Building and running a greenhouse can be more than just a fun recreational activity you do in your spare time – it can benefit you financially (if you sell the plants or produce) and health wise (by eating healthy foods). Installing certain key accessories can ensure you get the maximum return and efficiency from your greenhouse.
Vegetation thrives when the factors of growth space, environmental, and protection from disease and pests, are maintained at optimal levels. Accessories help you realize and maintain these optimal conditions easier and faster. Some come at a high cost but the returns can make it well worth it. Here are 8 greenhouse accessories that are important to have:
a. Irrigation system – Plants cannot grow without water. An irrigation system will make it easier to rapidly and evenly distribute water to the plants in the greenhouse. The best irrigation system would combine adjustable nozzles, overhead sprinklers and ground drip feeders.
b. Downpipe kits- Capturing rainwater runoff can save you substantial watering costs. Downpipe kits harness rainwater directing it to storage reservoirs that would then feed into the greenhouse’ irrigation and/or cooling system. The only catch is ensuring that the water is filtered of dirt or sediment before it is introduced into the irrigation or cooling system as this could cause blockage.
c. Greenhouse shelving – If you are putting up a greenhouse in your backyard, space is likely to be a major constraint. Greenhouse shelves ensure you make the most use of the vertical space. Shelving comes in different heights, number of shelves and building material.
d. Growing racks – Growing racks ensure the efficient use and ease of operation of a mini greenhouse. The racks protect plants from the effects of extreme weather while the zippers make access to the seedlings easier.
e. Heating unit – Installing a centralized heating system can be expensive and would probably not make financial sense for a small greenhouse. In such instances, a compact heating unit may be more practical. Compact heating units are of varying capacities depending on the size of the greenhouse that needs to be heated. Take measurements of your greenhouse before you buy one just to be certain that you buy the right size.
f. Shade cloth – Shades protect the plants from the sun’s damaging ultra-violet rays and also help regulate the temperature within the greenhouse. The shades may be manual or sensor-controlled. Manual shades can be cumbersome in places where sunlight and outside temperatures usually change rapidly.
g. Vent openers – Lower the cost of heating and air conditioning by installing vents at appropriate locations. You can choose from natural and automatic ventilation – the latter is expensive but is more effective and can be integrated into a central heating or air conditioning system.
h. Watering wands – Centralized irrigation systems featuring overhead sprinklers and ground drip feeders are not always effective. If you have a greenhouse with a wide range of plants each of which has different watering requirements, such large scale watering may benefit one set of plants and be detrimental to another. Watering wands are a handy accessory for controlled and localized watering.