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Archive for October, 2008

Insulation Of Your Greenhouse

By admin On October 31, 2008 No Comments

Conserving heat is essential, especially if the greenhouse is used in winter. Bubble glazing, formed of three layers of plastic with air-bubbles between them, traps warmth within the greenhouse and is especially valuable for attaching to the coldest and most exposed sides and roof. It is held in place by a range of fittings, including double-sided adhesive pads, drawing pins in wooden greenhouses and special clips in aluminium types.

Both white and green ‘bubble’ insulation is available: the green often makes the greenhouse too dark in winter, although if left in place in summer it creates useful shade. Other forms of isolative material include polythene sheets reinforced with wire mesh.

Large greenhouses can be mad more economic to heat by partitioning them with these materials, but ensure they are firmly secured and cannot fall on top of a heater.

Greenhouses Optimum Temperature

By admin On October 31, 2008 No Comments

Clearly, the way to save money on heating is to have a ‘cold house’ and not provide any warmth – but this restricts the range of plants.

If the heating is limited to ensuring the temperature never falls below 7°C /45°F, this is called a ‘cool house’ and enables a wider range of plants to be grown

Keeping the temperature at 16°C/61°F or more throughout the year enables tropical plants to be grown, but the cost is high.

An agreeable temperature compromise – and one that saves money – is just to heat the greenhouse in late winter and spring, when sowing seeds and raising young plants; and in summer to grow plants such as tomatoes that benefit from the protection afforded by unheated greenhouse.

Using an electric or paraffin heated propagator in late winter and early spring to encourage seed germination and the rooting of cuttings saves having to heat the entire greenhouse and reduces heating costs dramatically.

Positioning Your Greenhouse

By admin On October 31, 2008 No Comments

Orientate full-span greenhouses so that the ridge runs from east to west. This enables low, winter light to pass through the glass.

Additionally, if tall plants are positioned on the side away from the sun they do not cast cooling shadows over others.

Avoid places shaded by buildings or trees, as well as overhanging trees that might drip rain on the greenhouse.

Position the door away from prevailing winds. Most doors in metal-framed greenhouses are on runners and slide across the opening, but wooden types are hinged, if possible, so that they open away from the prevailing wind.

A hedge on the windward side helps to reduce wind speed and therefore its cooling effect. Indeed, the benefit of a hedge can be felt up to a distance of thirty times its height. For instance, a hedge 2.4m/8ft high reduces the wind’s speed by 75% at a point 4.5m/15ft from it. And at a distance of 12m/40ft the reduction is still as much as 65%

Lean-to greenhouses require warm walls, especially to encourage the development of early maturing crops

Greenhouse Heat Loss

By admin On October 31, 2008 No Comments

Heating is a major cost factor in running a greenhouse and any way to reduce this is worth pursuing. Indeed, a wind exposed situation or a frost-pocket could double the expense of heating a greenhouse during winter.

There are several ways to decrease the costs: correctly positioning the greenhouse, installing insulation, and carefully controlling the temperature.

Lighting Seen From The House

By admin On October 28, 2008 No Comments

If you don’t go into the garden at night but want to be able to admire it from indoors or from the patio, you do not need to light the paths and can concentrate mainly on the picture from the windows.

Highlight decorative foliage, sculptures and garden furniture. You will probably find that individual branches you have not really noticed before will respond like magic to being lit at night and will become positively sculptural when individually highlighted.

Positioning Garden Lighting

A little lighting if well positioned can have a tremendous impact. Avoid dazzle and glare by keeping fittings and bulbs hidden. There are all sorts of places where you can do this, such as behind tree trunks or walls, or behind plant containers or large leaved shrubs. Try out their positions by placing lights temporarily and then walk around the garden to check that the light source is properly concealed from all angles.

Spike lamps are useful because they can be moved around but they should be regared as temporary only and not for permanent installation. The plug should be removed from its socket and the lamp taken into the house when not being used. As with all lamps, it is important to use the bulb recommended by the manufacturer or there may not be a watertight seal and the lamp might shatter.