Demystifying Greenhouse Coverings: Your Ultimate Guide for Building a Home Greenhouse
So, you've got a green thumb, a love for growing your plants, and the dream of having your very own greenhouse. But where do you begin, and what's all this talk about "greenhouse glazing" or "greenhouse plastic"? Don't worry; we're here to demystify it all, aimed at the novice homeowner ready to build a home greenhouse.
What Is Greenhouse Glazing?
"Greenhouse glazing" might sound a bit fancy, but it's just a term for the stuff that covers and acts as the roof of your greenhouse. It's what keeps your plants cozy and protected. Let's break down some words you'll come across:
1. Covering: Think of this as the outer skin of your greenhouse.
2. Roofing: The part that shields your plants from rain and the sun's direct rays.
3. Cladding: The fancy way of saying "covering" or "roofing."
4. Enclosure: Your plant haven, surrounded by this special material.
5. Sheathing: The layer that wraps your greenhouse, like a protective shield.
6. Translucent Material: It's clear or lets light through, which is key for plant growth.
7. Roof Structure: The framework that holds everything in place.
8. Paneling: Think of these as the building blocks for your greenhouse.
9. Glazing Material: The specific stuff that forms the covering.
10. Protective Shell: The guardian of your precious plants.
Now that we've got the terminology sorted, let's talk about what you can actually use for your home greenhouse.
Greenhouse Plastic: An Introduction
"Greenhouse plastic" is a broad term, and it's your go-to for covering your greenhouse. It's like the magical cape for your plant haven. There are a few different types to choose from:
1. 6 Mil Polyethylene: This is like the trusty sidekick, economical and straightforward. It's smooth, clear plastic that's placed on the roof to shield your plants. While it's budget-friendly, it usually needs replacement every 1-4 years.
2. Solawrap Film: If your plants could talk, they'd ask for this. It's like a superhero among plastics. This polyethylene greenhouse film has a layer of bubbles that not only protect but also insulate and diffuse light. It's more expensive than 6 mil poly, but it's super strong and can last over 30 years.
3. Polyvinyl: Think of it as the clear plastic often seen on boats as windows. It's thick, strong, and offers excellent protection.
Now, for something a bit different:
Polycarbonate: This is a hard plastic that comes in sheets and adds a robust layer to your greenhouse. It's durable and long-lasting.
When it comes to getting your hands on greenhouse plastic, you can find it at specialty greenhouse supply stores or even at big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes.
What About Greenhouse Kits and Plans?
You don't have to start from scratch! Greenhouse kits come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them at places like big box stores or SolaWrap Films! They're like DIY packages, ready to assemble.
If you're feeling adventurous, there are greenhouse plans you can follow. But here's the deal: You'll need to decide on the materials for your greenhouse. Which greenhouse plastic will you choose? Will it be 6 mil plastic sheeting, Solawrap film, or something like polycarbonate?
Building your home greenhouse is a fantastic journey, and choosing the right greenhouse plastic will be a crucial step. Pick what suits your budget and environment, and you'll soon be enjoying the fruits and vegetables of your labor, right in your own backyard. Happy gardening!