh size according to the insects prevalent in your area.  You want to target your mesh size according to the smallest pesky insect.  The higher the mesh percentage, the smaller the insect that is prevented from entering your greenhouse.  An added bonus with insect screens is some degree of shading.  The highest mesh percentages available can provide as much as 50% shade. 

Here is a handy chart that shows the size of some of the most common insects:

Next, let’s take a look at the different mesh varieties that Gothic Arch Greenhouses provide:

Mesh 17 Protection Net

Technical Details

Maximum width (m) 5

For protection against fruit flies (Mediterranean fruit fly, fig fruit fly, olive fruit fly), grape moth, Prudencia, and Pomegranate fruit butterfly in orchards and vineyards. This net provides protection against climatic conditions such as hail, wind, and solar radiation excess, thus optimizing yield and fruit quality.

The net is made of strong monofilaments manufactured with special UV-resistant materials, giving the net durability and longevity. It has strong tucked edges and is flexible, light, and easy to spread.

Mesh 25 Protection Net – Improves Fruit Quality

Technical Details

Blocks penetration of fruit flies, birds, and bats into the crop environment.
The net significantly improves fruit quality by filtering out damaging sunrays and by preventing sunburn. It completely blocks hail impact, protecting crops from frost and breakage. It acts as a windbreak, creating a calm microclimate

and contributing to higher yields.

The net is made of monofilaments that are manufactured with special UV-resistant materials, giving the net durability and longevity. It has strong tucked selvages and is flexible, light, and easy to spread.

Mesh 40 Anti Insect Net for Shade Houses and Nurseries

Technical Details

UV resistance (years): 5
Maximum width (m): 5
Max. roll run (m): 300

To be used in the cultivation of flowers and vegetables in shade houses and nurseries.

The net is made of monofilaments that are manufactured with special UV-resistant materials, giving the net durability and longevity. It has strong tucked selvages and is flexible, light, and easy to spread.

Mesh 50 Anti-insect net – blocks penetration of insects

Technical Details

UV resistance (years): 5
Maximum width (m): 5
Max. roll run (m): 200

Blocks penetration of insects and protects against pests, such as tobacco Whitefly (Bemisia-tabaci), Leaf miner, Aphids, and Thrips.

To be used in the cultivation of flowers and vegetables in shade houses and nurseries.

The net is made of monofilaments that are manufactured with special UV-resistant materials, giving the net durability and longevity. it has strong tucked selvages and is flexible, light, and easy to spread.

Mesh 50 Anti-insect Grey Net

Technical Details

Maximum width (m): 5

For blocking whiteflies, aphids, leafminers, and other tiny insects’ entrance into the crop environment; widely used in vegetables, herbs, flowers, and nurseries that require reduction of solar radiation.

The net is made of strong monofilaments manufactured with special UV-resistant materials, giving the net durability and longevity. It has strong tucked edges and is flexible, light, and easy to spread.

Mesh 75 Protection Net

Technical Details
UV resistance (years): 5
Maximum width (m): 3
Color: Transparent

OptiNet 40 and 50 Mesh Dual Protection from Insect Penetration

Technical Details

Mesh shade 40: 44-46%
Mesh shade 50: 50-52%
UV resistance (years): 5

Fewer pesticides are needed to significantly reduce the number of insects entering the greenhouse structure.  Dual protection significantly reduces the number of pests entering the structure, while maintaining adequate airflow and reducing costs.

OptiNet blocks penetration of insects in two ways:

  • Optic protection: Insects are repelled by the screen’s optical additives.
  • Physical protection: The fine 40 or 50 mesh screen provides a second line of protection

Who knew insect screening could provide not only insect resistance; but also shading and some protection from the elements, all while maintaining adequate airflow?  All these features help reduce costs for production in your greenhouse, giving you the most for your greenhouse investment.  Now that you know the details, track down the worst pesky offender in your area, and install some screening in your existing greenhouse, or let us know which mesh is best for your future greenhouse needs!

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Grow Organically

In terms of sustainable safe food production, organic matter is a prominent valuable nutrient source for both plants and living organisms. Organic matter is a primary source of carbon (C) which gives energy and nutrients to soil organisms.   

Improvement of soil structure is realized as organic matter causes soil to clump and form soil aggregates contributing to better soil permeability thus improving the soil’s ability to take up and hold water which aids in minimizing soil erosion.          

