Being creative and cost-efficient with greenhouse benches and other garden furniture
The right garden furniture can turn your yard into an Eden.
However, buying and installing such furniture pieces can be costly.
Tips to reduce garden expenses
Consider using old furniture from your house.
Kitchen work stations, rolling carts, bookcases, large barrels, highchairs and drawers with chests can be used as greenhouses benches once they are treated with generous coats of disinfectant and paint.
If you are single, do you really need an entire bench for yourself?
Can you suffice with a good old Adirondack chair?
You can hollow out fallen trees from your yard and turn them into garden and work benches.
Old plastic and steel pipes can be bunched up together, welded and painted to create homemade benches.
Instead of a garden bench which is slightly expensive, can you consider setting up a hammock or a swing?
Make the purchase a family affair.
Involve your children in painting and generating ideas.
They will enjoy the action and can maybe even come up with a few ways to save a buck or two!
Greenhouse and Garden Furniture
Garden furniture can accentuate the beauty of your yard in many ways.
The right furniture can also add to garden functionality.
Garden benches are a great way to add decor and storage to your outdoor garden and greenhouses.
Greenhouse benches come in different materials like concrete, marble, stone, plastic and wood, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Seasons and daylight savings will not affect the plant growth, thereby giving you year-round blooms. This is also known as ‘photoperiod lighting’ where low intensity light creates the illusion that days are long and nights are short.
Things to consider when choosing greenhouse lights
Before deciding on the type of lighting for your greenhouse, consider the following:
Amount of solar radiation in the atmosphere — This affects how much light is available for photo synthesis.
Greenhouse factors — Such as the type of greenhouse, glazing used and equipment installed.
Type of crops grown — Certain plants need high beam light, while others may grown better in shade. Choose the lighting depending on the type of plants you intend to grow.
Space available to hang lighting — Lighting will have to be moved upward as the plant grows in height. You’ll have to account for the wiring and socket spaces also.
Electricity and maintenance cost — Perhaps one of the most important factors when deciding your greenhouse budget.
Lighting Control Systems
Lighting is available in various forms, and a combination of lights is usually required to cover the entire light spectrum.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that people perceive light differently than vegetables or plants.
Another point we must remember is that although the spectral quality of the sun is constant, it is greatly variable in duration, intensity and direction.
Lots of strategies, including greenhouse lighting control systems, have been developed to deal with the unwanted indoor lighting conditions.
The greenhouse lighting controls can substitute for many spectrums of sunlight needed for plant growth.
Sunlight conditions in a greenhouse structure can vary expeditiously.
Humidity can affect the temperature and luminescence.
To balance this effect, greenhouse ventilation, shading, heating, humidification, irrigation and lighting components should also be responsive if a controlled environment is to be achieved.
This needs excellent engineering, control devices and proper selection of equipment.
You might have to install timers to manage the duration of light and darkness.
To save electricity, you can also try setting up solar powered greenhouses.
A good lighting control system also needs an understanding of the limitations and capabilities of the greenhouse systems, controllers and sensors.
Greenhouse Lights and Fixtures
Choosing the perfect greenhouse lighting usually needs a basic knowledge of the light source.
Today, there are many different types of greenhouse lights and fixtures available in the market.
Let’s look at some of them:
Florescent Greenhouse Lights
Florescent lights are the best and most cost-effective way of lighting up a greenhouse.
The lights emitted by these bulbs are conducive to the normal growth of plants and flowers.
The cool bulbs convey light in blue color which is effective for seedlings.
The warm bulbs convey red light to help in fruiting and flowering.
Fluorescent grow lights produce very little heat.
For best results, place these bulbs about two inches from the plants.
What makes these grow lights the best for greenhouses is the fact that they are cheap and easy to install.
Also, a typical fluorescent bulb can last for up to 20,000 hours.
It’s a great option for those looking to get value for money.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps
High Intensity Discharge lamps are best suited for bigger plants and flowers.
The light emitting spectrum per square feet is much more than those of other lights.
With more light available, plants will absorb more light.
The fixtures also have reflectors which reflect light back onto plants.
This wide frame lighting can be costlier than others.
They also produce heat and should not be kept too close to the plants for they might burn their leaves.
They are available in two types — High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH).
