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Gardening is quite a pleasurable hobby, however the challenge is that you could not always plant the flowers, fruits, and vegetables you want to plant. This is because you have to stick to the seasonal pattern. Some plants die out during fall or winter and that is why you can be deprived of planting them throughout those seasons. However, there may be one solution that you might want to consider and that’s a portable greenhouse. Portable garden greenhouses have become more and more popular these days. These things assist gardeners lengthen their growing season.

Would not it be great if you could continue planting your favorite plants whatever the season? If you don’t have a portable greenhouse, it is very recommendable you purchase one. These items are not really that pricey plus they are ideal for each gardener who has a green thumb. When searching for a portable greenhouse, here’s some things that you might want to consider.

Resistance from damaging elements – The Ultra violet rays of the sun can definitely kill your crops or hinder their development. That is why you should find a greenhouse that has protection from Ultra violet rays. Additionally it is especially recommendable to buy a greenhouse which can protect your plants from the destructive effects of fire and water. There are numerous greenhouses out there which are made of fire and water-resistant materials. If you live in a place where snow is anticipated, a snow-resistant greenhouse is recommendable as well.

Proper ventilation – Ventilation can also be another issue to take into account. Your plants will not grow into what you expect them to be if there is not an adequate amount of ventilation inside the greenhouse. Find a greenhouse that has a many vents so that air circulation will be increased. Windows are okay but they’re just too large to let pests in. But you are going to buy a greenhouse that has windows, just be sure you have the windows screened.

Stability – You should look for greenhouses that will not topple down when the powerful gusts of wind blow. Poor quality garden greenhouses are the ones that are not really durable. That is why you should not settle with them. Find greenhouses which have anchors to ensure that they won’t easily get blown by the wind. Anchors with U-bolts as well as a drive rod are very recommendable.

Shelves – There are a few garden greenhouses that come with shelves and there are a few that don’t. Basically those which don’t have shelves are less pricey. So if you’re on a very tight budget, you should really get them. Apart from that, they give you enough room to grow your plants. But you think that you will need shelves for your gardening needs, you should find greenhouses which include adjustable shelves.

These are the fundamental factors that you need to think about when buying a portable greenhouse. Of course, additional factors for instance size, shape, and color needs to be considered as well. Look for a portable greenhouse which will suit your taste plus your needs. Below are excellent examples of different types of greenhouses I recommend.

Greenhouse Construction, Types or Style Information Guide on Greenhouses

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FREE STANDING STRUCTURE

There are two basic types: attached and free-standing. An attached structure may be even-span, lean-to, or window-mounted. A free-standing type is usually even-span (symmetrical roof).

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ATTACHED LEAN-TO

A lean-to is built against a building, using the existing structure for one or more of its sides. It is usually attached to a house, but may be attached to other buildings. The lean-to is limited to single or double-row plant benches with a total width of 7 to 12 feet. It can be as long as the building it is attached to. The advantage of the lean-to is that it usually is close to available electricity, water, and heat.

The lean-to has the following disadvantages:

• Limited space

• Limited light

• Limited ventilation and temperature control

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ATTACHED EVEN-SPAN

The even-span is the standard type – the one people generally visualize when they think about greenhouses. The even-span is similar to a freestanding structure except that it is attached to a house at one gable end. It can accommodate 2 or 3 rows of plant benches. The cost of an even-span is more than the cost of a lean-to type, but it has greater flexibility in design and provides for more plants. Because of its size and greater amount of exposed glass area, the even-span will cost more to heat.

Attached Window-Mounted: A window-mounted type will allow space to grow a few plants at relatively low cost for heating and cooling. This reach-in is available in many standard sizes, either in single units or in tandem arrangements for large windows. Only simple tools are needed to remove the regular window from the frame and fasten the pre-fabricated  window type in its place. See your favorite garden catalog or visit your local building center for styles and availability.

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FREE-STANDING

The free-standing is a separate structure and consists of side walls, end walls, and gable roof. It is like an even-span except that a free-standing is set apart from other buildings to get the most sun. It can be made as large or small as desired.

STYLE OF GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION

Whether you build a glass, fiberglass, or plastic type, shopping around for ideas is wise. Greenhouses have supporting framework made of wood, aluminum, iron, or galvanized pipe. Some have curved eaves; others have flat eaves. Some are glass or plastic from the ground up. All structures have advantages and disadvantages.

If you build your own, have the plumbing and electrical work done by professionals in accordance with local codes. Most local governments require a building permit to erect a building of this type.

Glass Type: Glass is the traditional covering. It is available in many designs to blend with almost any style or architecture. Glass greenhouses may have slanted sides, straight sides and eaves, or curved eaves. Aluminum, maintenance-free glass building has very pleasing lines and will provide a large growing area. It assures you of a weather-tight structure, which minimizes heat costs and retains humidity. For amateur gardeners, small prefabricated glass kits are available for do-it-yourself installation. They are sold in different models, to fit available space and to fit your pocketbook. The disadvantages of glass are that it is easily broken, expensive, and requires a much better type of building structure than fiberglass and plastic.

