How Can I make my greenhouse its best?

Different tips to make it more efficient, proper space for plants, proper light,
when to heat and not

There are numerous ways of making your greenhouse more efficient and a better return for your investment.

The first question which needs to be answered, however is, “What does it need to be efficient for?” The answer to that should be in line with your goals and priorities for your greenhouse.

As an example, if you are not going to be growing in the winter, you will not need to make the structure “heat efficient” but you will need to ensure that it is “snow efficient”. If you are growing in the greenhouse through the summer time, the efficiency of your ventilation system is critical.

Making your structure more heat efficient (summer perspective) will be expanded on in post #5 and more heat efficient (winter perspective) will be expand on in post #6.

When you intend to start plants in early spring and then move the greenhouse to start another crop, the moving process can be made more efficient by installing “skis” under the base.

Anchoring concerns are touched on in post #3. This is also a way of making more efficient use of your property with investing in more greenhouse space.

When you implement a trellising program, you will make more efficient use of the floor space in your greenhouse. It is important to consider the need for your plant load being balanced on your structure.

Another important thing to be mindful of is the shading that is created when you implement vertical growing. Under certain conditions you may need to consider supplemental lighting to make things grow.

One consideration that is important to be mindful of as well, is that in the confined space of a greenhouse, you can not grow everything. This is not just a space limitation, but a climate limitation.

Certain plants prefer it warm and some like it cool. Other plants prefer wet and others dry. It will be more efficient use of your greenhouse if you collaborate with a like minded person. You grow more of certain things and the friend does likewise and then you trade the extras.

Here is to working together and growing together!

We hope you are finding value in this series of posts, helping you prepare for your new growing adventure! Reminder that the deadline is May 31st for Fall Delivery. We look forward to working with you for your projects!

Greenhouses 101 & 202

Norm spoke at the Guelph Organic Conference January 31, 2015 on Greenhouses 101: Knowing the basics before you buy-Choices and Consquences
You can find the articles and information posted, as well as a video of his presentation and the Q&A below.

Greenhouses 101: What are you trying to accomplish? What are you dealing with?Greenhouses 101: Climate and Air Effects on your Structure
Greenhosues: 101: Covering Options
Greenhouses 101: Greenhouse Shapes & Configurations
Greenhouses 101: Orientation and Location
Greenhouses 101: Knowing the basics before you buy
Greenhouses 101: Greenhouse Choices

Norm did a presentation at the Guelph Organic Conference on Greenhouses 202: Making sure your structure survives the elements. The presentation is broken into three parts for easy viewing, the last section of which is the Q&A. These tips apply for greenhouses, storage buildings, livestock shelters, really anything we sell. Key Points Covered in the presentation:

1. Some basic principles of engineering so that the forces exerted on the buildings could be better understood.
2. The many components of anchoring. Anchoring prevents a structure from settling under snow load, prevents lifting under aerodynamic forces and prevents shifting with wind forces.
3. The similarities of an airplane wing to the shape of a structure. What happens when surfaces become bigger, wider. lower and higher.
4. How uneven loads can happen and how to prevent them.
5. The proper procedure to removing excessive snow load

Read more here: Greenhouses 202: How to get your structure to survive the elements

Watch more here:

https://youtu.be/TS1y_UmMJ38

https://youtu.be/zTAeGxObtGs

https://youtu.be/y8NGn4jqA4c

Greenhouses 101: Climate and Air Effects on your Structure

You might be wondering, How does air volume affect the climate in a greenhouse? There also is the matter of air changes. What is the connection between shape and aerodynamics? You need to make sure it stays put.

There are 3 forces on every building which need to be considered if you want it to stay where you put it and in the shape you built it. There is down force (usually from snow build up), up lift (by wind) and lateral shift (both wind and snow). Mother nature is not restricted by lack of patience and will work away at any vulnerabilities in the structure, often without notice until it’s too late. There must not be any wiggle room that the weather can work on these vulnerabilities or things will come loose, unstable, and wear out faster..

There simply is no such thing as too many anchors. There are also various tips we can give you for ensuring that the plastic is tight enough to avoid wrinkling and flapping about, while balancing the issues of it being too tight. This can easily extend the life of your roof cover.

We also advise, especially this time of year, to cover the structure as soon as you can as the more snow you have on that spot which has to melt, the more moisture you will have in the building. The more moisture you have in the building the more condensation issues you will have. You want to give that ground the most time possible to dry up before you need to start using the building.

Contact us for more tips and considerations for building a structure that will stay put and have a longer life, we would be happy to help you.

Check out the presentation video and the rest of the series Norm spoke on Greenhouses 101 here. Stay tuned for the end of  January 2016 when he presents Greenhouses 202!