Greenhouses. Planning A Home Greenhouse

Bear in mind the p94r96 david s ross extension

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Unformatted text preview: able to help to do the task over short periods of time. Bear in mind, the P94/R96 David S. Ross Extension agricultural engineer Department of Agricultural Engineering What should a gardener consider when planning to build a small hobby greenhouse? What materials should be used to build it? Does it need heating and cooling? Where can it be placed on the property? There are many considerations, and careful planning is important before a project is started. Building a home greenhouse does not need to be expensive or timeconsuming. It can be small and simple, with a minimum investment in materials and equipment, or it can be a fully equipped, fancy, automated conservatory. The final choice of the type of greenhouse will depend on the growing space desired, home architecture, available sites, and costs. The greenhouse must, however, provide the proper environment for growing plants. Regardless of the size and type of greenhouse you choose, consider how much time you have to manage the system. Do not be too ambitious; some new greenhouse owners find they do not have as much time as they thought. On the other hand, it is a misconception that greenhouses require constant attention. The environment can be maintained with minimal upkeep using automatic controls, which operate the heating, ventilation, watering, humidity, and artificial lighting systems when no one is home. A hobbyist should invest in automatic controls and start with easy-to-care-for plants. Sometimes the hobby grows into a business, so give some thought to the possibility of expanding your greenhouse in the future. Constructing the greenhouse yourself can make the project more enjoyable and less expensive if you are handy with tools. Prefabricated greenhouses can be pur- chased, or they can be built of simple frames. However, only qualified electricians and plumbers should install the automatic systems. Location The greenhouse should be located where it gets maximum sunlight. The first choice of location is the south or southeast side of a building or shade trees. Sunlight all day is best, but morning sunlight on the east side is sufficient for plants. An east side location captures the most November to February sunlight. The next best sites are southwest and west of major structures, where plants receive sunlight later in the day. North of major structures is the least desirable location and is good only for plants that require little light. Morning sunlight is most desirable because it allows the plant’s food production process to begin early; thus, growth is maximized. Deciduous trees, such as maple and oak, can effectively shade the greenhouse from the intense late afternoon summer sun; however, they should not shade the greenhouse in the morning. Deciduous trees also allow maximum exposure to the winter sun because they shed their leaves in the fall. Evergreen trees that have foliage year round should not be located where they will shade the greenhouse because they will block the less intense winter sun. You should aim to maximize winter sun exposure, particularly if the greenhouse is used all year. Remember that the sun is lower in the southern sky in winter causing long shadows to be cast by buildings and evergreen trees (Figure 1). Good drainage is another requirement for the site. When necessary, build the greenhouse above the sur- Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30,1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland at College Park, and local governments. Thomas A. Fretz, Director of Cooperative Extension Service, University of Maryland at College Park. 8 The University of Maryland is equal opportunity. The University’s policies, programs, and activities are in conformance with pertinent Federal and State laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, and disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990; or related legal requirements should be directed to the Director of Personnel/Human Relations, Office of the Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Symons Hall, College Park, MD 20742....
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2013 for the course BOT 101 taught by Professor Drake,d during the Spring '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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