Sometimes simple is best, even if you are shopping for a greenhouse. Trying to determine the accessories that you will need, wont need, and absolutely don’t need but are going to end up buying anyways, is a little intimidating for some. If you are interested in learning about the basic accessories and their potential value to your greenhouse, here is a diet version of some of the components that are worth your time to research.
The greenhouse cover has a direct effect on the natural light that reaches your plants. There are several different types of materials that can offer a benefit depending on the style, size, and goals for your greenhouse. To name a few, you can choose between glass, Solexx twin-wall covering, twin-walled polycarbonate, single-walled polycarbonate, polyfilm plastic, and polyweave. Each material comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which makes it all that more important to research into what they offer.
By weighing the following factors, you should be able to choose the greenhouse covering that will best suit your needs. You want to consider its light transmission and diffusion rates, the climate you live in to assess whether or not you need insulated material, the material appearance (haze/clarity/color), and the lifespan of the cover. With a proper cover the natural light of the sun will help you cut down your heating and electricity costs.
Sometimes you need to grow when the suns not shinning. High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are often used to increase photosynthesis and plant quality during periods of dark weather. These lights come in two different types, Metal Halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS). HPS lamps are popular since they are some of the most efficient at converting electricity into photosynthetic light. They also emit heat radiation which can help regulate the plants’ temperatures.
This also means that the HPS lamps can damage your plants if they are positioned too closely. I have heard that the rule of thumb for cannabis (correct me if I am wrong) is to position your lighting a little over a forearms length above the plant and adjust as it grows.Due to the high electricity bills that come with HPS lights, LED lighting has started to gain popularity. The LED lights usually have a higher initial cost, and claim to run more efficiently than HPS lights, yet, tests show that the most efficient HPS and LED lights have equal efficiency. This can make light shopping difficult as light manufactures never fail to make substantial claims about their products.
Besides the obvious heating and cooling systems for controlling the temperatures in your greenhouse, ventilation and energy curtains can have a drastic impact on your temps. The quickest way to drop temperatures in an overheating greenhouse is to promote airflow by opening its vents. Some venting options are roof, wall, and pad vents, all of which increase airflow allowing heat and humidity to escape. Venting can also include exhaust windows and fans to help facilitate natural airflow. Energy curtains are designed to either reflect excess sun or absorb the thermal radiation. These curtains help control temperatures as well as improve growing environments and energy savings.
Water is key for plant growth, but it can also be one of the highest expenses for your crop. Things to consider should be how are you going to get it, is it going to be consistent, how are you going to store it, and if you plan on filtering it. The simple choice is the drip system, easy to maintain and cheap to get started. There are also misting and sprinkler systems which are ideal for large scale established plant operations. Greenhouse watering accessories start getting complex when you start looking into automated robotic watering systems. For the most jobs a drip system is sufficient.
Incorporating every offered accessory into your greenhouse is not necessarily going to make you grow better, so you might as well focus on the simple key components. Lighting, temperature control, and watering accessories are only a few of the many different additions that can help you create the ultimate environment for your plants. Researching into which accessories are best for your scenario is the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage if you’re growing for profit, or alleviate your stress levels if you’re growing for hobby.
Do you have any experience with this topic? Any recommendations? What has been your most helpful greenhouse accessory? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.