Tag Archives: greenhouses

Why Buy a Greenhouse

Reasons to Buy a Greenhouse Gothic Arch GreenhouseA greenhouse opens up a whole new world of gardening possibilities, but it’s understandable if you’re on the fence about whether you should make the investment.

Just like gardening, a greenhouse requires an investment of your time, money and, yes, even patience. Before you buy, you’ll have to take into account your budget, how much space you need (or want) and consider where you’ll place the greenhouse on your property.

Gothic Arch Greenhouses carries an extensive selection of greenhouse models for everyone, ranging from hobby gardeners to commercial growers to research and educational structures. First-time greenhouse owners and hobbyists may choose from our lean-to series to our luxury offerings—or anything in between!

Once you’ve made these all-important decisions that help steer you in the direction of the greenhouse model that is right for you, remind yourself of all of these exciting reasons to reinforce your decision to make that purchase in the first place. These are just some of the many gardening possibilities that lie ahead for you!

Protect your plants through the winter. No need to wonder whether your plants will survive your region’s harsh winters—or even an unseasonable cold snap. Simply move them inside your greenhouse, where they’ll find warmth to survive the season so they can be reused the next year.

Enjoy the fresh taste of vegetables year-round. Don’t let cooler weather put an end to the fresh bounty on your table. Take your gardening efforts inside your greenhouse! Plant the veggies you know and love or experiment with varieties that thrive in winter greenhouses, like carrots, spinach, cabbage, parsley, radishes and celery.

Try your hand at growing exotic plants. Add some ornamental flair to your greenhouse in the dark days of winter by attempting to grow tropical or exotic plants. Tropicals such as orchids, hibiscus and cacti, or ornamentals like geraniums, caladiums and poinsettias are built to thrive in the (reasonable) heat of a greenhouse.

Choose the seeds you want to start. With a greenhouse, you aren’t obligated to grow according to the seasons. So be a little adventurous when you browse the seed catalog, knowing that your greenhouse allows you to think (and garden) outside the box!

Sit inside and soak up sun like you’re outside. If it’s too cold to curl up and read or enjoy a cup of coffee outside, take your favorite form of relaxation inside the greenhouse! Sunshine is more than just good for your plants—it’s good for the soul too!

Ready to buy your greenhouse? Give us a call today at 1-800-531-4769 or visit us at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more about our selection.

6 Tips for Growing Orchids

How to Grow Orchids Gothic Arch GreenhouseOrchids are well-known for their exotic beauty and the meticulous care it takes to grow them.

So much so that there are multiple societies and publications devoted to their conservation and cultivation.

But despite all of this attention given to the orchid, growers shouldn’t be too intimidated to try their hand at nurturing these beautiful blooms.

Like every other plant, it helps to understand the specific needs and conditions they require to grow and thrive.

With that in mind, here are seven fundamental tips to follow when growing orchids—whether you’re experienced or you’re just getting started.

Know what grows best. With nearly 30,000 species of orchids, there is a variety that is well suited for your growing area. Unless you have a greenhouse and have control over humidity and light, being able to offer the orchid conditions in which it naturally thrives is a successful place to begin.

Repot your orchid. Some suggest repotting annually; other say every other year. The most important thing to note is the condition of the potting media. If it starts to break down, becoming more like dirt and less like bark, then it’s time to give your orchid a reset. Wait until after it blooms so as not to disturb its growth cycle.

Water orchids with care. Orchids need to be watered in accordance with a wet-dry cycle that mimics their tropical nature. A drenching once a week to soak the bark in the potting media and the required humidity to dry it out is generally ideal, although you should take into account your growing conditions (such as space) and the needs of the variety. Typically orchids should be watered when the potting media is unmoist, not when bone dry.

Don’t overdo the fertilizer. While you can add nutrients to help support orchids, do it sparingly. These exotic flowers receive very little fertilization naturally, so it is recommended to use fertilizer at half strength—even those labelled as being orchid-specific. Add once a week with water, but take at least one week off per month.