Metal Halide Lamps
The light emitted through metal halide lamps is almost similar to natural light, therefore, it tremendously aides in the vegetative growth of plants.
It’s great for plants that need environments similar to the ones outdoor and do well in areas that do not get any sunlight.
Moreover, these lights also create a favorable working environment in the greenhouse.
Metal Halide High Intensity Discharge lights convey the blue light need for flowering and budding.
High Pressure Sodium Lamps
These lamps emit orange red lights which aides in the growth of flowers and fruits.
High pressure sodium HIDs supply light in the red spectrum.
However, they are not great for the working environment.
Our eyes will have trouble adjusting to the bright red color.
These lamps are a bit expensive but are as effective as fluorescent lamps.
They last longer than metal halides.
These bulbs are not the natural choice for greenhouse owners as they become hot and are not as effective as other light variants.
These lights emit red spectrum light.
However, due to their high heat output and low intensity, conventional incandescent bulbs are usually considered a poor option for greenhouse lights.
Incandescent lights may be utilized as a secondary lighting option when installed at a safe distance from vegetables or plants.
LED Greenhouse Lights
There is no doubt that LED lighting in greenhouse has its advantages.
LED plant grow lights are the newest option for lighting available for plants and vegetables.
They are advertised to be the coolest and most efficient grow lights available.
They can last for up to 11 years and are easy to hang and install due to their small size.
The spectral output is better in LEDs than in any other type of light.
But certain researchers say that LEDs are not suggested for greenhouse lighting as they tend to give vegetables and plants an uncommon appearance if viewed in natural light.
It also provides the ability for an individual to garden straight from the house.
Installing a window in your greenhouse is a great option for adjusting temperature fluctuations within its structure.
Although there are plenty of different styles, shapes and materials for greenhouse windows, most of them are either available in vinyl or aluminum.
The appropriate choice will depend upon weather condition as well as the plants inside.
While vinyl greenhouse windows are more convenient, aluminum greenhouse windows attract far less sunlight.
This may be a deciding element if you would like to boost the feel of the window.
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of both aluminum and vinyl greenhouse windows.
Both will typically have side vents for more air circulation control.
Vinyl windows usually have an aluminum frame for additional strength.
It means that the vinyl greenhouse windows are installed in the same manner as aluminum ones.
Tips for greenhouse window
When it comes to installing windows, you will have to measure your space to determine how much garden area is needed for it.
Depending on the smoothness of the greenhouse’s exterior, you may have to establish a small foundation where you want to fasten your window.
When you have fastened the new window to the greenhouse, you may have to establish supports to make sure that your greenhouse window does not break and fall.
While there are numerous types of flowers and plants that could be placed by a greenhouse window, it is best to narrow down your options and not crowd the window in case the greens block lights for other plants.
Greenhouse glass is just like any other piece of glass that is used on windows, but with a coating that prevents condensation on the surface.
Glass is the most important material in a greenhouse as it allows for sunlight to enter by trapping the radiant heat created inside.
This makes it a passive solar collector.
The larger the pane of greenhouse glass, the more light it captures.
Smaller panes are cheaper, but there will have to be more frame area, which will block light.
A large pane will be expensive to replace and heavy in weight.
It will require a more durable frame, but will greatly improve the amount of light that is allowed into the greenhouse.
Glass is not the best heat absorber in itself.
So a heater might have to be used during nights in large window pane greenhouses.
A popular alternative to greenhouse glass is fiber glass.
It is much cheaper and lighter than glass, but has less light transmission features and yellows quickly.
It also cracks over time and needs regular replacement which negates the saved costs over glass.
Fiber glass looks cheap as well.
Polycarbonate sheeting is similar to glass in light transmission and is better at retaining heat.
It is less prone to breakage, but tends to deteriorates over time.
All these factors play a big role in deciding your entire heating system.
The ideal temperature control system manages the climate by minimizing the adverse effects of both extremes.
Make your decision on purchasing the best greenhouse heaters and climate control equipment by carefully considering the factors mentioned in this article.
This type of watering system facilitates climate control.
Drip feed greenhouse watering system
If either water conservation or avoiding leaf mold is a concern for you, you may want to consider a drip feed system.
