Own greenhouse on the site allows you to successfully grow greens, vegetables, mushrooms and even flowers. Do-it-yourself cultures are environmentally friendly and safe, which cannot be said about goods from a store or from the market. With the right organization of the process, the first harvest can be harvested already in the first weeks of spring.
What is a greenhouse for?
Greenhouse will reliably protect seedlings from frost, cold winds and hail. Artificial warm and humid microclimate allows you to extend the period of productivity. Moreover, the greenhouse gives the gardener the opportunity to grow exotic heat-loving plants that the usual climate is not suitable for. And large greenhouses are successfully used in farms.
Disadvantages of purchased models
Depending on the size and selected materials, the cost of finished greenhouses varies greatly and can reach impressive amounts. Raising them atthe help of third-party specialists will also cost extra money. Meanwhile, self-installation of a greenhouse does not present any particular difficulties even for a novice amateur gardener, and savings can reach up to 20%. At the same time, there are no restrictions on the dimensions and shape of the structure. When buying a finished structure, usually only the dimensions of a standard greenhouse are available, which is not suitable for everyone. Some self-assembled structures are not inferior to factory ones, but in many ways even surpass them, because they are more thought out.
Starting the construction of a greenhouse, the first step is to determine the location of the structure, as well as select materials for coating. Most commonly used:
- plastic film;
Glass and film have long faded into the background in the arrangement of greenhouses. The low cost allows you to buy any size film for greenhouses, but this is only an apparent advantage. The film is removed for the winter. In this connection, every season it has to be bought and re-tightened. It is rare when it is possible to carefully remove and then re-stretch the film without damage. Moreover, it quickly becomes cloudy and dirty, and it is difficult to wash it.
Glass is inconvenient to install, breaks easily and requires additional sealing. Large hail is dangerous for glass.
Polycarbonate has the best performance.
Advantages of polycarbonate
Polycarbonate is a modern material suitable for greenhouses ranging in size from very small to large farmhouses.
- high transparency, equal to glass;
- UV transmission;
- considerable durability (withstands hail impacts);
- thermal conductivity better than glass;
- allows you to make arched structures;
- fireproof as it does not sustain combustion;
- easy to clean with a hose.
Polycarbonate sheets consist of honeycomb-shaped cells, due to which the light incident on their faces is reflected in different directions, which contributes to more uniform illumination. In addition, the cellular structure gives additional strength to the sheet, which protects against hail or wind-blown rubble. Upon purchase, after measuring and cutting the desired size of a polycarbonate sheet for greenhouses, it is convenient to roll it into a roll for further transportation.
And although the price of polycarbonate is somewhat more expensive than other types of coatings, the absence of disadvantages and a number of advantages made it popular with farmers and summer residents.
When purchasing polycarbonate, you should pay attention to its thickness, the optimal value is 6-8 mm. Polycarbonate sheets have two standards: 2.1x6 m and 2.1x12 m. Also, in a quality sheet, the inner layer will be covered with moisture protection.
AfterOnce the location is determined and the materials selected, the dimensions of the greenhouse are specified. It is advisable to prepare a mini-project with a drawing, which will indicate all dimensions, methods of fastening, roof structure. The roof comes in a variety of shapes:
Optimal - in the form of an arch. Due to the fact that polycarbonate is easily bent, it is easy to give it a bent shape. As glass is used less and less as a covering, there is no need to arrange complex roof shapes. When using polycarbonate, there is no need to tightly seal the numerous seams that are inevitable in the case of glass. The large size of the polycarbonate sheet contributes to a small number of joints. Nevertheless, they must be closed without fail, because otherwise heat will leave the greenhouse through them, and the greenhouse effect will be lost.
It is recommended to select the dimensions of the greenhouse in such a way as to fit into an integer number of polycarbonate sheets. Otherwise, a lot of material will be spent on trimming, and this is a waste of money. If the sheet still needs to be cut, then this is done easily with a mounting knife.
The construction of a greenhouse should begin with the arrangement of the foundation. Depending on the type of soil and the purpose of the greenhouse, one of the following types of base is selected:
The most durable is a monolithicor strip foundation types with high strength and reliability. However, polycarbonate greenhouses are fairly lightweight structures, and if winter use is not planned, then an inexpensive spot foundation can be completely dispensed with. In addition, attaching the frame to such a foundation is much easier.
The next step is the construction of the frame. When the frame of the greenhouse is assembled, the dimensions in length and height are determined by the foundation, the optimal height is about 2.5 m.