Monitor airflow—and pests. Orchids need ample space to ensure proper airflow. While this is a concern primarily for growers with many plants, allowing air to stagnate can lead to the development of pests. Airflow can dry orchids out more quickly, so check the soil regularly to determine

Make sure orchids get plenty of light. Orchids love the light, which is no surprise because of their tropical nature. For best results, 12 to 14 hours is recommended, and this can include both natural and artificial sources. South- and east-facing windows are often the best options for receiving enough sunlight indoors, but full-spectrum bulbs are a good all-around pick for many orchid varieties.

Have questions about your orchid-growing needs? We at Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help you select all the supplies and accessories—and even greenhouses—to get growing. Call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to get started.

Why Greenhouses in Schools Are Important

Gothic Arch Greenhouse School Greenhouse Education CareersJust what kind of impact can greenhouses have for schools? For starters, they can bring a multitude of lessons covered in the classroom to life and have a lasting influence on the students involved, making greenhouses in schools an important addition for many reasons.

Students—even those as young as elementary schoolcan see firsthand how weather affects growing conditions. Tending to plants teaches them responsibility, and they start to experience at an early age the reward of seeing your hard work blossom.

Middle schoolers may start branching out from the gardening and growing basics, conducting experiments related to temperature controls, fertilizers or even taking note of which plants may thrive in certain conditions or in their local climate.

In high school, students in horticultural programs continue to build on these lessons, possibly even developing entrepreneurial skillssuch as learning to manage costs or promoting their productsby selling the fruits of their labor.

This solid foundation could very well be preparation for entrance into a college or university horticultural program. And from there, a wealth of career options await in the field of horticulture. A horticulture degree can lead to a rewarding professional career in production, management, marketing, education and research. Graduates may also start their own businesses in fruit and vegetable production, landscape design and architecture, nurseries, greenhouses and much more.

The impact of horticulture on our everyday lives is all around us. It’s most obvious in the produce aisles of grocery stores or in farmers’ markets, but also in so many ways that we don’t readily see.

Research is underway to develop better ways to grow food more efficiently, to design more effective farming equipment or to improve pest management strategies, just to name a few. Still others manage public gardens, design landscapes for commercial and residential clients, or continue to help further the industry by becoming horticulture teachers.

Funding is available to help support schools who want to use a greenhouse to complement their curricula. Grants can be obtained through school systems, local gardening centers and even federal agencies to help bring a multitude of lessons to life for students.

Gothic Arch Greenhouses is a trusted supplier and willing partner to help schools of all sizes and budgets implement a greenhouse, establishing a quality foundation of horticultural training for their students. Not only are we well-versed in helping create everything from basic entry packages to professional-level greenhouse design and support, but also we have experience in customizing and tailoring turn-key projects, even within specific climatic and design parameter needs.

To help further the many careers horticultural training can provide, please contact us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

Understanding Greenhouse Structures

Pros Cons of Greenhouse Structures Gothic Arch GreenhousesNovices, hobby gardeners and commercial growers rely on greenhouses to protect their plants from pests and the elements to ultimately extend their growing seasons.

To meet the needs of the everyone from the beginning gardener to the experienced commercial operation, greenhouses are available in many sizes and structures.

Start by understanding these structures, and you can determine which one is right for you and your gardening needs.

Greenhouses vary primarily by shape or construction technique. Below is a list of various structures, along with pros and cons of each.

Conventional/Post-and-Rafter: One of the most common greenhouse structures due to its simple construction, this design is also one of the strongest. The rafter support strengthens the roof, but this also makes it top-heavy. That means the frame must be footed, which increases overall cost.

Pro: The simple design allows for space and air circulation, particularly along side walls, to be maximized.

Con: More materials required than other designs.