This organic matter and high carbon content support soil functionality because it improve the activity of microorganisms in the soil and can enhance biodiversity. The primary essential nutrients for optimum production of the vegetable crops are typical, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and potassium. Secondary nutrients are those usually needed in moderate amounts compared to the primary essential nutrients. The secondary Nutrients can be divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. The six elements normally classified as macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulphur (S), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). The plant roots mainly take up these nutrients in ionic for

In the recent past, progressive farmers have used various natural methods to develop safer means of growing  ‘organic’ certified vegetables using ‘no-till’ crop rotation, inner-planting methods, and cover crops to name just a few. These practices ensure the maximum organic matter remains in the soil resulting in enhanced beneficial microbial and bacterial health of a ‘living’ soil, rather than having a barren dead soil due to chemical fertilizers’ deadly impact on the beneficial microbes and bacterium of living soil.

The Achille’s heal of today’s dependency on petroleum-based fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides is the vulnerability of the supply chain and the flow of oil.

Best we soon adopt organic agriculture best management practices on a broad basis before conventional chemical fertilizers are so costly that we are forced to pay the price of not being able to produce enough food to feed our ever-expanding population.

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Winterizing Your Greenhouse for Heat Retention

Who’s ready for some winter gardening? As cooler temperatures approach, many growers aim to just keep their plants alive through harsher conditions. However, with some careful planning, some energy-saving tactics, and a few products you may already have on hand, you can have a thriving winter greenhouse this year!

Many gardeners are now packing away their shade cloth until warmer weather is near. Letting every last bit of the weakening sunshine into their greenhouse or winter garden is foremost in most growers’ minds, so why keep your shade cloth in place? Depending on what type of shade cloth you have, it can act as a thermal heat curtain in winter. That’s a big plus when it comes to keeping valuable heat inside your growing space!

Aluminet shade cloth is excellent at keeping the heat that your greenhouse has collected from the sun during the daytime inside at night. Hung inside your greenhouse, the aluminum filament preserves heat, and can increase the efficiency of your heater by up to 30%! Many growers will open or remove the shade during sunny days, then close it during the night. This method makes the most of the available sunlight during the day and helps to trap the heat inside when the evening comes.

Aluminet is also successful in reflecting back the invisible heat radiation given off by plants and the greenhouse floor. This heat energy gathers during the day and releases at night in all objects. Traditional black or colored shade cloth can also slow this heat loss but is not as effective as Aluminet in reflecting this heat back to the leaves of the plant.

Shorter days and less light may mean that you want to add supplemental lighting to your greenhouse. If you don’t already have growing lamps, special consideration for winter is heat output. LED lighting, while very cost-effective to operate, can be expensive to invest in and produces very little heat. During winter, metal halide (MH), high-intensity fluorescent (HIF), and high-pressure sodium (HPS) are good choices, due to the heat they produce, as well as the low cost to implement. You can read more about how to choose the best greenhouse lighting here:

Aluminet is also helpful in increasing the benefits of your lighting. The twisted woven strands of Aluminet reflect diffused light back in many directions from the source. This diffusion and reflection promote more vigorous growth in the lower branches, less stress on the leaves, and more even light distribution.

Your supplemental lighting and heating can also be more effectively used in your greenhouse with the addition of a specialized heat-retention curtain. A closed fabric for efficient heat retention, made from woven Polyethylene and Aluminum strips, can be an excellent investment to winterize your greenhouse. In addition to moderating daytime and nighttime temperatures, these curtains reduce shadows, control air movement, and cold spots, and add optimum light diffusion to your indoor crops. Call our experts today for a quote on this new and innovative item!

A natural way to lower your heating costs is by storing heat. Make use of planters filled with soil or even large closed containers of water. Both options store heat, providing you with even more ways to seal in warmer temperatures inside your greenhouse. Moving raised beds inside is a great way to both grow to store your warmth all through the coldest part of the year. It’s a great time to switch to winter-specific crops, which have less sunlight requirement! We have several blogs regarding winter crops, which you can read here: https://www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com/blog/2020-year-round-growing-guide/

Now is the time to do yearly maintenance checks on your greenhouse heater. Test your heater and thermostat, and try giving it a test run before you have to rely on it. Perform any needed maintenance and even stock up on key parts that may be needed. As part of your testing, check the accuracy of your thermostat to ensure all systems are functioning properly.

If you’ve not yet chosen a heater for your growing space, you’ll want to consider if electric, natural gas, or propane is the best option for you, as well as if your plants require a vented or non-vented heater option. If you need some guidance on this aspect of winterization, please call our offices! We are happy to help find the best option for your growing situation.

