“One who loves a garden will love a greenhouse too.”
This famous statement by William Cowper is indeed true. For what else is a greenhouse? It is a giant garden inside the precincts of a huge structure which is mostly made of glass or related material that allows the sun’s radiation to enter in but by virtue of the nature of its design and the material that it is built with does not allow the heat to escape into the atmosphere by dissipation or by convection.
The incoming heat is absorbed by the walls, floor and the contents of the greenhouse. The heat that is coming inside is not allowed to escape and thus the plants growing in the greenhouse stay warm.
Reason for growing plants in a greenhouse:
There are certain plants that need a certain level of temperature to grow. In colder countries, it is important to be able to grow food throughout the year. By allowing the natural sunlight in the day the greenhouse allows for the energy to be conserved within the glass chambers and to be used when the climate turns colder when the sun sets.
In regions which are very cold, there is technology to keep the greenhouses artificially heated. For more click on this link greenhousestores.co.uk. The huge strides that the world has made in technology has not only helped people grow plants in difficult climatic conditions but grow them in variety and their species are more superior in quality and have higher resilience to diseases and rots.
Types of greenhouses:
There are two types of greenhouses
- The greenhouses:
When greenhouses are made for commercial purposes for example growing of crops for consumption in the local and the foreign market and growing of exotic fruits and vegetables and flowers, they are made high tech and fitted with gadgets to heating artificially, cooling the too high temperatures, sensors to continuously monitor the amount of heat inside the greenhouse. The other functions like lighting and thermostat functions in the greenhouse are controlled by robots or computers.
The commercial greenhouses require high quality bubble proof glass and they should be at least thicker than 3 mm. if there are bubbles on the glass then they can create scorching on the leaves of the plants housed inside them.
The domestic greenhouses are simple structures sans the high tech apparatuses and gadgets and they may have glass structures which are lesser than 3mm in thickness.
- The plastic greenhouses:
The plastic greenhouses are mostly made up of plastic derivatives such as polyethylene and polycarbonate and acrylic glass. Even though the plastic greenhouses are yet to take off in a bog way still, there is a niche market for them.
The unique requirements of the greenhouses:
Inside the greenhouse, proper irrigation facilities have to be maintained. There is a need for proper study of the needs of the plants that are proposed to be cultivated or are being cultivated, the amount of water and heat that they will need in order to provide them the best. Most of the greenhouses use sprinkler type of irrigation or drip irrigation. Because the greenhouse is a closed structure, it becomes important to look after the water needs as any the plants are totally devoid of the rain showers.
While certain amount of heat is indeed important for the plants to procreate and thrive, still excessive heat can stunt growth or prove bad for their quality.
Ventilation ducts in the roof of the greenhouse allows excessive heat or humidity to escape in to the atmosphere. Too much of humidity in the greenhouse can also affect the quality of the plants.
- Pest and disease control:
It is important that quality pest control is maintained on a regular basis and any laid back attitude to any rot or blight is totally avoided.
The earth as a huge greenhouse:
To understand the concept of the greenhouse, we may even consider the earth at a macro level. The heavier gases like the Ozone, methane etc act like a shield above the earth’s atmosphere and allow the incoming solar rays to touch the earth. But during evenings, they do not allow all the earth’s rays to dissipate back into space. They trap the heat of the sun within them. That is precisely the reason why the night is not freezing cold.
This phenomenon is also called as the green house effect and if it were not for this phenomenon, our days would be scorching hot and nights freezing cold.
History of the greenhouse:
It has been noted in some roman texts that they were practicing this greenhouse technology since their roman emperor, Tiberius was very fond of a vegetable which had to be laid on his table every day of the year. The plant was then planted in a wheel barrow and kept in sunlight and in the evening it was kept inside a warm room to grow. This is probably the oldest reference to greenhouses in history.