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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:

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:

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.

Featured post

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.

Featured post

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.

Advantages of Growing in a Greenhouse

Though we may be a little bit biased, here at Gothic Arch Greenhouses, we believe that growing in a greenhouse is the best way to ensure success, no matter what your gardening or farming goals. Greenhouses can help you get bigger blooms on your prize-winning flowers. You can harvest more fresh veggies year-round. With a greenhouse, you’ll have fewer pests and disease issues. You can even grow plants that wouldn’t thrive under outdoor conditions in your climate.

If you’re considering a greenhouse, or even if you already have a greenhouse but haven’t yet unlocked its full potential, then read on! We’ve compiled the best reasons to grow in a greenhouse, and we’ll even address a few potential drawbacks (though, really, we think the benefits far outweigh them). We hope we’ll have you growing in a greenhouse the second you finish reading!

Extend Your Growing Season

One of the best reasons for growing in a greenhouse is the potential to extend your growing season. The controlled environment inside a greenhouse keeps air and soil temperatures stable, allowing earlier planting and later harvesting. You can also delay planting, or plant to harvest repeatedly, in cycles.

Stable temperatures cause less stress to the plants and promote strong growth throughout the year. With a greenhouse, you are truly in control of your cycles and growing seasons.

Even in an unheated greenhouse, many greens and vegetables will not only survive the cold, but require a cold period for maximum flavor. Some plants started in fall will not grow much, if at all, when it’s cold. For those cold-hardy varieties, they will continue the growth cycle, even in freezing temperatures, and be ready for harvest when the temperatures rise.

Starting seedlings early in a greenhouse to later move to an outdoor bed will give you a great advantage when planning your gardening calendar. A greenhouse gives a great start to your plants at their most vulnerable stage.

Eating from your greenhouse year-round is a great benefit for growers!

Create a Consistent, Protected Environment

Growing in a greenhouse allows you to create a consistent environment for your plants, safe from weather extremes. Excessive rains, withering heat, sudden frosts or temperature drops, drought, and high winds will not affect your crops.

You can get more consistent results from your crops in a consistent environment. You can also grow plants not native to your climate. As long you understand the ideal conditions your crop requires, a greenhouse allows you to adjust your climate to produce a perfect harvest.

Bigger, more rapid blooms or harvests come with the ability to increase the humidity and temperatures to the levels plants love. Not only can you increase surface transpiration rates, but you’ll also conserve water while doing so!

Catch the Sunshine!

Our Gothic Arch Greenhouses motto is, “Catch the Sunshine!” Growing in a greenhouse truly gives you the ability to capture the sun’s energy, heat, and light spectrum. You can diffuse the harsher, withering summer rays effectively, keeping plants healthy while stimulating growth.

A greenhouse gives you the ability to control light with the use of shade and blackout cloths, so you can also control flowering, seeding, and fruiting cycles of your plants. Proper shading can also help avoid heat stress and burns from powerful summer rays.

Capturing solar heat energy rather than using traditional manufactured heaters is a great greenhouse technique. This involves creating thermal solar mass, using natural materials that readily absorb, store, and release thermal heat.

The powerful, full light spectrum of the sun feeds plants during the photosynthesis process. With proper ventilation plus plenty of sunlight and water, plant growth can be dramatically increased in a greenhouse due to diffused full spectrum light reaching the surface of the leaves.

Protection from Pests

Outdoors, crops are often at the mercy of common insects and other pests. Indoors, it is much easier to manage seasonal pests like caterpillars, locusts, mites, and many more.

Predators like moles, deer, rabbits, and birds won’t be able to eat or attack plants growing in a greenhouse. This reduces the need for toxic pesticides or chemicals, and gives you the advantage of being able to keep a close eye on your plants.

Best Use of Growing Space

Greenhouses allow growers to make excellent use of their available growing space. Planning your planting space in a greenhouse gives the advantage of growing tall along sidewalls, and trellising crops easily. You can grow on multiple levels in-ground and with benches and baskets.

Being able to grow out of season plants also makes your greenhouse a year-round rather than only a seasonal growing space. Rather than having a garden plot that lies dormant half the year, your greenhouse can produce throughout the seasons.

