Having your own greenhouse is a gardener’s dream come true. Greenhouses take something you may only be able to do for a few months out of the year and extend your growing seasons.
They are a place where you can make the rules by controlling the environment. The right set up allows you to take on almost any planting process year-round and can become like another home on your property.
In fact, you can make it all the more meaningful by building your own! Greenhouse kits are available for order online with everything you need to make this dream come to life.
How do you know what to expect once the package arrives?
Here Are the Basic Materials in All Greenhouse Kits
Greenhouse frames can make the difference between a cheap, functional option in temperate climates to a strong and durable way of fighting extreme elements.
There are a few common frame options available in greenhouse kits:
PVC frames are also referred to as hoop-houses. These are the least expensive option in the market, because they are essentially plastic pipes.
The pipes are shaped to resemble hoops and then covered in tight sheets of fabric for extra strength. The strongest of these frames will come with UV protection, which will benefit your plants as well.
Keep in mind although hoop-house frames are a great option for your wallet, they will not withstand extreme weather conditions. If you live in an area with high winds or heavy snow, you will want to go for something stronger.
The next step up from plastic is wood.
Greenhouse kits with wooden frames usually come with more parts than others. However, the building process is well worth the while because get a beautiful greenhouse with the ability to protect your plants a little better.
Wooden frames are either cedar or redwood, which is then pressure-washed and coated for extra strength.
Aluminum can be as lightweight as PVC or stronger than wood, depending on the quality.
All aluminum frames are durable over time and easy to assemble. The frame is not as prone to rust or mold like wood might be, and it is simple enough to put together in one afternoon.
Plus, some aluminum frames have the strength to protect against the most unforgiving climates. To know which kind of aluminum kit is right for your area, check the strength rating.
Some aluminum frames can even be anchored to the ground for more protection.
Before you start choosing the material you want to cover your frame, decide the kind of growing environment you want to establish.
Glazing varies depending on the amount of sunlight you receive, what you want to grow, and your budget.
Also consider light transmission and thermal insulation. These determine the diffusion of light inside your greenhouse. They can be the difference between under-nourished plants or burning plants.
Once you know the basics of your growing needs, you can narrow down glazing options. The most common glazing materials in greenhouse kits are polycarbonate and glass.
Polycarbonate sheets are layers of plastic fibers which are fire-resistant and strong enough to last up to 10 years.
The number of layers can range from twin-wall structures to triple and five-layer sheets. Sheets start at 4 millimeters in width and can reach up to 16. The thicker the layer, the more expensive the price, but with better light protection and insulation.
This glazing option is ideal for climates with high fluctuations in temperature. It is lightweight enough to assemble on your own and does not require much maintenance as the years pass.
Eventually, the sun will tire it enough for replacements. Until then, you can expect polycarbonate sheets to fight off hail and rocks with no problem.
Glass has the potential to last longer than other forms of glazing unless it gets hit and broken. It is also heavier than plastic and harder to cut, but it does have benefits worth considering.
Glass is more suitable for smaller greenhouses because of its low expansion and contraction rate.
You can also opt for fiberglass, which improves the rate of photosynthesis and is easier to assemble. Fiberglass feels like plastic to cut and can last up to 20 years.
Proper ventilation helps keep a steady temperature. It cools under the strongest rays of summer while heating enough during the winter.
All greenhouse kits should come with a roof vent for both sides of the roof. Some will include side vents as well, but the roof is absolutely necessary.
The best vents are automatic and will open or close depending on the temperature inside your greenhouse. If you wish to save money on manual vents, make sure you are consistently altering them to maintain the proper conditions.
You may even purchase a cooling fan to place opposite the greenhouse door during the hotter summer months.
Not all greenhouse kits will include a foundation, but some gardeners will find a concrete slab or extra timbers beneficial.
A foundation provides more insulation against bitter winters. It can make up to 45 degrees of a difference by keeping the conduction of cold in interior soil from reaching the base of your greenhouse.
If you wish to have a foundation without having to lay down concrete, you can buy pea gravel or foam boards in addition to your greenhouse kit.
Remember to consider your draining options as you choose a foundation. Timber pavers will naturally drain through the cracks while concrete slabs will require you to install a drain.
From Greenhouse Kits to Growing Machines
Are you ready to take your gardening hobby to the next level?
Building your own greenhouse can open a world of opportunities. It is your special space to grow your favorite plants year-round instead of having to wait for the proper climate conditions.
Plus, this space allows you to harvest plants which may not be local to your area’s climate.
Have you tried building your own greenhouse before? Click here to find out the best greenhouse to buy for your needs.