These systems feed water directly to the base of plants via plastic tubing at a set rate.
The water reached to each individual plant can be controlled with an automatic sensor.
Drip or trickle greenhouse irrigation systems work best for most vegetables and plants.
They are the most common type of watering system used these days.
They are also extremely water efficient and prevent the wetting of leaves and stems.
A sprinkler greenhouse watering system enables a gardener to water a large space at once.
Not just is this system an effective use of water, it also enables a gardener to control which parts are watered and when.
These systems can be installed inside a structure or high tunnel.
They can be used in gardens, fields and yards.
Greenhouse structures allow for good control over the growing environment of its crops.
Greenhouse aquatics take advantage of this greater environment to grow plants in very harsh weather conditions.
They create bodies of flowing or still water within the walls of the greenhouse to constantly maintain moisture levels.
Common greenhouse aquatic structures include large ponds for growing water plants, indoor water gardens, living aquariums with decorative additions like fish and other aquatic plants.
Even fountains can add to the moisture in the greenhouse while making the experience more enjoyable and tranquil.
When creating ponds inside greenhouses, you can make borders easily by lining the water body with any size or type of rocks.
You will also need to create a foundation to hold the water about a foot deep from the surface.
The water inside will need to be kept warm.
If the greenhouse structure is well insulated, the stones covering the pond at night could be enough to sustain the water warm, depending on the outside temperatures.
To maintain aquatic plants, be mindful of weeds that quickly grow to take over the pond.
They can overpower the whole surface of the area, blocking the solar energy from reaching the aquatic plants.
Weeds ought to be removed quickly and buried or composted.
Hydroponics refer to a system of growing plants in a water-based, nutrient-rich rooting medium.
These systems do not have lots of heavy soil for the plants, hence the roots do not have to work themselves much to reach for nutrients.
Because of this, plants focus their energies on growing upwards rather than downwards, giving better yield and fruit.
They also use less water and soil, hence reducing wastage and overall pollution.
It also prevents the growth of mold, pests and soil degradation.
However, these systems of growing plants are for experienced hands and need a constant supply of water at all times.
They are expensive to install also.
Supplies needed for setting up a greenhouse watering system
All of the above systems require a few basic greenhouse watering supplies if you intent to assemble them at home.
You can purchase them at any hardware store.
Set up your own DIY greenhouse watering system
You will almost invariably use PVC piping to get the water from its source near your plants or into the evaporator cooler.
Then, you will either need misting nozzles to get the water airborne, or a drip line hosing to run to the individual plants.
PVC piping requires bonding tape for a water-tight seal at the joints.
Drip hosing comes with T connectors and staking to install it in the dirt.
Regardless of what type of system you use, a good greenhouse watering supply system will save you hours of labor once installed.
Automatic greenhouse watering systems
Having a greenhouse watering system that is automatic gives you the advantage of saving time and labor costs.
For this, you will need to plan out your watering system well.
You need to figure out what your vegetables and plants need in terms of moisture and water levels.
Some plants and vegetables will need more water, while others not as much.
Cut flowers prefer drip watering while vegetables can benefit from wide-reaching sprinklers.
Automatic greenhouse watering systems work in different ways.
Some by filling up a reservoir with water and dispensing it in several time intervals; others having portable timers to spray plants with different densities of water.
Making your greenhouse watering system truly efficient
Did you know that in the US alone, 38% of freshwater consumption is used solely for irrigation.
Across the world, the number is as high as 80%.
This means that there is a huge strain on water available in the water table for other purposes.
Wasteful irrigation practices can impact local water supplies in a big way.
And you can do your part to save water by implementing a few simple steps such as:
Periodically checking for leaks and faults in piping.
Using rain water harvesting and collecting storm water from your gutters and roof.
Using drip watering instead of conventional methods of irrigation.
Collecting irrigation run-offs, filtering and recirculating it within the greenhouse watering system.
Controling the amount of solar radiation and shade within your greenhouse. This will directly impact the amount of water that will evaporate away. More about the best shade systems for greenhouses here.
Of all the flowers known, the orchid is one of the most beautiful.
A lot of people have found pleasure in growing orchids in their homes and yards.
However, not everyone knows how to water these flowers properly.
