It seems to me that a lot of people struggle with the decision on which shade cloth is best for their greenhouse. I think they are way over complicating the issue. A greenhouse shade cloth is pretty much like stepping under a shade tree in the summer. You have felt the cooling pretty much right away when you do this. A shade cloth does pretty much the same thing. There are several different choices of material, but the differences are pretty basic. The woven shade cloth is the least expensive. It is a black color. It must be taped on the edges, or it will ravel. It is best used on the outside of the greenhouse. The next choice is a woven shade cloth. This will be intermediate in pricing. It is really nice, as it has some stretch and will not ravel, so the taping is not a necessity with this type. Although we do tape all of our edges so we can add grommets for simple installation. I personally prefer to use this with a greenhouse with automatic roof vents. The way we have always done it is to put the shade cloth on tight on the ends. As we near the vents, we don’t fasten the shade down as tight. We will go back for the next 3 or 4 days and adjust as needed. You want to make sure that there is no strain on the vents when they are trying to open. The next choice is the reflective shade cloth. This is the most expensive, but it is a good choice to use on the inside of a greenhouse. A lot of commercial growers like this for exterior applications as well. Probably the most common question I get is – what percentage should I use? The higher the percent, the more shade you will get. I have found through the years that a lot of orchid growers will prefer a 50% shade cloth. For general purpose growing, ie vegetables, annuals, etc, a 60% to 70% shade is typically used.
I get a lot of questions about cutting polycarbonate sheets. It is really quite simple. Pretty much the same as cutting a sheet of plywood. There are just a few tricks to remember to get a really good, clean installation. Watch this video to learn how to cut polycarbonate sheets. Have more questions about installing polycarbonate? Subscribe to Advance Greenhouse YouTube channel and our polycarbonate glazing tips playlist.
I get asked this question every day. How do I figure how many polycarbonate sheets and profiles do I need to build my greenhouse? I think the problem is that everyone tries to look at it as a complete project. The easiest way to do this is to break the greenhouse into sections. Figure one side of the roof, then multiply by 2. Figure one side wall, then multiply by 2. Figure one gable end and multiply by 2. Add these together and you have your complete bill of material. The following video outlines this in more detail for you. Please remember, if you cannot figure your own bill of material, how are you going to be able to figure out where to put the parts when you receive it? It takes just a few minutes to get a better grasp on polycarbonate installation. Just remember, don’t over think the process, and watch all of our videos in our Polycarbonate Glazing Tips playlist.
Many people are confused about how to install polycarbonate sheets on their greenhouses. There are just a few basic rules to follow. This video outlines some of the basic storage and installation tips. We will discuss a few more of the basic installation tips regarding framing and fastening in future videos. There are all steadfast rules that must be followed for a leak free, worry free installation.
I received a really nice email from a gentleman the other day who had read one of my previous articles regarding greenhouse accessories. He pointed out to me that he did not use the accessories in exactly the same way as I outline in my article. This just served as a reminder to me that greenhouse growing is indeed a learning curve for all of us. Here’s the thing – We all live in different climates. We are all growing different plants. It is up to us as greenhouse owners to learn how to supply the necessary climate in the area we live in. He mentioned that he only used his heater at night in his location. I would dare to say that someone in Wisconsin growing tomatoes in the winter would totally disagree with this. He also mentioned an evaporative cooling system. He was in a location with a desert type climate. I can see where that would work for him. But here, in Louisiana we have just about 100% humidity (I am sure it just feels that way) all summer long. An evaporative cooling system is totally ineffective here. He also considered a shade cloth as an optional accessory. I consider it an absolute necessity. That is, if you are using your greenhouse at any time except in the winter months. If you have it shut down in the spring, summer and fall, I would not really suggest getting one. When someone calls me asking about greenhouses and accessories, I recommend that they at least get a ventilation system at the same time, as it is installed into the greenhouse frame. This is easier as an initial installation than it is as a retrofit. I don’t like loading greenhouses up with a whole lot of equipment that you may not need at a later time. I suggest adding additional accessories one at a time and as the need arises. Of course don’t wait for the last minute, because everyone else will be in need at the same time. For custom made items such as a shade cloth, this can lead to a delayed lead time. The thing is, we are buying a greenhouse maybe for practical reasons, but most of us are purchasing them for our love of growing. So relax, take the time, learn what you need in your area, for your plants to make your greenhouse a success. And as always, keep growing!
Here is the latest edition of our “The Greenhouse Minute” series. Today’s topic is lean to greenhouses. Many think they are unable to build a lean to greenhouse because of height, width or length restrictions. We are able to do many customizations with these greenhouses and make one that will fit just about anywhere. If you need some guidance about the possibility of building an attached greenhouse for your home or building, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions and help you come up with a solution that meets your needs.
Welcome to the latest addition of “The Greenhouse Minute”. Today’s topic is Greenhouse Ventilation Systems.
Build Your Own Greenhouse. Everything you need to know to build your own greenhouse. Discussions on kit vs homeowner built, location, size, glazing materials, accessories, etc. Also, occasional answers to gardening questions. Subscribe to our feed Build Your Own Greenhouse now.
Announcing our Newest Polycarbonate Lean To Greenhouse
Many people prefer the look of a glass greenhouse, but just don’t care for the price. This is the perfect option. Our See Thru Polycarbonate greenhouse has 3/16″ clear polycarbonate sides, with a 6mm twinwall polycarbonate roof. The aluminum frame is powder coated with standard colors of white or green, with custom colors available. Roof vents are an option on this greenhouse, but an exhaust fan and thermostat are included in the price. The door also has a lift up glass panel to expose a screened area for additional ventilation. If you want to be able to sit in your greenhouse and look out like looking through a window, this is the greenhouse for you. Check out the complete specifications and pricing on this page. http://www.advancegreenhouses.com/see-thru-polycarbonate-lean/
Wonder if you really need a greenhouse? Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why to Buy A Greenhouse.