8 Steps to Planning Your Best Greenhouse
The best greenhouses are the ones that are not only beautiful but are also functional and are planned with an eye towards the future. Whether you grow for pleasure or for profit, these tips can help you to get the most from your greenhouse and your investment in it! Here’s how to plan for your best greenhouse!
1. Choose the Best Greenhouse Location
Many people put a greenhouse wherever they have the space and easy access to utilities. Others may plan a site that has the best light and exposure. When planning around the surrounding structures and landscape elements, there are several additional considerations. Trees and shrubbery will grow, affecting light, but you also want to plan for future beds to transplant seedlings to, and possible additions to buildings. You may even later add into your greenhouse, or add a barn or shade house!
2. Boost Your Greenhouse’s Curb Appeal
Greenhouses don’t have to be generic lookalikes, or simple working structures. They can be custom designed to reflect your home or business’ style and taste. Custom knee-walls to match your architecture, roof peaks, finials, and more can add style and value to your property.
3. Connect Greenhouses Buildings
Beautiful connections can be made between your greenhouse and home, your garden center and retail store, your farm market and production area—the possibilities are limitless. Use a gazebo, a porch, a shade house, or lean-to to create vestibules, sitting areas, potting sheds, or multi-use spaces that protect you and your plants from inclement weather.
In retail use, “A rainy weekend at the end of spring can drop sales up to 80 percent,” according to horticulture expert Chuck Sierke. “If you can cover more area with canopies and awnings, that is the biggest potential for up-sales even in inclement weather.”
4. Install the Right Greenhouse Doors
Entry and exit doors should be wide and easy to manipulate. When hands are full with tools, supplies, and plants, an easy-open door that can accommodate carts, wheelbarrows, and equipment will ease your day.
5. Open Up Interior Greenhouse Space
An easy way to create an open feel is to reduce the number of columns, using beams instead. Fewer posts increases growing space and allows for better retail bench layouts.
6. Choose Durable Covering Materials
Polycarbonate versus polyethylene gives long life, and a more permanent look. It lasts 20-plus years rather than four or five, though it is a greater initial investment. Glass improves further, with excellent light transmission and longer life still. Rigid coverings take far less maintenance than films, also, and have excellent R-value.
7. Consider Greenhouse Air-flow
Many growers prefer more natural ventilation as opposed to fans, utilizing open-roof designs, sliding doors or roll-up curtain walls. However, insects and pests are more difficult to keep at bay with open designs, and humidity extremes can also be more difficult to manage. A greenhouse professional can help you to decide what is right for you.
8. Rethink Greenhouse Irrigation
There are many options for water management besides traditional overhead watering systems. A sub-irrigation system with automated pump and tank can flush out salt buildup and allow better water absorption. Hydroponic systems also root-feed water and nutrients to plants, which results in losing water only due to evaporation, saves labor, and makes for a less-damp environment.
Greenhouse growers large and small can benefit from considering these 8 things in when planning or refurbishing their growing space. Planning not just for today but for tomorrow’s harvest can help you to choose the best greenhouse for how you grow. Gothic Arch Greenhouses’ 70+ years of experience can help you plan, design, and grow, whether you need a simple kit or a 1,000 acre solution. Call our experts today!