Greenhouse equipment should be eco-friendly and cost-effective for the benefit of the owner and the environment.
There are several types of greenhouse equipment, broadly divided into potting, furniture, climate control and irrigation systems, fertilizers, pest control and mini accessories like gloves, shovels and tools.
Exhaust fans, flower baskets, sprinkler systems, thermostats, heaters and shade cloths are some of the essential items needed to run a medium-to-large size greenhouse.
When purchasing these items, you will need adequate shelving and storage areas to keep them safe and secure.
Reusing home items as garden benches and kitchen containers as pots are good ways to save money on equipment.
Otherwise, you can find wholesale dealers who sell seed trays, coverings, pipes and tools in bulk.
You can also rent greenhouse equipment to save cost and time.
Naturescaping involves the use of simple techniques that allow a garden to thrive sans the use of synthetic materials, and in a way, mimics nature.
It’s very popular among do-it-yourself as it saves time and money, aside from making the yard safe and healthy for humans and pets alike.
More people are also making their outdoor space an extension of their home’s interior.
The reason is more on the practical side, as homeowners want to have outdoor kitchens and living spaces to accommodate different functions outside of their house.
Also, there’s a noticeable increase in ‘working themes’ in landscape designs.
For example, Zen-themed landscape is ideal and popular among people who like to retreat to their backyard or front yard for relaxation.
It’s suited for people who are into yoga as well.
With different alternative landscaping ideas available, any yard can be transformed into a living space.
Whether you are concerned about the high costs and maintenance of grassy lawns or if you have a small yard, you might be surprised at the number of different ways in which landscaping can enhance your property.
Landscaping hacks without grass
Unlike in the 20th century when well-manicured grass lawns were a fixture in many American homes, more homeowners now prefer to have lawns without grass.
This is due to the increased awareness about the disadvantages of grass lawns such as:
Disadvantages of Grass Lawns
The large amounts of water and gasoline needed to irrigate and mow lawns.
The amount of fertilizers needed in maintaining grass lawns.
The labor-intensive process of mowing lawns which takes up lots of time.
There are plenty of landscaping alternatives for people who don’t like to mow or are simply concerned about the environmental impact of grass lawns, such as:
Moss is an alternative that is best suited for areas with moist and acidic soil.
Moss is usually used as a ground cover in Japanese gardens and is preferred for many reasons such as:
It is low maintenance, unlike grass lawn. Once established, it needs no fertilizer and trimming.
Moss needs very little water unless it is extremely dry weather.
Its texture is also a great foil for nearby flowering plants and evergreens.
Many moss lovers also say that the green color of moss is a lot better than grass in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
However, moss does have its disadvantages.
One is that it will turn brown in warm and dry weather, so it should be watered periodically.
Fallen twigs and leaves can also discourage the growth of moss patches.
To prevent this, there’s a need for gentle raking.
Lastly, it doesn’t handle foot traffic quite as well as grass.
Clover is another good alternative to grass as a ground cover.
Like moss, it doesn’t need fertilizer.
It thrives in sunny to partial shade areas, and can grow in a wide range of soils.
Compared to moss, it is more forgiving to foot traffic and is well adapted to grassy areas of the United States.
However, it is not ideal for homes with small children and animals because it wilts under the constant friction of running and playing.
Mondo grass is another evergreen ground cover that is a good alternative to a grass lawn.
It can grow up to six inches tall if not moved.
As an alternative, dwarf mondo grass grows up to just two inches.
What makes it better than clover and moss is that it can handle foot traffic very well.
Although it is native to Asia, mondo grass thrives in a good number of regions in the United States.
Lilyturf is also a great choice if you are sick and tired of mowing grass lawns.
Also called liriope, this plant has dark green leaves. Its leaves are wider than those of mondo grass.
These green beauties can grow to a maximum height of 1 ½ feet.
When it comes to soil conditions, lily turf isn’t picky as long as it is exposed to sun all the time.
It can also handle light foot traffic.
Dwarf myrtle is native to Australia.
It likes full sun, and once established, is drought-tolerant.
It can be sheared to a height of 1 foot.
When left to grow on its own, it can reach up to heights of 2 feet.
You would also love its tiny white flowers that often appear in spring, and continues well into the summer season.