Last, our final winterizing recommendation is to always remember that investments you make today in the future of your garden can have results for many, many growing seasons to come. For some ideas on what to do today to ensure gardening success tomorrow, check out our blog from last year!

Thanks for reading today—we’ve had a long absence from posting, due to the many strains that 2020 and 2021 have brought. We’re pleased to be looking towards the future, and from all of us at Gothic Arch Greenhouses, HAPPY GROWING!

The Importance of Greenhouse Ventilation

A greenhouse’s most important function is to provide the perfect environment for plant growth. Storing the sun’s energy and harnessing it to benefit your crop is the key to all good greenhouse design. Ventilation is essential for balancing an indoor climate that makes the most of the powerful solar spectrum, while keeping an optimal temperature and air quality to help your plants thrive!

Air exchange is important not only for providing the carbon dioxide and fresh air that plants need for photosynthesis. It also helps keep the temperatures inside your greenhouse regulated. In Winter, a greenhouse’s function is to store heat from the sun, creating a warmer temperature in the greenhouse versus outside of it. But in the Summer, an unventilated greenhouse can turn into a furnace, holding withering heat instead of protecting your plants from the elements.

Cooling a greenhouse on a hot day is a difficult task without a good ventilation layout. The most effective greenhouse ventilation system is will use exhaust fans, setup to blow hot, stale air out, and intake shutters mounted opposite, to bring fresh, cooler air in. (Shown in picture)

An exhaust fan system should be able to make a complete change of air in 1 to 3 minutes in summer to keep temperatures in the greenhouse at a reasonable level. One minute or less is best for small greenhouses; Two to three minutes is acceptable for large commercial-sized greenhouses.

Plants require fresh air year-round, which is why it is important to have equipment with options like louvered fans, motorized shutters, and variable speed motors that will help prevent heat loss when it is cold outside.

Roof and side vents are also helpful to supply fresh air to plants and cool your greenhouse. This is also ideal for venting during cold months, because if used with automatic vent openers, fresh air can be supplied to plants gradually, reducing any “temperature shock”. HAF circulation fans are highly recommended for use with side and/or roof mounted vent systems. These fans move air throughout the greenhouse, eliminating hot and cold spots. The increased air movement helps to expel hot air out of the window vents and provides fresh air for plants.

Air movement, cooling, and some additional humidity can be provided by an evaporative cooler. It will provide additional active ventilation, bringing in cooler air and exhausting the hotter air through existing roof vents. Evaporative coolers can be used in conjunction with exhaust shutters like in the diagram below.

A combination of shade, proper ventilation, and an evaporative cooling system, misting system, fogger, or wet wall can be very effecting for regulating high temperatures. A greenhouse allows you considerable control over your growing environment; however, even using all of the items mentioned above, you can expect a greenhouse to still not be much cooler than the outside temperature in extremely hot, humid areas. 

Many plants thrive in warm, humid environments, but this is not the optimal climate for all plants. Researching your particular crops’ needs can help you to find the right combination to keep your plants healthy and happy. The effectiveness of your ventilation, your cooling, your humidity, and your outdoor ambient temperature are all very important factors to keep in mind when choosing your greenhouse crops for mid-summer. For expert advise to guide your greenhouse ventilation plan, give the experts at Gothic Arch Greenhouses a call today. We’ve got the knowledge and experience to help you make the most of your growing space, all year round.

Why is Aluminum the best pool enclosure framing?

1) Steel Rusts…Aluminum Doesn’t

Unlike Steel, which rusts due to the presence of iron in its composition, Aluminum does not rust. When continually exposed to oxygen and water, the surface of steel gradually becomes pale and brown, and it loses its aesthetic value.

Even galvanized steel isn’t completely immune from rusting, as the paint will wear off (especially around the joints) with time due to the effect of weather extremities, thereby only delaying the inevitable. You’ll have no such worries with aluminum.

Aluminum is naturally resistant thanks to the protective layer of aluminum oxide that forms around it when it interacts with oxygen and water. This layer shields the insides while also rendering corrosive elements inert, thereby ensuring the framing retains its visual appeal for years. 

2) Less maintenance

Since it doesn’t splinter, crack, rot, or rust, an aluminum frame requires little to no maintenance work. That saves you both time and money. Steel frames also don’t have too much work save for the periodic painting- particularly necessary in cold climates plagued by snow and ice- which brings labor and material expenses. 

3) Aluminum is lighter

Steel is about two and a half times denser than aluminum, so it makes for a more massive frame that requires some effort to build and repair.  The opposite is the case for the latter, which is light and malleable.

