A greenhouse, sometimes referred to as a glasshouse, is an environmentally controlled building designed to nurture the growth of plants by using solar radiation from the sun to heat plants and soil. Greenhouses also shield plants from adverse weather conditions and pests.
The use of greenhouses to grow plants dates back to the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who used a greenhouse to grow vegetables.
The glass found in greenhouses protects the plants from air by trapping energy to heat greenhouse plants and the ground to warm the air to nurture the growth of plants.
Greenhouses are made of glass or plastic. Many times glass greenhouses include screening installations and automatically controlled heating, cooling and lighting systems.
The size of greenhouses vary greatly. Smaller greenhouses are typically no larger than a work shed, but larger greenhouses can include structures in excess of an acre.
The Eden Project in Cornwall, England, houses the world's largest greenhouse at nearly four acres in size.
- West Virginia University Extension Service: Planning and Building a Greenhouse
- Italian Government Tourist Board: Botanical Gardens in Italy
- North Carolina State University
greenhouse, plants, conservatory
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Joe Kieser has worked as a professional journalist for more than a decade. His experience includes writing for newspapers, magazines and online sources such as MLB.com. Topics he has covered include government, politics, sports, industry, economics and popular culture.