Growing your own produce is an increasingly popular hobby, and it can be a novel way to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and save money on your grocery bills. However, in order to produce your own fruit and veg, they need the right environment in which to thrive. This means you will likely need a greenhouse. In addition, for a lot of people, the decision to grow their own produce often increases their desire to make more sustainable and eco-friendly choices, so why not combine the two? Read on for all the tips you need to make your greenhouse more environmentally friendly.
The first thing to consider is where you are going to build your greenhouse. Finding the perfect site is arguably the most important step. Failing to choose the best spot can have a detrimental effect on your growing potential; it is a waste of your time and money. Ideally, you should choose to place your greenhouse with sun exposure in mind. There are a lot of different fruits and veggies that need a lot of sunlight in order to thrive. This means that you need to ensure maximum sunlight; this often means south-facing locations. The next thing to think about with the site is whether your greenhouse is going to be free-standing or connected to another building in some capacity. There are pros and cons to both options. Some greenhouses can be put down and rebuilt with relative ease, which means if you want to change sites for whatever reason, it should be relatively easy to do so.
The next thing to think about is the foundation of your greenhouse; as mentioned above, there are some which are prefabricated and easy to put together and take down, so they don’t have any specific foundation requirements. That being said, there are a few forms of greenhouses that do need special foundations to maximise their potential. If your greenhouse is going to be a permanent addition to your home or your allotment, then you might want to pour the proper foundation. This usually means cement, gravel, and wood to anchor the greenhouse. This might be a big undertaking depending on the size of the greenhouse, which is something that you will need to bear in mind. You might also need to think about drainage for your greenhouse. You might want to check with the local council if you are going to be using pesticides or fertilisers, which could contaminate the water runoff and the surrounding area.
Powering The Greenhouse
There are a number of things to consider when it comes to powering your greenhouse. It is not necessary to wire your greenhouse; some greenhouses don’t necessarily need wiring, depending on their uses. On the other hand, there are some forms of greenhouse that need to be electrically wired. This is predominantly for the people who will be growing things that need heat lamps or other electrical instruments in order to thrive. There are no real ways around this if your greenhouse needs to be well-lit round the clock. However, if your greenhouse needs to be heated, then you do have a number of options at your disposal. You could make your greenhouse more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient by choosing solar power to provide your greenhouse with energy. You might also want to think about the construction of the greenhouse itself. Building your greenhouse using materials like polycarbonate roofing sheets can really improve its efficiency while remaining an eco-friendly choice. Polycarbonate diffuses the light to help to control the internal temperature of your greenhouse. It keeps the heat in at a more consistent level without overheating the room or its inhabitants.
The last element to consider when building your greenhouse is your water usage. Your water collection and storage solutions can also help to make your greenhouse greener. Again, looking for economical answers is important. You should do your best to ensure that you utilise natural water resources in your water collection and storage solutions. This will depend on your location. Some people choose to take advantage of local streams, wells or other water sources. Where this isn’t possible, there are a number of rainwater collection systems and water butts that you might want to explore. Having a reliable water source helps to keep your plants healthy, although obviously, you will need to have a good understanding of the plants in your greenhouse – and the rest of your garden – to ensure that you know their water intake needs.
To Sum UpRegardless of your greenhouse’s use, whether you are a novice trying your hand at a few varieties or you are a skilled, specialist grower of a limited number of crops, the design of your greenhouse will speak directly to its efficiency and, therefore, your chances of success. Think about the construction of your greenhouse. Often making an effort to make your greenhouse more environmentally friendly requires you to put more thought into it, and you can ensure that it is fit for purpose.