Finally, there are prairie meadows consisting of wildflowers, low-growing flowering perennials and native grasses.
Prairie meadows love a good amount of sunshine, although some will accept shade too.
Now you know that grass isn’t the only green ground cover out there.
You have plenty of other plant options for your lawn.
More landscaping hacks, tips and tricks coming up!
Alternative landscaping material
Plants aren’t the only ground cover option you have.
You can also have gravel and other small rocks which come in numerous forms and colors.
These materials can solve drainage issues, add textural appeal and can handle foot traffic very well.
Types of landscaping materials other than plants are:
You can opt for decomposed granite, a granitic rock that comes in reddish tan color for lawns, garden walkways and rustic patios.
It can also be used as a top dressing around arid plants.
Granite is very cheap and can be bought at home improvement stores for around $3 a bag.
Pea gravel is another good choice for landscaping filler material.
Pea gravel is a small, rounded rock that is about the size of a pea, hence its name.
It comes in different sizes — 1/4 inch, ½ inch and 5/8 inch, for example.
These rocks are also available in various colors, from brown, white and tan.
It is ideal for patio and pathways.
Like decomposed granite, it is very cheap and economical for large areas.
River rock is a lot bigger than pea gravel, usually an inch or larger in terms of diameter.
It is available in different colors and sizes.
River rock is often used to direct drainage through a property.
It’s also pretty cheap like decomposed granite and pea gravel.
Mexican beach pebbles
If you’re looking for an elegant rock ground cover option, consider Mexican beach pebbles.
These are small, smooth and rounded rocks with a grayish black color, which is used decoratively in gardens.
Though it may be slightly expensive, it’s a classy and sophisticated option for ground cover.
Indeed, there are lots of ways to dress up your garden or backyard!
With so many options in today’s landscaping market, you will constantly want to renovate and improve the look of the space outside your home.
Garden landscape hacks for using furniture aesthetically
Garden furniture can bring out the beauty of your garden in many ways.
Following are some ideas with which you can make the most of your garden space using good furniture and accents:
If you have limited space in the front yard, a circular or round patio set is highly recommended to save space, yet give you the feeling of an outdoor setting.
Indoor dining tables are not just the only option anymore for those with patios.
They can also serve as a gathering place, especially when you put enough seats or have a fire pit.
Patios are no longer just seen as a place to eat with guests, but also for relaxing.
Also known as negative edge pools, infinity pools are a luxurious addition to any yard.
They create a beautiful effect for a swimming pool and adds a strong visual water element to the landscape.
It’s also easier to maintain than standard pools due to the presence of a filtration system, reducing the need to clean out the pool often.
Built-in fireplace or pit
Fireplaces lend a cozy feel to you and your guests when gathered around the flames.
These serve as rich centerpieces for your patio; a fun and visually interesting part to say the least.
Aside from being used as a source of heat during chilly evenings, a fire pit is now being seen as more of an accent in the workplace.
Fire pits are also being customized, available in round, rectangular and even portable designs.
Not all alternative landscaping ideas are costly like the three ideas mentioned earlier.
Try mixing your plants by adding vegetables, herbs and fruit bushes to your flowers.
This way you can conserve space and add variety to your garden.
Try to plant pumpkins, squashes and watermelons.
They will look good when in bloom.
Used items for planting spaces
Items like sinks, wardrobes, drawers and bathtubs can be used as decorative planting places.
They can often make a good garden accent that will draw smiles from onlookers.
You can use them for growing culinary herbs and vegetables.
Other items that can serve a similar purpose are buckets, ceramic bowls, toolboxes and old pots.
Greenhouses are great options not just for gardening, but also for improving the aesthetics of the garden.
You can opt for gable greenhouses, dome-shaped or glass greenhouses, all of which look good while serving their purposes of growing plants too.
Best Greenhouse Kit – Greenhouses can be a real blessing for those with a green thumb.
And building one with a kit saves you money and time.
In this article, we’ll help you decide which is the best greenhouse kit for your needs from among the many options available in the market.
Whether you’re a gifted gardener or just love being surrounded by plants, there are many reasons why you would want to have a greenhouse.
Having a greenhouse in the yard can aid in growing your own food, or can simply serve as a peaceful retreat after a tiring week.
