Greenhouses are no longer an elite sign of the established gardener. Hartley Botanic's 2019 Greenhouse & Glasshouse Trends report reveals that greenhouses today are 'just as likely to be used for parties and entertaining as younger families admit they see them, not just as a route to healthier and eco-friendly living, but as a luxury lifestyle accessory'.
A greenhouse can also be a peaceful place to enjoy the garden or the fruits of your gardening labour. In fact, Hartley Botanic found that 95 per cent of its customers expected to use their greenhouses to grow food and decorative plants, primarily as a means to eating better and healthier as it gives them surety of the quality of the produce they eat.
When it comes to growing plants, greenhouses allow gardeners to extend the warmer season so plants which require higher temperatures can bloom. They’re also a great means for controlling pesky pests and diseases.
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While greenhouses are undeniably valuable investments, they do, of course, require a high level of maintenance to ensure there is an adequate level of insulation. So how can you ensure flourishing plants and flowers in a greenhouse? Here, a team of garden building experts from BillyOh.com share a quick need-to-know guide.
Ensuring that the greenhouse is placed in an area with the maximum level of exposure to the sun is vital. Avoid placing near tall structures like trees or fences which may obstruct the sun and will cast shadows on the building. Sunlight should be able to burst through on all sides of the building.
The temperature of a greenhouse is one of the main reasons for its success. Insulating the greenhouse is a must and there are many materials which will offer a high level of insulation, although some of them can be particularly pricey. For a cheap solution, you could perhaps look at using bubble wrap which will seal off air gaps and reduce the rate at which heat is lost. A thermometer can also be incredibly useful especially when over-wintering plants.
You'll need to fit a guttering system and install a butt to catch rain in order to save water which can in return be used for the plants. For those with lots of plants, this could be a great help in summer where there is a risk of a hosepipe ban being placed.
Due to the higher temperatures in greenhouses, vents are needed to allow hot, rising air to move out and cool air to move in – especially during the summer. This is an important investment to make and should not be skipped or done poorly. Get a professional in if needed.
5. Damp down
A vital task in summer, damping down is the act of pouring water onto the greenhouse floor. This is done to create enough moisture and humidity throughout the day which will prevent the plants from suffering heat stress and drying out.