Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Greenhouse Efficiency for Summer & Winter

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 2012-11-016_zpsf1ab72f9.jpg

Greenhouse Efficiency for Summer & Winter

A greenhouse is a great investment for any “backyard farmer” or an organic eco family. If like us, you’ve taken the next step of gardening and built a greenhouse in your backyard, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of all year round growth, a consistent garden with beautiful fresh vegetables, and money saved from not having to pay high prices for non-organic fruit and veg at your local store.

But even though a greenhouse can give you an all year round crop – and what some gardeners like to call “no season gardening” – there are still some things to think about through the seasons if you want to maximize your growth and get the finest, tastiest vegetables.

If you’ve been enjoying some delicious homemade cooking already with your own vegetables, or if you’re a beginner and need a little advice on how you should take care of your greenhouse, read on for our summer and winter tips.

Summer Greenhouse Care

If your hometown experiences hot summers and cold winters, it’s important to prepare for the extremes. The month of August is one of the hottest in many climatic zones across the U.S so you need to ensure that the conditions within the greenhouse are just right. Here are our summer tips:

  • Provide Shading
Shading is important when it comes to plants, and this will vary from crop to crop. So think about the right positioning when the sun becomes a threat. Find out how you can create a homemade shade cloth on the Mother Earth News website.

  • Think About Ventilation
Greenhouses need to have the right ventilation so your greenhouse should have side vents and roof vents.

  • Monitor the Temperature
It’s important that your greenhouse does not overheat. One great solution is to install temperature activated windows which will are powered by electric openers. These automatic windows can be set to any temperature you wish, helping you keep your greenhouse in the optimum heat condition. Read more on the Rocburn Limited website.


Winter Greenhouse Care  

Winter can get pretty chilly, so it’s all about the right insulation for your greenhouse. Greenhouses are designed to lock in heat but with the threat of snowfall and winter storms, we need to give our greenhouses a little helping hand. Here are some tips for insulating:

  • Use a Thermometer
A thermometer will help you realize the temperature levels. Monitoring is extremely important as it will help you decide whether you need to further insulate your greenhouse. If you see consistent low temperatures across a long period, it may be a good idea to invest in a heating system.

  • Use Bubble Wrap
There are many cost-effective ways of insulating if you can’t afford to install greenhouse heating. One of these methods is to use bubble wrap. Bubble wrap will help to seal in the heat whilst blocking out winter drafts. Go to Gardener’s World to see how this is done.

  • Invest in a Heating System
If homemade methods aren’t doing enough to keep your greenhouse warm, try fan heaters or paraffin heaters. Keep an eye on the thermometer so you don’t overheat or invest in an electric greenhouse heater with a built in thermostat.

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