But they can cost you a lot of money.
In the United States, building a greenhouse can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000.
The expenses will vary depending on factors like the size of the greenhouse, materials used, excavation, and permits, among others.
That’s why you should put in a lot of effort into researching the best greenhouse options available today.
While greenhouses can be quite expensive to set up from the scratch, a greenhouse kit (also commonly known as a ‘greenhouse-in-a-box’) allows for a more economical approach, especially for a beginner.
Best Greenhouse Kit Reviews
Palram Mythos Hobby Greenhouse – 6’ x 4’ x 7’- Silver
The Palram Mythos Hobby is an extremely durable greenhouse. It comprises 4 mm twin-wall polycarbonate panels, which not only block 99.9% of UV rays but also protects your plants by diffusing the sun’s light and spreading it evenly.
The frame is made of durable rust-resistant aluminum and offers a bountiful 24 square feet of space for planting.
It includes a roof vent that can be easily adjusted according to your preference and need.
This kit includes rain gutters, a galvanized steel base to ensure a sturdy structure, frost protection, and a lockable door to keep your plants safe.
The estimated assembly time is 4-5 hours.
This deal includes a 5-year limited warranty and customer support (US-based) for a very reasonable price.
Palram Harmony 6×8 Green Greenhouse
It is nearly indestructible with solid high quality, crystal clear polycarbonate panels, and a rust-resistant aluminum frame.
Easy assembly is guaranteed with a slide n’ lock system, and step-by-step instructions included for a stress-free experience!
The light transmission is maximized to over 90% to ensure optimal growth for your plants, vegetables, and flowers.
It measures in at 247L x 185W x 208H cm for that bit of extra space to move around and not bump your head on the ceiling!
It comes with a standard of 5-year limited warranty.
It is an excellent first choice for anyone who wants durability, safety, and optimal use of space.
Palram Rion 8x12ft Grand Gardner Greenhouse
This spacious Palram Rion Grand Gardener luxury greenhouse with a beautiful barn-style design is excellent for those who are serious about growing plants, flowers, and vegetables and wish to do so in style.
With two different types of polycarbonate panels — heavy-duty and see-through — this greenhouse offers you that bit of extra protection, while not compromising on the crystal clear views.
A simple pin and lock system warrants an easy stress-free assembly, and the roof panels slide into place effortlessly.
This guarantees your new plant hobby will be stress-free, and you can get started quickly.
Over 70% of sunlight is diffused by the twin-wall roof panels to ensure a soft and even light for your plants.
With double-doors, a weatherproof Green Resin frame, and roof vents, the Grand Gardener Greenhouse is every gardener’s dream!
King Canopy Fully Enclosed Greenhouse
The King Canopy greenhouse is a sun-resistant and durable option for gardeners who require a heavy-duty greenhouse.
It includes a sturdy all-steel frame, a clear, see-through 1-piece rip stop cover, with a half-moon shaped back window and a roll-up front door.
It is fully enclosed to keep your plants protected from the weather, birds, and possible pests.
Extremely simple and quick to assemble, and if treated well, it will last you for a while!
It is a simple, functional, and a good-value-for-money greenhouse kit.
This product offers a hassle-free start on your planting career, without the stress of tricky assembly with lots of tools.
It is also easy to assemble so you can get started on your new hobby as soon as possible.
For those who care most about the durability, it is weather and mildew resistant cover to protect your plants from bacteria and extreme temperatures.
Outsunny Clear Polycarbonate Greenhouse w/Slide Door (6ft x 8ft)
The best features of the Outsunny Walk-in Large Greenhouse include easy assembly, sliding front door for easy walk-in access, and a see-through PC board that allows you to observe the plants from the outside.
This greenhouse truly is a looker.
It is extremely strong and sturdy for great stability and durability.
It’s a great, budget-friendly option that suits all levels of gardeners from beginners to pros.
It’s made with a powder-coated aluminum frame, and polycarbonate sheets that filter UV-rays to protect your plant babies, while allowing natural light to enter.
The rooftop vent panel is great for optimizing ventilation and airflow, which you can easily adjust according to your needs.
The sliding front door provides easy access to inside without compromising on style.
A fantastic choice for keeping your plants happy all year round without breaking your budget!