5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Greenhouses (But Should)

By: Luke Rooks

Sure, you may know that greenhouses are typically used to grow plants. But there’s a lot more to these structures than meets the eye.

A greenhouse is typically a glass or plastic enclosed structure that is used for the cultivation of plants. They can be found in various sizes, from small backyard greenhouses to large commercial ones.

Greenhouses provide a controlled environment for plants, resulting in accelerated growth rates and increased yields. However, they can also be challenging to maintain, as high humidity levels and warm temperatures can create perfect conditions for pests and diseases.

In addition, greenhouses can be expensive to build and operate, making them out of reach for many home gardeners. But for those who take advantage of them, greenhouses can be a great way to get a head start on the growing season.

Here are five things you probably don’t know about greenhouses – but should.


1. Greenhouses aren’t just for plants

greenhouse facts

Greenhouses are often associated with flowers and gardening, but their uses go far beyond that. In fact, greenhouses can be used for various purposes, from growing food to housing exotic animals.

One of the most common uses for greenhouses is as a place to start seedlings. The controlled environment of a greenhouse allows gardeners to get a head start on the growing season by providing warmth and protection from the elements.

Greenhouses can also be used to grow plants that require specific conditions, such as orchids or cacti.

In addition, many farmers use greenhouses to grow fruits and vegetables out of season. They can extend the growing season and provide fresh produce year-round by controlling the temperature and humidity.

Finally, some people use greenhouses as sunrooms, where they can enjoy the sunlight without dealing with the cold weather outside. As you can see, there are many different uses for greenhouses beyond just gardening.

So if you’re thinking about getting one, don’t limit yourself to just growing tomatoes!


2. Greenhouse gardening has a long history

It’s hard to imagine a world without greenhouses. These vital structures allow us to grow plants and vegetables all year round, regardless of outside weather.

But where did greenhouses come from? The history of these fascinating buildings is actually quite rich. The first known greenhouses were built in Rome during the 1st century AD.

However, The Romans did not use them for growing plants. Instead, they were used as sunny retreats for wealthy families. It wasn’t until the 16th century that greenhouses began to be used for their intended purpose.

The earliest examples were built in Europe, and they quickly became popular among the nobility and aristocracy. Greenhouses soon spread to the New World, where they were used to grow tropical plants and flowers. Today, greenhouses are an essential tool for many farmers and growers worldwide.


3. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes

types of greenhouses

Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes, from small backyard models to large commercial operations. There are three main types: freestanding, lean-to, and conservatory.

Freestanding greenhouses are the most popular type, as they can be placed anywhere in the garden and don’t require any attached structures.

Lean-to greenhouses are narrower and attach to the side of a house or shed, while conservatories are more like sunrooms with large windows that allow sunlight to pour in.

As for shape, greenhouses can be round, square, or polygonal. They can also be tall and narrow or short and squat.

The size you need will depend on the amount of space available and the type of plants you want to grow. If you only have a few square feet to work with, you can opt for a mini greenhouse. Or, if you have a large yard, you might want to consider a freestanding or attached greenhouse.


4. There are many different types of greenhouses

There are many different types of greenhouses, including cold frames, hothouses, and solariums.

Cold frames are typically used to protect plants from frost damage. Hot houses are heated greenhouses that are used to grow tropical plants. And solariums are glass-enclosed rooms that are designed to capture the sun’s heat and light.

No matter what type of greenhouse you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the benefits of year-round gardening.


5. Greenhouses can be made from a variety of materials

greenhouse gardening in winter

Greenhouses are a vital component of any gardener’s toolkit, and there are a variety of different materials you can use to build one. One of the most common options is polyethylene, a lightweight plastic that is easy to work with.

However, UV rays can damage polyethylene, so it is crucial to choose a thick grade or coat the plastic with an ultraviolet-resistant paint.

Another popular material is glass, which offers excellent light transmission and good heat retention. However, glass is also fragile and can be difficult to work with.

Finally, there are a variety of composite materials that offer a balance of benefits and drawbacks. For example, polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is often used to construct greenhouses.

It has several advantages over glass, including being lighter and more shatter-resistant. In addition, polycarbonate can be treated to block out ultraviolet light, which is essential for protecting plants from sun damage.

One downside of polycarbonate is that it can yellow over time, making it less transparent. However, this is not typically a problem in greenhouses, as the plastic is usually covered with a film that helps to protect it from the sun.



If you’re thinking about adding a greenhouse to your property, there’s a lot to consider. But with a little bit of research, you’re sure to find the perfect option for your needs. And once you have your greenhouse up and running, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of year-round gardening.

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