So what will it be?

An aluminum or steel frame, what will it be? Both are solid options and your choice will largely depend on your specific needs and how much you are willing to spend.

An aluminum or steel frame, what will it be? Both are solid options and your choice will largely depend on your specific needs and how much you are willing to spend.

Pollinator bees

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pollination, but were afraid to ask

All vegetable crops that produce a fruit need pollination to produce food. In contrast to leafy greens, legumes, roots, and tubers, fruit-bearing plants require pollen to produce an edible crop.

If your vegetables are not yielding fruit, or the flowers are not developing healthy, maturing fruits, it could be due to poor pollination. Some typical causes of poor pollination are late frosts, prolonged rain, unseasonable cold, lack of humidity, or no access to pollinator insects.

Pollination in a greenhouse

When growing inside a greenhouse, the ability to completely control your growing environment is always your greatest asset. When it comes to pollination and growing food crops, there are elements of that environment that need special consideration.

A dry atmosphere can lead to poor pollination, and malformed fruits, berries, and vegetables. Be sure that your indoor environment is humid enough to encourage healthy pollination and growth. For larger greenhouses, a mist irrigation system can be a great solution.

Insects can be scarce in a greenhouse environment. It is easy to forget that insects do the important job of pollination, and if you are rid of them completely, your plants can suffer. One solution is to leave your greenhouse door open on days with favorable weather. Pollinator-friendly companion planting can be done around the perimeter of your greenhouse to encourage the insects you want to visit.

Another solution is to pollinate by hand. Self-pollinating plants (those which have both male and female parts within the same flower), can be gently shaken to loosen pollen and encourage fertilization. A more reliable way to pollinate is by using a soft paint brush to brush the inside of each flower, moving pollen from the stamens to the stigma.

For plants that produce both male and female flowers, pick a male flower, which will have three to five stamens with pollen- producing anthers. Strip back the petal to rub the stamens against the stigma of a female flower. Female flowers have a swollen ovary or fruit at the base of the petals, which male flowers lack.

For some plants, you’ll want to avoid pollination. Vegetables that are produced for their greens, bulbs, or roots, should not flower and seed. Once plants have flowered, they produce fewer leaves and concentrate their energy on seed production. This can make the leaves taste tough and bitter, or reduce the size of the edible root or bulb.

Companion planting for pollination

To encourage pollinator insects to visit your garden, plant flowers nearby to your food crops. or outside of your greenhouse area. Some flowers that encourage a broad range of helpful insects are comfrey, geranium, lupin, cosmos, borage, buddleia, lavender, and sunflower.

Basil, if left to flower, attracts several types of bee and improves the flavor of tomatoes and lettuce. Dill, oregano, sage, and thyme planted throughout the garden and allowed to flower can also brighten the flavor of many vegetables.

Trellis climbers and hanging potted strawberries benefit from hummingbirds. You can attract them with large, colorful flowers such as zinnias.

Calendula grows well with summer squash, and cosmos companion with cucumbers. These attract not only bees but also garden flies. Their larvae are predatory to aphids, leafhoppers, and other garden pests. Stone fruits, grapes, fennel, carrots, and beets are beneficial fly favorites. Plant alyssum, buckwheat, chamomile, and parsley to increase their numbers.

Butterflies love zinnias, batchelors button, coneflowers, daisies, marigolds, and wildflower mixes, but will visit any brightly colored flower they can perch on. They are passive pollinators, transferring pollen as they look for nectar.

Flowers that are open during the night will attract pollinator moths. Try Evening Primrose, Moonflowers, Four O’Clocks and Gourds.

Bats are excellent garden companions!

Bats also enjoy night-blooming flowers. Bats passively pollinate, and will also eat small flying pests, including mosquitoes. If you add a bat house to your garden area, you will likely notice a drop in mosquitoes as soon as a bat takes residence. A single can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes per hour, and will usually dine on 6000 to 8000 insects per night!

For self-pollinating plants, repelling damaging insects can be more important than attracting pollinators. Marigolds are one of the most effective repellents, and can be combined with all of your garden vegetables. Geraniums, lavender, and mint also repel damaging insects.

Ensuring Gardening Success

Whether you’re growing inside a greenhouse or outdoors, Gothic Arch Greenhouses has a wealth of products to help you along the way. Our top-quality equipment, supplies, and greenhouses will stand the test of time! Call our friendly staff today for help selecting the tools you need to fulfill your gardening goals. 800-531-4769.