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What Greenhouse Accessories to Invest in To Improve Growing Conditions

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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There are many different types of greenhouse heaters and other greenhouse accessories you can buy to improve growing conditions for your plants. Plants can be very susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, humidity and lighting conditions so it’s important that you are prepared for this and that you have the necessary garden accessories incorporated into your greenhouse design.

Greenhouse Heaters

You have several choices of greenhouse heaters depending on the amount of heat you wish to generate and the type of fuel you wish to use. You may wish to run a heater that’s electric, gas or propane in your greenhouse and it will usually come down to what is most convenient for you as the operating costs are all pretty similar. The most important consideration is likely to be whether or not you want to run vented or non-vented greenhouse heaters.

The non-vented varieties are generally less expensive to buy and are usually perfectly adequate for most greenhouses although for certain structures, you can be required to only use vented greenhouse heaters so it’s important to check first. Vented greenhouse heaters are also better if you’re cultivating highly sensitive plants such as begonias or orchids.

Fans & The Importance Of Good Ventilation In Greenhouse Design

A good greenhouse design will need to provide you with adequate ventilation as this serves several main purposes within a greenhouse. Firstly, it helps to regulate temperature which can be critical in extremely hot conditions. Plants rely on photosynthesis so it’s crucial that they have access to plenty of fresh air.

Good ventilation also helps to prevent infestations of pests and also benefits pollination so in addition to having proper vents incorporated into your greenhouse design - a large one near the roof and several smaller ones located at the bottom around the perimeter of the greenhouse - you might also need to consider bringing in an exhaust fan, ideally located towards the roof of the greenhouse, opposite the door.

This will expel stale air and encourage the flow of fresh air and, in extremely hot weather, you might also want to use a fan in conjunction with an evaporative cooler. Circulation fans situated 8 feet apart are ideal and you can also buy smaller clip-on fans for specific plants that need extra attention.

Temperature Gauges and Thermostats

You’ll also need to know the prevailing temperature in your greenhouse and be able to regulate it. So, a good temperature gauge and a thermostat are both vital greenhouse accessories. The temperature gauge will alert you to any sudden dramatic changes in temperature inside your greenhouse whilst the thermostat will automatically be able to control the temperature in any given area.

Other Useful Greenhouse Accessories

Humidistats allow you to control the amount of moisture inside a particular area of your greenhouse and, for certain plants, it’s imperative that the air is not allowed to become too dry. In the winter season, in particular, light meters and lighting systems will also help with your growing activity ensuring that plants get sufficient light but not too much.

The best way of knowing what greenhouse accessories you need to incorporate into your greenhouse design is to speak to your local garden centre staff, telling them what kind of greenhouse you have, where it is situated in relation to access to sunlight and shade and what you intend to grow. That way, they’ll be able to recommend suitable accessories that will help your plants to flourish and to stay healthy.

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