As the professional cannabis market expands, the popularity of using greenhouses grows as well. Greenhouses offer many options to partner with nature for creating a great product. This saves you money and energy as you grow, while giving you more control of your environment.
A big advantage to greenhouses is protection from the outside elements. You can start seedlings earlier and keep them safe from frost and moisture. The secure building also prevents animals from grazing in your garden. Understanding the basics of greenhouse growing can put you on a new path to growing success. Choosing what greenhouse setup is right for your grow is a matter of knowing what you want long term for your garden. In this article, we’ll talk about setting up a small-scale greenhouse, although some of these concepts may apply to any scale.
In setting up your greenhouse, the four areas to focus on are location, material options, environmental control and light control.
First, location is key. Finding a place for the greenhouse will give you insight on what kind of structure to choose; the topography of your site will assist in determining the materials used. Select a flat area that receives the maximum amount of sun all day and can be given shade when needed. Both water and electrical sources are valuable tools for maximizing your space.
Second, material options are the foundation of your structure. Buildings can range from the basic starter greenhouse frame made of PVC and covered with a single layer of polyethylene film, to a fully framed-in timber structure with glass panels that can be opened for environmental control.
Using frames premade and delivered for setup, or structures built onsite to suit individual needs from a variety of material gives a grower many options. Choosing clear, translucent or fully opaque outer walls will depend on your growing style and plant choice. It is always a good idea to keep a shade tarp for shading a portion of your structure.
The floor of the greenhouse should have excellent drainage. Options include using pea gravel or concrete, with gray water drains going out from ground level.
Third, environmental control puts you in the driver’s seat. Greenhouses let you control the humidity, airflow, temperature and pests. By building fans into your system, you can have controlled airflow. This helps strengthen plants while keeping pests to a minimum. Some options include powered louvers that open when temperature and humidity levels reach a preset limit.
The fourth area is light control for any season. Depending on climate and location, a greenhouse can be used to lengthen growing periods and grow all year long. It can be supplemented with lamps to extend your day cycle or deprived of light to extend your dark days; the control remains in your hands. Supplemental lamps help not only to extend your growing season but can also contribute to keeping your garden warm during chilly months. You can also add heaters and air conditioners to keep your garden temperature at optimal levels.
Greenhouse gardens can be built anywhere there’s sunshine. You’ll save money on electric bills and use the sun’s full spectrum of light. This whole range of UV brings energy to your plants that indoor lights sometimes lack. With the full spectrum of light, the plants become stronger and more potent.
Keeping a journal is an excellent way of analyzing what works for you as you understand what you may need to include or remove from your setup as time passes. You can create your perfect union of outdoor and indoor growing. You can grow in pots, on shelves or directly in the ground, if you prefer. Setting up an overhead watering system and in-ground irrigation line can help streamline larger gardens.
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