Creating a greenhouse requires resources, time, and commitment to every process. However, you can alleviate this by making the right choices when designing, building, and overall running your greenhouse to make it sustainable. Some of these choices include getting environmentally friendly materials, getting an energy-efficient greenhouse, and using resources in a more responsible way to avoid wastage. You can do all these things by yourself or have expert help in building up a sustainable structure. In this article, we will give you some ways to run sustainable greenhouse gardening. Here are the requirements:
A regular greenhouse uses several materials in covering the shade, consolidating soil, and other uses. Most of these materials are plastic or nylon, which are not environmentally friendly. Instead of using these materials to cover the shades and packaging your soil and fertilizers, you can use recycled materials or recyclable components when building or operating your greenhouse. Besides helping you run a sustainable greenhouse, these gardening tips, including planting pots and trays, help you conserve the environment. This situation means you will be preserving the surrounding environment as you enjoy running your greenhouse at lesser costs.
2. Monitoring and Maintaining temperatures
As per their construction and intended use, greenhouses receive the sun’s energy and heat the interior or control the inside temperature. The passive solar design used in greenhouses doesn’t store or preserve the power for future use. The reason is that they aren’t built with mechanical or electrical Powerbank to capture the energy. They use the building structure and materials to collect and use and store the excess energy. How do you maintain the right temperatures? Instead of using fans to control the hot temperatures, thus suffering energy bills, you can allow adequate ventilation to the greenhouses. This situation means you require a greenhouse thermometer that helps monitor the temperatures. You can also incorporate thermal banking, a process that collects and stores solar heat to be used later. The system uses the sunrays to heat water then keeps the water underground to heat the greenhouse during the cold season. You can either construct this system by yourself or have experts help do it.
Most greenhouses are made to use a lot of water in their operation. One of the most effective ways of running a sustainable greenhouse gardening is controlling water usage when conducting irrigation. Besides using water from taps and other water sources, you can tap rainwater through gutters to the storage tanks adjacent to the greenhouse or underground tanks. Ensure water moves from the gutters to the tanks through a gravity way to avoid energy costs. If you have a pond or water well in your house, you can use that to store any running water and use it for irrigation in your greenhouse. Such also ensures you don’t affect the environment in your greenhouse gardening operations. You can create boreholes or ponds by yourself or get someone experienced to ensure they hold as much water in a little possible place.
4. Energy Efficiency
Sustainable greenhouse gardening must be energy efficient. Most greenhouses come with installed, improved energy devices, but you can make some changes to regulate their energy consumption. A good example is replacing incandescent lighting, which uses more power, with the energy-efficient, fluorescent fixtures can reduce consumption by half. You can also consider sodium vapor lighting, which is more expensive when purchasing to minimize power consumption, thus reducing the overall running costs. You can also reduce the energy consumption further by providing adequate growing light for all plants simultaneously.
What’s more? Besides using artificial lighting, you can opt for the modernized greenhouses that come with solar panels for running the renewable energy in your garden. The solar panels can also pump the water from tanks during irrigation and can provide the necessary heating.
5. Get a Cheaper Greenhouse
You don’t have to spend much of your funds to buy an expensive greenhouse when planting fewer crops. There are different designs you can build a sustainable greenhouse, which works better than others. Some of the best greenhouses designs for home use include the below:
- Lean-To: This greenhouse model is a building split at the ridge to lead it to another facility. Also known as half-building greenhouses, they are economical and efficient in fewer space areas. You only need to attach to sources of heat, water, and electricity, and you are good to go. Its disadvantages include limited space, temperature control, ventilation, and exposure to sunlight. It would be best if you placed them in areas with direct sunlight.
- Eve-Span: You also need to attach this greenhouse model to the building at the gable end. It is a bit cheaper and standalone and uses electricity, water, and heat from the main house. It can be a full-sized greenhouse, only that it’s limited to space. They are better used throughout the year because they accommodate sunshine on three sides, have better climate control, and give better ventilation.
- Free Standing Conversion: You can start this greenhouse on an existing construction such as a garage, sheds, or any other free-standing structure. You only need to remove the roofs and walls and replace them with polythene, glass panes, or any other greenhouse material, including the polycarbonate material. You only need to add the water source, heating and ventilation system, and an electrical extension.
- Greenhouse Tunnels: There are two types of greenhouse tunnels; the high and the low tunnels. They are in the form of a plastic-covered tunnel that’s portable and cheap to run a sustainable greenhouse gardening. This idea means you can use them on different plants when required. These are the best when running a small-scale greenhouse for smaller plants.
Greenhouse gardening is the in thing in most areas, due to the changing climatic conditions. They are used to carry out sustainable agriculture and plant particular crops that can grow well in some climatic conditions. This article has provided some sustainable tips that you can use to carry out cost-friendly and energy-friendly greenhouse gardening. You can use the tips wisely to develop sustainable greenhouse gardening that won’t take much of your funds.