But, before proceeding with the installation work, you should decide on the material for the frame. Wooden beams are the most popular for the reason that they can be found for free. Other advantages of a wooden frame include ease of installation and environmental friendliness, since wood is a natural material. But there are also disadvantages: it should be remembered that the tree constantly needs care. Otherwise, in conditions of constant dampness, the slats will rot. Each season of operation of the greenhouse, the wooden frame must be repainted or varnished.
The listed shortcomings have led to the fact that recently metal has become an increasingly popular material for the frame. In this case, a profile or pipes are used. The second, although they are more expensive, but significantly exceed the profile in terms of strength characteristics. However, if you do not plan to use the greenhouse in winter, when a thick layer of snow is possible, you can limit yourself to the profile.
High strength is differentarc structure. They can be purchased ready-made or use a pipe bender. There are also cheap plastic bent pipes of various sizes on sale, but it is highly not recommended to buy them. Such structures are designed for a maximum of one season, after which such pipes bend and crack.
Depending on the size of the arched greenhouses, a different number of arcs will be required. The frequency of their location is selected individually depending on their thickness and the weight of the polycarbonate.
The disadvantage of metal is corrosion, so a primer and subsequent painting of all surfaces of the steel frame is required. If you apply galvanization, then there is no need for regular painting.
To prevent the greenhouse from being torn off by a strong gust of wind, it is necessary to provide for additional weighting of the frame, as well as to strengthen the attachment points of the frame to the foundation.
Polycarbonate sheets are fastened to the arcs using metal brackets. The size of the polycarbonate sheet for greenhouses and the frequency with which the arcs follow determine the number of staples, and the more there are, the stronger the structure will be. It is forbidden to drill through holes in polycarbonate, since this violates the integrity of the surface, cracks appear that can destroy the coating over time.
Since polycarbonate is allowed to bend only in the transverse direction, to get the arch, sheets should be fastened across the greenhouse structure.
If you have not encountered roofing beforepolycarbonate, then it is recommended to choose material from the most famous manufacturers. The ends of the structure must be sealed with a special tape that can protect the material from water and dirt.
Greenhouse heating in winter
If you plan to use the greenhouse in winter, then even at the construction stage, you should think in advance how to heat it so that it is economically justified. With the right approach, heating efficiency will be high, which means that energy costs will be covered by income from the sale of winter crops at traditionally high prices for this time of year.
Among the various methods of winter heating of greenhouses, infrared heating can be distinguished due to its high efficiency. Radiant energy is beneficial in that it does not heat the air, but plants and soil, which, in turn, giving off heat, are already warming the air. This allows you to significantly reduce the heat loss of the greenhouse, and therefore reduce heating costs.
Another advantage of infrared heaters is an instant start and no need for long preheating with a gradual increase in temperature. From the first minutes of operation, the emitters begin to heat at full power. During installation, heaters should be placed at the top, directing the work surface towards the floor. In this case, the heat will quickly warm the soil and, therefore, the roots of the seedlings too.
Depending on the size of the greenhouse, heaters of different capacities will be required. The larger the greenhouse, the more heat is needed.energy to heat it.
Having acquired a greenhouse and starting to plant seedlings, many gardeners are faced with the question of how to properly arrange the beds. A large distance between the beds will not allow rational use of the space, but excessive crowding will also prevent the plants from growing and bearing fruit due to mutual darkening and interweaving of the roots, which threatens to lose the crop. When planning the size of the beds in the greenhouse and the distance between them, you should calculate everything in advance.
The beds can be classified into two types: soil and those on the shelves. The former are more widespread.
It is important to correctly orient the beds: the most sunlight will give the west-east direction.
Depending on the size of the greenhouse, you can arrange two or three beds. At the same time, it is not recommended to exceed the maximum allowable width of the beds of 120 cm. Otherwise, the likelihood of trampling when caring for plants increases. Dirt beds are recommended to be made high, for which you can use straw, a wooden frame or brick.
For a greenhouse whose vertical dimensions exceed two meters, it is convenient to use a system of shelf beds. At the same time, the location of the racks should be selected taking into account your height, otherwise caring for the plants will be too troublesome.
A well-designed and well-assembled greenhouse will please you with a long service life. A well-thought-out heating system will allow you to harvest all year round. If you follow the advice given in the article, the constructiona greenhouse with your own hands will not be a difficult task. Moreover, useful experience will be gained. If you have any difficulties with self-assembly of the greenhouse, photos, dimensions and instructions can be found in the special literature.