Tag Archives: gothic arch greenhouse

Seed Starting Tips for Greenhouses

Taking the first steps in the seed-starting process tends to mean spring is not far away. But with greenhouses, growers can start that process any time.

Thanks to the controlled environment they offer, greenhouses not only extend the growing season, but they also offer the right conditions for starting seeds in them year round.

If you plan to transfer seeds to an outdoor garden, for example, start this process about six to eight weeks before the first frost in your growing region.

Get your seed-starting supplies together and follow these tips to prepare your plants for success!

Seed. Beginning with fresh seed is the simplest way to get started. You can use leftover seeds, but you’ll want to test them for germination. To do so, place a specific number on a wet paper towel. Fold it over the seeds and place it in a plastic bag in a warm place. Inspect the seeds and add moisture as needed. After the germination period, count the number of germinated seeds to determine the percentage of germination.

Growing Media. Balance the amount of air and water content in the mix you use. While air space is important to create healthy seedlings, too much water can create swelling and result in too much air when your mix is dry and not enough when it settles. Avoid compacting your mix by lightly filling trays with your growing medium and brush the excess away. To ensure the right amount of hydration, add water to your mix before adding it to your containers. It’s just right when it is damp to the touch, but not wet.

Containers. Trays and cell flats make ideal seed-starting containers—particularly for large vegetable growers—because they can be filled quickly, are easily moved and are reusable. But they do need to be cleaned before use the next season, and if the plant becomes root-bound in the container, it can lead to transplant shock when transferred. Biodegradable containers eliminate this concern, but they do need to be restocked every season and take up more space in the greenhouse. For hobby gardeners, commercial trays (if that is your preference) are recommended because they are more durable and available in more options than what you might find at a local garden center. They cost more, but last longer.

Sowing. When planting your seed, please note that the placement of it is important to its success. For example, if planted too close to the edge of the tray, it is likely to dry out. Typically, it is recommended to cover the seed once placed (ideally in the middle of the container) with a light layer of soil. Others suggest simply pressing the seed down into the soil without an extra covering. Either way, once the seeds are planted, water them evenly and gently. Plan to group your seedlings by their temperature needs, so you can use mats if needed to efficiently provide heat if required.

Ready to start your seeds? We’ve got the supplies you need—containers, trays, propagation mats and more! Call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit our website at www.GothicArchGreenhouses for more information.

How to Heat a Greenhouse on a Budget

Gothic Arch Greenhouse snow runoffWorried about the cost of heating your greenhouse this winter? Rising fuel prices and extreme cold weather can add up quickly if you don’t know how to maximize every strategy that could help you cut your energy bill.

Depending on your zone, you may be able to employ some of these options longer than others. But with their help, you may only have to supplement with heaters rather than solely relying on them.

These are some of the best low-tech tips available to help you heat a greenhouse while trying to reduce your energy costs.

Paint It Black. Paint the outside of 55-gallon plastic containers with flat black enamel. Fill them with water and locate it in areas where they can absorb the most sunlight throughout the day. When the temperatures fall at night, heat emitted from the water will help keep your greenhouse warm. This technique—whether for growers with little extra space or those with smaller greenhouses (they can use gallon jugs and paint buckets)—can maintain an average of 20-30 degrees warmer in your greenhouse than outside temperatures!

Gimme Compost. Get the most out of your organic waste by creating a compost pile. Tea bags, fruit and vegetable scraps, dryer lint, newspaper, grass clippings and more can help not only provide essential nutrients to your plants, but also they can provide heat that is released during their chemical breakdown. Place your scraps and trimmings in 55-gallon drums or a ring of wire mesh. Be warned that they can create immense amounts of heat—well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit—so be aware that you use this option with safety in mind.

It’s All Over Row Covers. Garden fabric, also known as row covers, is a simple way to help turn up the heat when the weather outside demands it. Not only can row covers protect plants from cold and wind, but also they shield them from insects and prevent overheating in the summer. This fabric can be draped over hoops or secured to the ground. Row covers can be reused if handled with care, though certain styles can last much longer. Even if yours last one or two seasons, row covers are easily repurposed as weed barriers or covers during milder weather.

Seal It Up. Retain as much heat in your greenhouse by preventing as much warm air as possible from escaping. Seal all joints and gaps in the greenhouse with silicone caulking or installing weatherstripping around doors, seams of glass and at the foundation. Repair any tears in film, coverings or cracks in glass to hold on to all of your hard-earned heat! Regular maintenance like this is one of the simplest ways to help you improve the energy efficiency of your greenhouse.

Heat What You Need. Particularly for larger greenhouses, heating the entire space can get expensive quickly, but the good news is that it might not all be necessary. Separating plants into zones inside the greenhouse with partitions makes it possible to heat the needed space more efficiently. Not only is this a more economical approach, but also it provides the grower with more control over the temperatures, which helps create a more ideal environment for each plant that is grown.

Got questions about preparing your greenhouse for the winter or what works best in your zone? Let us know! Call Gothic Arch Greenhouses at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

5 Benefits of a Gothic Arch-Style Greenhouse

The Gothic-arched greenhouse design is, as our name implies, our signature product. In the 1950s, relationships with the many ornamental nurseries in the Gulf Coast area helped steer the company’s initial import/export focus toward horticulture.

But it was through the eventual association with the agricultural colleges in Alabama that the Gothic arch became Gothic Arch Greenhouses’ flagship design.

While university programs could boast higher-end greenhouses featuring aluminum, steel or glass, secondary and post-secondary vocational ones could not. From that need for affordable, yet durable greenhouses, the Gothic-arch style became our initial focus.

Now decades later, we still stand behind this design for all of these reasons a Gothic-arch style greenhouse is a great choice for growers today.

Durability. The Gothic-arch design is well-regarded for its ability to withstand strong winds and heavy snowfall. The half-teardrop shape of the roof is ideal for allowing snow and rain to easily run off and preventing damage from substantial accumulation of precipitation or debris.

Efficient Construction. The arched roof of the Gothic Arch Greenhouse eliminates the need for structural trusses. This technique requires less construction material, which not only helps reduce costs, but also makes construction faster and easier.

Flexible Design. Because of the Gothic Arch Greenhouse design, you have some options when it comes to the installation. Whether you mount the greenhouse at grade level or higher on a foundation wall, you can decide how high you want to locate the structure.

More Overhead Space. The Gothic arch features more height from the high profile of the ridge in the center, which creates space for growers who specialize in or want to try their hand at taller specialty crops (like tomatoes and cucumbers), as well as many tropical trees.

Aesthetics. Many growers appreciate the simple beauty of the Gothic-arch design. A variation of the Quonset style—which features a semicircular frame—the Gothic arch, as its name implies, gets its graceful curve from the walls being bent from the base, making a graduating curve that peaks at the roof. 

Is the Gothic-arch style greenhouse right for you? If you still have questions, please contact our friendly representatives at 800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com, and we’ll be happy to assist you with your purchase!