Fiberglass Type: Fiberglass is lightweight, strong, and practically hail proof. Corrugated panels 8 to 12-feet long and flat fiberglass in rolls are available in 24 to 48-inch widths. Thickness ranges from 3/64 to 3/32 of an inch. Poor grades of fiberglass will discolor and the discoloring reduces light penetration. Using a good grade, on the other hand, may make your fiberglass as expensive to build as a glass one. If you select fiberglass, choose the clearest grade. Do not use colored fiberglass.

Plastic Type:

Plastic is increasing in popularity for these reasons:

• Building cost per square foot is generally one-sixth to one-tenth the cost of glass

• Plastic can be heated as satisfactorily as glass greenhouses.

• Crops grown under plastic are of equal quality to those grown under glass.

• Plastic styles are considered temporary structures and usually carry a low assessment rate for tax purposes, or may not be taxed at all.

Plastic structures can be made of polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), copolymers of these materials, and other readily available clear films.

Polyethylene – The advantages of polyethylene are that it is low in cost and lightweight. It also stands well in fall, winter, and spring weather, and lets through plenty of light for good plant growth. However, polyethylene constantly exposed to the sun deteriorates during the summer and must be replaced each year. Ultraviolet light energy causes polyethylene to break down. This first deterioration occurs along (or over) the rafters and along the creases where the film is folded. Ultraviolet-inhibited polyethylene lasts longer than regular polyethylene. It has an inhibitor that prevents the rapid breakdown caused by ultraviolet light. UV-inhibited polyethylene is available in 2- and 6-mil thickness up to 40 feet wide and 100 feet long.

Polyethylene permits passage of much of the re radiated heat energy given off by the soil and plants inside the structure. Therefore, a polyethylene type loses heat more quickly than glass both during sunny periods and after sunset. This is an advantage during the day and a disadvantage at night. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or Vinyl) – Vinyl’s from 3 to 12 mils thick are available for covering your structure. Like polyethylene, vinyl’s are soft and pliable; some are transparent, others translucent. They are usually available in 4- to 6-foot widths only; larger widths can be made by electronically sealing several smaller widths together. Vinyl’s cost from 2 to 5 times as much as polyethylene. When carefully installed, 8 or 12-mil vinyl holds up for as long as 5 years. Vinyl attracts dust and dirt from the air and has to be washed occasionally.

TYPES OF FRAMES

Plastic structures range from crude wooden frameworks to air-supported houses. If you plan to build a plastic structure, carefully consider economy of size and future expansion. Because plastic is available in large widths and is lighter in weight, rafters and supporting members can be widely spaced to permit maximum light penetration. Common structures of frames are as follows:

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A-FRAME

In building an A-frame structure, consideration must be given to the placement of cross rafters (supporting members). Cross rafters should be placed at least one-third of the distance down from the ridge on the outer rafters. Otherwise, working around the cross rafters to apply an insulating layer of plastic will be difficult. When the cross-rafter support is high in the peak of the building – especially in narrow structures – an essentially clear-span type of structure permits easy application of an inner layer of plastic. The inner layer can be applied under the cross-rafter supports, leaving a small triangular air space in the peak of the house. Diagonal bracing wires provide added strength to an A-frame structure. This type is among the least difficult to build.

RIGID FRAME

Rigid-frame structures have been designed in widths up to 40 feet. This clear span structure has no columns to hold up the roof section. The best available rigid-frame type has a 6-foot sidewall and is designed from 30, 36, or 40-foot widths. A prefabricated unit built with curved laminated wood rafters is commercially available. It has very low sidewalls (low head room), and to grow tall plants the structure must be raised higher on the foundation sidewalls.

PANEL FRAME

Panel-frame types are a modification of the sash house (a small plastic style used for growing plants for later transplanting). This structure requires accurate carpentry, and building costs are higher than for other frames because of the added lumber and labor needed to build the panels. Advantages of panels are that they can be quickly installed and taken down and stored during the summer; this will increase the life of the plastic panels. Panel styles can be easily ventilated because you can easily place a vent.

 

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ROUND TOP

Round Top styles have the same general shape as the Round Top huts of World War II. Some have been constructed of wood, but usually the frames are metal. The half-circle frames are covered with one piece of wide plastic and the houses are up to 20 feet wide. The advantage of this house is the ease of building and covering. Ventilation is by exhaust fans at the ends of the houses.

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PIPE FRAME
(Galvanized Steel or Polypipe)

A pipe structure can be used to frame an air inflated style. Air is introduced into a chamber formed by 2 layers of 4- or 6-mil film. The effect of the air under slight pressure is to force the inner layer of film over the circular pipe frames. The outer layer assumes a circular shape over the frame and rides on a cushion of air. The outer layer lifts 3 to 4 inches from the frame at the top and 1 to 2 inches from the frame at the foundation sill. Air enters the chamber through 6- inch plastic tubing. A manometer is used to measure static air pressure between the layers of film.

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