This is Part 10 of the Gnome’s Greenhouse Guide. This final section introduces you to the supplies your greenhouse needs to thrive. But it doesn’t stop there! The guide is packed with a lot more super useful stuff about greenhouses you won’t want to miss, so check it out from the beginning.
Updated: October 30, 2019
Though simple structures, greenhouses require a few supplies / equipment such as fans and heaters to function effectively. If you want to expand a greenhouse’s capabilities or reduce operating costs a range of other supplies then become necessary like cold frames and insulation.
Fans are essential for air circulation within your greenhouse since moving the air around improves growing conditions and indoor air quality. Exhaust fans work by creating a pressure difference between the outside and inside, which causes air to flow, regulating moisture level and air temperature while minimizing airborne pollutants such as dust. Some examples of fans include tube fans, direct drive fans, drum fans, solar fans.
Greenhouses lose heat quickly so it’s essential to keep them well heated. Given the high cost of fuel, finding a heating option that is cost effective is important to ensuring the viability of your greenhouse. Many choices exist from tube and infrared heaters to radiant heating systems. Electric, propane and natural gas are among the fuel source options, giving you a range of choices to pick from depending on what fuel is best for you.
Once the frame is up, your greenhouse needs to get covered. The standard covering materials are glass, fiberglass, plastic film (polyethylene) and double-wall plastics (acrylic or polycarbonate). Each of these have their pros and cons, which makes them suitable for different applications.
Shade cloth protects plants from direct sunlight, making temperature regulation easier and improving the health of your plants. Shade material comes in different densities and comes both in bulk (sized to fit) or in prefabricated panels (set size). Shade cloth can either be attached to existing greenhouses or placed in particular areas using shade curtains or shade frames.
Insulation allows for the trapping of air between the greenhouse walls and the inside of the greenhouse, reducing convective heat flow and thus reducing heating costs. It comes in a variety of options such as reflective, bubble and foam insulation.
Once your greenhouse is up and you are ready to plant you need some staging to store all your plants. Staging comes in single or multiple tier and is made from aluminum, wood, steel and other materials. Some, like seed trays, are specifically designed for certain applications, whereas others are more basic shelving.