Greenhouse design is definitely not one-size-fits-all. What’s best suited for a cold climate characterized by low sunlight and a lot of snowfall isn’t effective for a tropical climate marked by periods of high heat, humidity and varying light levels.
By understanding their local climate, gardeners and commercial growers of any size can make fundamental decisions about their greenhouse setup. Doing so will allow their plants to thrive and also extend their growing season.
Because a greenhouse provides protection from external elements, determining how the weather and climate in your area affects your plants is essential. Ultimately, the design of the structure is influenced by whether it is shielding them from wind, rain, heat, snow, etc.
Whether you’re considering a new greenhouse or want to optimize an existing one, these design suggestions—based on the four major climate types—will help you maximize production year after year.
Greenhouses for Dry Tropical or Desert Climates
For climates marked by extremely high temperatures (well over 100°F year round), low humidity and high winds, a minimalist greenhouse design works best. A simple shade structure using insect screen as sidewall protection is the most practical option to manage costs. A misting or fogging system can help increase humidity inside the greenhouse, while also helping to reduce temperatures well below the arid conditions outside. This economical design can be upgraded to include automated cooling systems for even more control over the greenhouse climate.
Greenhouses for Humid Subtropical Climates
Hot, muggy conditions day and night, coupled with heavy rains, require flexible greenhouse designs, as simple as a plastic roof with roll-up sides covered with insect mesh for protection against pests or a more substantial greenhouse that can withstand higher winds and scorching sunny days. Even larger greenhouses may feature open-roof construction to allow for natural ventilation. Heating systems and insulation aren’t much of a concern in this climate, but rather misting systems, circulation fans and movable screens can help manage temperature, air flow and light intensity.
Greenhouses for Temperate Climates
Temperate climates exhibit seasonal variations in temperature and moderate rainfall year round. An optimal greenhouse design features fully clad walls, roof and sides with large areas to encourage ventilation. A double layer of insulation can significantly reduce heating expenses. Commercial growers in these conditions may find it most efficient to manage heating, ventilation, irrigation and lighting with automated environmental controls to easily maintain optimal greenhouse conditions despite the changing weather.
Greenhouses for Cold Temperate Climates
In cold, snowy climates, greenhouse designs should be sturdy enough to handle heavy snow. Polycarbonate walls and a steep roof pitch will help prevent snow from collecting on top of the greenhouse. Adding supplemental lighting and keeping vents closed will help keep the greenhouse warmer, particularly during colder months.
Choosing a greenhouse for your type of climate can be complicated, but the experts at Gothic Arch Greenhouses are here to help! Please call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to view our selection of greenhouses.