A Place For Your Green Thumb All Year Long.
If you have the physical room for it in your backyard a greenhouse or hothouse can be a wonderful addition. These structures not only make it possible for you to winter over plants that would otherwise need to be replaced next season, they also make it possible to garden all year long if you desire. The small home or hobby greenhouses come in both glass and polycarbonate and can be delivered straight to your door from the provider.
There are couple types of greenhouses that the homeowner can come by. One type that is fairly inexpensive is the pop-up greenhouse as I like to call it. These greenhouses are made of light material and frame, you simply snap them together and pull the cover over top. These types of greenhouses are made generally for springtime use and will not be part of our discussion here.
The other types of greenhouses available are the rigid frame variety and consists of an aluminum frame that can be attached to a deck or a foundation in the yard. The second part of these types of kit greenhouses are the clear panel inserts and these can be made from either glass or a polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate of course makes a structure much lighter and much less breakable.
In addition these backyard greenhouse kits can come in a number of different configurations from your standard square or rectangle to a chalet and Victorian. These kits also come in a wide price range as well with your glass greenhouses generally being the more expensive of the two. Of course my overall favorite are the glass greenhouses for a number of reasons, but there are many benefits to recommend a polycarbonate version other than just price.
Polycarbonate is of course plastic and one of the big pluses to this type of material is going be the fact that it is very, very difficult to break unlike glass. It is also very easy to install with most installations allowing 90% of the sun’s rays through into your greenhouse. Of course scratching of the material is going to be more of a concern than with glass, but of scratching becomes a problem simply replace the panel with a new one.
One of the higher rated manufacturers of plastic greenhouse kits is a company by the name of Palram. Palram is a global manufacturer of extruded thermoplastic sheets (polycarbonate panels) and they not only manufacturer sheets of this stuff they also incorporate them into and products, one of which being greenhouse kits. Kits from this manufacture are available up to 12’ x 12’ in size with most of their kits coming in at a price below $800 in price.
Now with all that good information I’ve given you above you might be thinking why would I want a greenhouse in my backyard? As mentioned earlier if you’re a gardener and you have plants you would like to winter over then a backyard greenhouse is a perfect choice. Plants like geraniums do extremely well in these little structures over the winter and within a couple of years of wintering over you’ll have a plant that is truly spectacular. Not to mention the money you will save buying new plants every year.
Another great reason to have one of these structures, especially if you live in an area that experiences winter, is that it can make a great retreat to simply sit in and have a cup of coffee while the snow is piled up outside. After all it’s quiet, fairly warm and has all the sunshine you could want. That’s right I said warm and here’s why.
A greenhouse is basically a transparent closed structure and even in the dead of winter enough sunlight will come through to keep it pretty warm. Night is another thing though and unless you provide a heat source to keep the structure above freezing your plants will go the way of the dodo (extinct). In our greenhouse, which is an 8 foot hexagonal glass version, we use a simple oil core electric heater set to its lowest level, which is generally designated by snowflake on the heat dial. This heater combined with a small fan to circulate the air keeps everything it optimal condition.
So there you have a quick overview of one creative backyard idea that while not being one of the cheapest available it is one that will grant great versatility. This new versatility will allow you to winter over plants, raise seedlings and even start growing your tomatoes on a year-round basis if configured correctly.
Directly below this article we will be adding more information on gardening in and owning your own hothouse so feel free to click on the links below and continue your journey.