When growing in a greenhouse, you have the added benefit of variety. You can plant anything that you like in it! From vegetables & fruits to flowers & herbs, even cactus and bonsai can grow in harmony. Without planting directly onto your garden soil, many varieties can co-exist easily.

Disadvantages of Growing in a Greenhouse

There are some possible “cons” in a list of many “pros” when deciding on a greenhouse purchase. We’ll discuss a few of those now.

Upfront Cost of a Greenhouse

The primary disadvantage for many people looking into a greenhouse for the first time is upfront cost. A solid, well-built structure that will stand the test of time is an investment, and operating costs for heating, cooling, and air circulation can seem daunting.

The good news is that Gothic Arch Greenhouses has financing options for qualified commercial growers and residential growers alike. A greenhouse can increase your long-term property value, and in the short term can save you money, by supplementing your food stores and reducing your grocery bill, and by saving money on spring plants and decorative landscape items.

Tough economic conditions cause higher costs for vegetables, flowers and fruits. Growing in a greenhouse can provide you and your family with a consistent supply, year round. Many growers recoup their costs on a greenhouse with the savings from planting their own crops within one year or two.

Lack of Know-how

Another consideration is that you may feel you don’t have the know-how to get started with growing in a greenhouse. The cost involved may cause you to feel that it is not justified for a “hobby” level grower to build something substantial and permanent, or you may be a long-time outdoor commercial grower who is not comfortable moving into a more technical growing set up.

A wonderful thing about the gardening and growing community is the willingness to share their knowledge. Modern greenhouses have been in use for hundreds of years, and the wealth of information for tackling most any type of problem is astounding!

How to handle whiteflies, identifying disease early, planning for a particularly harsh winter– these are questions every gardener faces. Proper air exchange for best plant growth, when and how to add supplemental lighting, and when to add nutrients are similar challenges that are more specific to growing indoors, but all of these are topics which have great solutions online and in gardening publications. You can get more precise advice by calling your local agricultural extension office or your greenhouse supplier. We here at Gothic Arch Greenhouses are always happy to help.

Get Growing in a Greenhouse!

As news of supply chain challenges, farm labor difficulties, and unusual patterns of fresh produce demand have become part of our daily lives, greenhouse growing is getting more and more consideration. From farmers who want the ability to automate their harvest to homesteaders wanting to decrease their dependence on grocery stocks, a greenhouse can help keep a steady supply of healthy nutrients ready for harvest year-round. If you’re ready to plan the best greenhouse for you, get in touch with Gothic Arch Greenhouses today.

Happy Growing!

Greenhouse Growing Saves Water

With the economy on everyone’s minds, finding ways to cut expenses as well as converse precious resources is good for both the earth and for your bottom line. Water is vital to plant growth, but in many areas can be in short supply and high in cost.

Greenhouse growers use as much as 61% less water than outdoor farmers. This is due to reduced evapotranspiration rates, drip and flood irrigation methods, closer crop spacing, and shorter crop cycles. Growers also cite sustainability, more frequent harvests, ease of pest control, and more control over their growing environment as additional reasons they are choosing to move crops traditionally grown outdoors in. Water-borne disease is also easily reduced.

Just within the United States, 38 percent of our fresh water consumption used for crop irrigation. Worldwide, 80 percent of our fresh water supply goes to crops. Irresponsible watering practices can create a huge strain on water supplies, can contribute to disease, and can affect the quality of the water supply.

Growers with an eye towards the future are more and more turning to greenhouses to protect their crops, protect our natural resources, and protect future generations’ world. As many areas face water shortages, decreasing water loss when tending for crops is vitally important.

A recent study of tomato growers showed, pound for pound of yield, greenhouse producers used approximately 61% less water than an open-air farm. Additionally, frequently cycling crops gives more harvests, while having fewer heavy-watering days within each cycle.

Within the greenhouse, water quality can be managed with ultraviolet light purification, which reduces instance of disease and pathogens. Water filtration can also help growers in areas where groundwater has increased salt intrusion or heavy mineralization.

Growing Hemp in a Greenhouse

Gothic Arch Greenhouses has everything the commercial grower needs to start saving resources and bring bigger yields. From greenhouses to equipment, we can help you move your crops indoors, while still catching sunlight for healthy plant development. Call our experts today to see what we can do for you. 800-531-4769.