Although Greenhouses provide a safe and warm place for gardeners to grow various plants, Greenhouses are not always environmentally friendly. Here are some ways to help make your greenhouse greener, more practical, and effective during cold winters and warm summers.
- Since temperatures can drop drastically in winter, some type of heat is required to keep plants alive. Plugging in electric heaters and heat lamps is often unsatisfactory, since most of the circulating heat can escape through the roof and windows of a greenhouse. In order to handle this problem, using things like bubble wrap liners and other plastic wraps around the inside of the greenhouse allows for heat that was built up during the daytime to be retained, while preventing temperatures from dropping below freezing at night. This method cuts down heat running costs while simultaneously reducing environmental impact.
- In the summertime, painting the greenhouse windows with a diluted crushed chalk solution can help keep temperatures down at night. This type of solution can be washed down in winter, but there are also PVC mesh window covers available if there is not enough time to paint and wash the chalk off each season.
- Solar panels can come in handy year-round to generate electricity for lights and and power in the evening. The energy collected from the sun during the day is stored in a battery, allowing for free light once it gets dark. To get the most out of your solar panels, position them at the right angle to collect the most sunlight it can in a day, and install multiple panels to efficiently collect as much energy as possible.
- Save energy inside your greenhouse by installing aluminum and polythene curtains into the roof. The curtains can be left open during the daytime and closed at night, helping to keep heat in. This method could save up to 30% of the energy your greenhouse uses in a day.
- A Watermate or other type of rain irrigation system can make watering your greenhouse plants easy and fast. Rainwater falls into the Watermate or irrigation system that is set up and is stored, ready to be used. The key to upkeep these items is to check for algae buildup and insect eggs throughout the year, and to clean them regularly.
These tips and tricks are easy to do and will ensure the longevity of your greenhouse, as well as contribute to conservation of energy and materials year after year.