There are several reasons for investing in a greenhouse. Whether you are a herb gardener or an agri-food professional, a greenhouse offers the same benefits for everyone: Growing plants for consumption or ornament over a longer period of the year, maybe even annually.
Several techniques exist and a variety of greenhouses are available on the market. Your greenhouse can be connected to your home (like a sunroom), hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical, and more. It can be manufactured in a multitude of materials according to your needs and your budget. In this article, we will focus on greenhouses that can be found on private propriety (residential greenhouses). While the trend is towards local consumption, there is nothing better than walking through your door to find fresh fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few things to think about when choosing a greenhouse that meets your needs:
Budget & Size For Your Greenhouse
Whether it is made of glass, plastic or with polycarbonate panels, the residential greenhouse will vary in size according to your needs.
There are some materials like glass that are more expensive, but let the sun pass better and last much longer. Polycarbonate may require frequent panel adjustments, but is less expensive. Plastic remains a cheaper solution than the other two, but much less durable due to breakage caused by wind and weather. It is also less environmentally friendly.
The size of your greenhouse will often be directly linked to your budget. If you buy it in a supermarket or in a specialty store, the costs will be much higher than for a “DIY” construction.
A greenhouse measuring 12 ft x 10 ft, with an aluminum frame and Polycarbonate panels, having a growing area of 105 sq. Ft., Purchased in a store will cost around $ 3,700.
And according to this report from Ecohome (greenhouses in cold climates), many people will succeed in making greenhouses much larger and just as efficient with lower budgets, by using recycled materials or by building it from A to Z themselves.
Note: For your budget, it is important to consider what type of foundation you are going to use. Residential greenhouses can be damaged after harsh Canadian winters. By placing it directly on the ground or on a wooden platform, you may risk less benefit from your investment. Learn about screw pile foundations that will save you time and money.
What use do you want to make of it?
Important questions to ask yourself about using your greenhouse:
- Do you need it to be 4 seasons or only during the warmer periods?
- Would you like to have access to it year-round?
- Do you want to produce vegetables, flowers, fruits or just use it to take advantage of this garden area to install a spa or coffee table surrounded by plants?
- Will you opt to have it installed directly on the soil, or do you consider putting a foundation there?
- How many people do you want to feed?
- What space is available for your greenhouse cultivation?
Many other questions arise but know that if you want to use it annually, you will have to think about heating it, ventilating it properly, and, above all, maintaining a good humidity level.
There is nothing magical about the greenhouse. It requires special attention and some basic knowledge that will allow you to use your greenhouse as it should. In addition, your greenhouse will not be safe from insect pests or disease for your plants. It takes patience, trial and error, and some knowledge to make it work well.
Note: Industrial or commercial greenhouses have a much larger area and are made with heavier and more complex structures. Screw piles will undoubtedly be the most stable and efficient way to support this investment, starting with the structure on solid ground!