Greenhouses, also referred to as glasshouses, are buildings in which plants are grown, ranging in size from small sheds to commercial-size buildings. The general idea of growing plants and flowers in an environmentally-controlled area has been around since the time of the Romans. The first modern greenhouses were built during the 13th century in Italy to house exotic plants obtained by explorers in the tropics.
They were known as botanical gardens. The greenhouse concept swept across the Netherlands and into England. In the 1960s, greenhouse structures adapted with the wider availability of polyethylene film. Gutter-connected greenhouses did not become prevalent until the 1980s and 1990s.
These consisted of bays connected by support posts or a common wall. Gutter-connected greenhouses are commonly used today for production and commercial use. Greenhouse gardening has become a popular pastime and career for those looking outside conventional gardening. With a greenhouse, it is possible to grow plants in cold climates and temperatures.
Greenhouses also allow for an ongoing supply of plants throughout the year. Besides these advantages, greenhouses allow owners to have more control over the outcome of their crops. Greenhouses can be controlled through the installation of heating and cooling, ventilation and watering systems.
Proper maintenance of greenhouse plants also aid in insect and pest control. Once considered a luxury, greenhouses are now becoming a common addition to homes.
Planning and Building a Greenhouse
Fact sheet on how to properly plan and build a greenhouse with information on location, foundation and floors, ventilation, heating and cooling basics, structural materials and watering systems.
Hobby Greenhouse Construction
Step-by-step instructions on how to build a greenhouse via a greenhouse kit or constructed inexpensively with materials found at your local building supply store.
Building a Passive Solar Greenhouse
Information, construction drawings and a list of materials on building a passive solar greenhouse, including cost estimates, getting the right angles, laying the foundation and tips on how to keep it insulated from heat and cold.
Details on how to provide proper ventilation for your greenhouse for every season of the year, including winter, summer, spring and fall.
Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses
Article pertaining to the sources of carbon dioxide in greenhouses, the costs associated with adding carbon dioxide and how to properly distribute carbon dioxide through natural air exchange or photosynthesis.
Selecting and Maintaining Greenhouse Thermostats
Comprehensive article on how to choose and maintain a quality thermostat for a greenhouse, including details on installation and the advantages of using electronic thermostats to save fuel and money.
Keep Your Greenhouse Cool With These Equipment Maintenance Tips [PDF]
Strategies that greenhouse owners can use to control temperature and humidly levels while increasing air exchange and reducing radiating by following simple equipment maintenance tips.
Description of the different types of greenhouses, details on how exactly greenhouses work and the advantages and disadvantages of using a greenhouse to maintain plants.
Supplemental Lighting for Greenhouse Crop Production [PDF]
Article that describes the various supplemental sources of lighting available for greenhouse owners to aid in the reduction of expenses and to boost crop production.
Greenhouse Insect Management
Safety tips for using pesticides and equipment in a greenhouse, as well as information on common greenhouse insects and how to detect these pests early on before the situation becomes out of control.
General Greenhouse Procedures
List of important greenhouse procedures that all greenhouse owners should know, such as proper disposal of trash, cleaning and sterilization of equipment and labeling of greenhouse supplies.
Managing the Greenhouse Environment to Control Plant Diseases [PDF]
Fact sheet on the proper maintenance techniques that should be followed by greenhouse owners to prevent plant diseases through proper ventilation, sanitation, watering schedules and control of humidity.
Greenhouse Grown Crops
Tips on controlling weeds in indoor greenhouses, as well as the proper method of using herbicides to control weeds through solarization or through steaming in container nurseries.
Tips on Holding Greenhouse Crops
Article that discusses the various ways to hold plants in a greenhouse when shipping slows down and they cannot be transported due to weather or other common reasons.
Greenhouse Costs of Production Budgets
Examples of greenhouse production costs, including overhead costs, labor inputs and material costs for various types of plants and crops.
Greenhouse Gardening Tips
List of major reasons to start a greenhouse and tips on choosing a location for the greenhouse and how to properly install lighting, temperature control gadgets, ventilation systems and water requirements.
Introduction to Greenhouse Condensation Control
Overview on how to prevent excess condensation in a greenhouse via climate control techniques to protect against plant diseases.