A-Frame: Another typical greenhouse structure, the A-Frame offers both simplicity in design and in materials. Combining the roof and the sidewalls to make a single, triangular structure eliminates the extra materials of the post-and-rafter design.

Pro: Fewer materials used means lower costs. Best for planting single rows or just a few plants.

Con: Space can be an issue. Air circulation can be challenging in the corners.

Gothic Arch: The signature product of Gothic Arch Greenhouses, this style features walls that are bent over the frame to make a pointed roof. This technique eliminates the need for structural trusses, as well as needing less construction material.

Pro: The shape of the design allows for easy water and snow runoff. Also conserves heat.

Con: Lower sidewall height may affect storage space and headroom.

Hoop House: Also known as a Quonset design, this structure is a staple for many commercial growing operations. Built from curved or arched rafters, the hoop houses employ aluminum pipes or PVC pipes to create its form.

Pro: Inexpensive relative to other designs. The shape allows for easy rain and snow runoff.

Con: Design is not as inherently sturdy as other frames.

Lean-To: Usually found in home or hobby gardens, this design is attached to an existing structure, such as the back or sometimes side of a home. Because of its location, it offers easy access to available water, electricity and heat.

Pro: Accessible to power, easy to heat and resistant to wind.

Con: Limited interior space makes them a seldom used option in commercial operations.

Shade House: Another option for commercial growers, this design is simply an open-air structure, featuring a fabric roof that is sometimes retractable. This allows for maximum ventilation while protecting tender plants from direct sunlight.

Pro: Not only is this an economical option, but also it helps conserve water—and time spent watering.

Con: Offers limited protection against pests.

Have more questions about which greenhouse structure might be right for your gardening needs? Gothic Arch Greenhouses has more than 70 years of experience serving the horticulture industry!

Call us today toll-free at 1-800-531-4769 to talk with one of our representatives or visit our website at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

How to Choose Your Greenhouse Site

After you’ve carefully selected a greenhouse that best suits your needs, now you’ll have to put some thought into where it’s located on your property.

Site selection is extremely important for your greenhouse, primarily for the success of the plants and vegetables you might want to grow.

But it can also pay great dividends in terms of reduced maintenance and maximized time for you to enjoy your hobby if you just keep these factors in mind.

Light: Be aware of the changes in light patterns throughout the seasons. Where you place your greenhouse in relation to the direction of the sun could very well give you an edge in gardening success. A location to the south or southeast of your home will capture the most amount of sunlight. A location to the east will capture most of the light from November through February.

Natural Shading: For the average backyard greenhouse, summer may be the most challenging season to keep anything growing. To counteract this, locate your greenhouse where it will receive natural shading from deciduous trees when the weather heats up—and when you will need it the most. Some recommend that the greenhouse be located at a distance equal to at least twice the height of any potential shade source, such as other buildings and fences.

Orientation: Along with light and shading, you’ll want to also consider the orientation of your greenhouse, or which direction it faces. Commercial growers usually opt for the southern direction because of the evenly distributed sunlight it provides. But, according to recent research, the direction depends on your latitude. For example, areas above 40 degrees latitude would be better suited with a westward-facing greenhouse. You should always face the entrance away from prevailing winds to limit heat loss whenever the door is opened.

Foundation: Select a site that is level and stable, and especially be mindful of its drainage and elevation. A level, well-drained site will allow for easier construction and put less stress on the greenhouse structure. Additionally, ground that is compacted and firm is ideal so it won’t begin to settle after the greenhouse is built.

Accessibility: Keep in mind accessibility to electricity and water, as well as accessibility for wheelbarrows and garden carts. You’ll want your greenhouse close to a power source to run fans and heaters when needed. You’ll also appreciate locating it near easily accessible paths that are level and wide to allow for moving plants, dirt and fertilizer to and from your greenhouse.

Have more questions about where to set up your greenhouse? Call us today toll-free at 1-800-531-4769 to talk with one of our representatives or visit our website at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more.