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Inside a large tunnel greenhouse with strawberry plants growing inside and the text: How does a greenhouse work

How Does a Greenhouse Work?

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Knowing how a greenhouse works is crucial to getting the most out of your new hobby. By understanding the ins and outs of the greenhouse effect, you can manipulate your gardening climate to give you the best results every time.

Greenhouse gardening is a fun hobby, but it can be so much more than that. 

It’s a practical way to improve your health because you can grow all kinds of vegetables and herbs in a greenhouse. Greenhouse gardening also offers a way to beat stress and boost your mental health. And of course, it’s a safe haven for exotic specimens and delicate seedlings from adverse weather conditions. 

Interior greenhouse with plants with text: How Does a Greenhouse Work?

If you’ve ever found yourself curious about exactly how a greenhouse works and everything that’s involved in greenhouse gardening, you’ve come to the right place.

What this article covers:

What does a greenhouse do?

Are you wondering, “How does a greenhouse work?” There are almost endless uses for a greenhouse, and a look at the history of greenhouses will highlight all these uses. From ancient Roman times, greenhouses have been used to grow plants in less-than-ideal conditions, with great success.  

Greenhouses offer plants and flowers a safe space to grow, away from unsatisfactory weather. They protect seedlings that would otherwise be ravaged by the elements, and those common garden pests. What’s more, they allow you to grow exotic flowers that you would never have dreamed you could grow in your particular climate. 

Explaining the greenhouse effect

Think of what happens if you park your car in the sun all day, with no shield at the windscreen and all the windows up. It gets very hot in there, and when you get into that car, that heat lasts for some time if you don’t immediately open the windows and gasp for some cooling air. 

This is precisely what happens in a gardening greenhouse.  

A greenhouse collects and absorbs the heat from the sunlight streaming through the glass roof and walls. It retains this heat well into the darker hours. To avoid it getting too hot, you need a vent in the greenhouse roof, and possibly a fan. 

So, what happens in the winter, when there aren’t as many sunlight hours? Because the greenhouse is a contained unit, it traps what heat and light there is, which is much better than plants being left outdoors for when the nighttime chill sets in.

How the inside of a greenhouse works 

Here are some basic greenhouse facts for anyone new to greenhouse gardening. 

The inside of a greenhouse acts like a type of incubator for plants and flowers. It supplies the optimal conditions for plant growth and development. All living things need warmth, light, and water, but a greenhouse offers these in the correct amounts. 

The glass roof and walls of a greenhouse absorb and concentrate the sun’s rays. This is why the term “greenhouse effect” became popular. The earth’s atmosphere traps the sun’s heat, just as the greenhouse structure traps the sun’s heat. 

All plants need sunlight to facilitate photosynthesis. This is the process by which they create glucose for energy. It serves the same function as the food that humans eat. Photosynthesis is necessary for plants to survive. 

Some plants are more sensitive than others to the outdoors and need to be nurtured very closely, especially when in the seedling stage. A greenhouse is perfect for them, as it shelters these young plants from the cold, the wind, and other wintry conditions.

This is why many greenhouse gardeners use their greenhouses specifically for overwintering their plants. But you can grow whatever you like in your greenhouse, all year round. The trick is to maintain optimal conditions for growth, with the aid of specialized greenhouse equipment.

How to know what type of greenhouse is right for you

Greenhouse novices often are surprised by the sheer variety of greenhouse designs. They are available in different sizes, shapes, and styles. Their frames can be made of wood or metal. Different coverings can be used for the roof and walls, from traditional glass to plexiglass and user-friendly polycarbonate.  

With the right choice of greenhouse, you’ll enhance your outdoor spaces and add value to your property. 

Do you have lots of open space? Would you like a structure that’s easy to set up, and can be used for all types of gardening, hydroponics, or even aquaponics? The Mont 8×20 Greenhouse might be just the greenhouse for you. 

With a sturdy aluminum frame and polycarbonate sidewalls and roof, it’ll take anything the elements throw at it. And with a ten-year warranty, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll enjoy many happy years of greenhouse gardening. 

Do you have limited space, but want the look of an authentic greenhouse? A lean-to is ideal for you, and the Janssens Arcadia aluminum and glass greenhouse fits the bill perfectly.  to grow herbs in your tiny outdoor space.

What does a greenhouse need to be effective?

To be truly effective, a greenhouse needs insulation (and sometimes heating during the icy grip of winter), as well as ventilation and cooling. If you’re noticing a pattern here, you’re right. It’s all a balancing act, to ensure just the right amount of warmth, fresh air, and protection.

Besides these factors, another very important feature that almost any greenhouse needs, especially in very sunny places, is shade. Plants are far more at risk of burning from the sun’s harsh UV rays when sitting behind panes of greenhouse glass. 

You don’t have to have a glass greenhouse, of course. Several other greenhouse covers are just as effective at insulating and protecting your plants. But you’ll probably still need some form of shade for the summer heat and shade cloth is the easiest way to achieve this. 

In the greenhouse vs garden debate, there are many benefits of greenhouses that ordinary gardens just don’t offer. The ability to nurture green things in a protected environment, regardless of the weather or season, and no matter how much space you have available, are the top advantages.

With the right hobby greenhouse kit and essential greenhouse gardening accessories from Greenhouse Emporium, you can get started today. 

With a greenhouse, any outdoor space can become a beautiful plant oasis, even if all you have is a narrow yard. All it takes is a little know-how, and some patience. Nature and science take care of the rest. 

Are you keen on starting a greenhouse garden of your very own? We have all the things you’ll need, from DIY greenhouse-building kits to accessories. Let us know in the comments about other greenhouse gardening topics you’d like to learn more about.
Picture of Jesse James
Jesse James

Jesse James, an Army Veteran, now shares his passion for gardening through engaging articles on Greenhouse Emporium. Leveraging his experience and love for nature, Jesse provides practical advice and inspires others on their gardening journey.

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