Small Greenhouse Instructions


Precise and vigilant planning is required to construct and maintain a small greenhouse. Building a greenhouse doesn't have to be too time consuming or even expensive, but it does take careful consideration on what materials and equipment should be used to influence a successful plant growing rate; small greenhouses must especially provide the proper environment for growing plants because they are more likely to house different plants that require different cultivating methods. Talk to a greenhouse specialist to help you determine which materials and equipment would be right for your particular type of greenhouse before making any serious investments.

Structural Materials

Most greenhouses are constructed with aluminum, wood and commercial steel. Do-it-yourself green homes are generally built with wood and metal pipe floors. The greenhouse's frame is generally covered with glass, but in some instances, it can be covered in fiber glass or plastic. Any material has its negatives and positives, and depending on location and the types of plants you are harvesting, you should shop around for the best construction materials that suit your needs.

Environmental Systems

Because the right environmental conditions are essential in maintaining a healthy environment for plant growth, the right type of greenhouse construction is necessary for providing the right amount of solar energy. However, solar energy is not the only source that affects plant health---you must construct proper heating and cooling systems during all times of the year. Heating and cooling systems include fans, air conditioning, heating sources and thermostats. Greenhouse owners should look into heat-collecting methods to prevent an overabundance of fossil-fuel consumption that can be detrimental to plant health.

Ventilation Systems

Vent all heating systems to avoid suffocating the plants. Invest in fresh-air vents to supply oxygen for burners for complete combustion. Installing circulating fans for a small greenhouse is another good investment. Keep the greenhouse heated during the winter and maintain air circulation to prevent temperatures from rising too much. Without air-mixing fans, the warm air rises to the top and cool air settles around the plants on the floor. Use mechanical ventilation to regulate air circulation. Exhaust fans should be sized and measured to ensure that there is an appropriate exchange in the total air volume per minute.

Water Systems

Water is essential to plant growth, and without it, greenhouse foliage would cease to exist. Keep plants hydrated through automatic watering systems which are available to water plants around the clock. Keep in mind that small greenhouses have a variety of plant materials, containers and soil mixes and they may need different water amounts. Invest in time clocks or mechanical evaporation sensors to control watering systems. Watering kits are especially useful in small greenhouses. They can be obtained through a plant store and applied to flats, benches or pots. Mist sprays should be used to produce humidity or to moisten plant seedlings.

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About this Author

Cameron Holmes is an accomplished actor and writer that currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. As an English graduate from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Holmes has published a woman's fitness e-book and is currently writing children's stories and plays.

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