The greenhouse has a rich aesthetic appeal. Displays of colourful foliage - with all the accompanying scents and ambience - make for an ideal space to ‘get away from it all’ and be at one with your plants. A greenhouse can extend the growing season by weeks at either end, as well as allowing you to grow plants out of season in some cases. It can be used to overwinter crops or store tender plants, protecting them from harsh weather conditions. A typical greenhouse set-up will make creative use of ‘staging’, which refers to carefully-arranged shelves and benches of varying height. This should make tasks like irrigation and potting easier, as well as preventing overcrowding of plants.
One of the more popular uses of a greenhouse is for starting seeds. The enclosed structure provides a stable environment for seedling propagation. Seeds are typically planted in trays with a mix of potting or seed compost. For best results use a covered propagator unit (heated or unheated) or a soil heating cable, along with some self-watering capillary matting. Under greenhouse cover this can give you a considerable head start on the growing season. You can transplant the seedlings or young plants outdoors once conditions are favourable.
The heat of a greenhouse allows you to grow plants or crops that would not typically fare well outdoors in our climate, including more exotic and unique ones. Crops that will thrive in a greenhouse include peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and cucumbers. During the warmer summer months, it’s important to prevent the greenhouse from overheating and causing heat shock or damage to plants. A greenhouse thermometer is a very useful accessory; a remote monitor even more so. The key methods of preventing overheating include:
Damping Down Spraying or pouring water onto the floor, walls or benches of a greenhouse raises humidity levels, which in turn will cool plants down as the water evaporates. If moisture levels are too low, plants can start to suffer from thirst. The best time for damping down will be in the morning. It may need to be done three times a day at the height of summer.
Ventilation The greenhouse door will be the most important source of ventilation during the warmer summer months. Leaving it propped or wide open will be necessary as the sun shines and temperatures rise. Many greenhouses feature louvred side vents, while vent openers can be automated with the use of a heat-expanding element. The Vitavia greenhouses that we stock are equipped with one or two roof vents, depending on the overall greenhouse size. Good airflow inside your greenhouse is vital for plant growth, even in moderate temperature conditions.
Shading Shade blinds can be placed inside or outside the greenhouse frame. They will absorb heat from the sun, although this does involve compromising on the amount of light that plants can receive. Shade paint is also an option, but blinds are more adaptable to changing weather conditions. Strategic placement of plants is another method of shading: some can tolerate direct strong sunlight better than others.
We provide an assembly service if required. Our Vitavia greenhouse expert will deliver and assemble your new greenhouse in a suitable location in your garden. Please be aware that we can only assemble a greenhouse where a base kit is also purchased if required (the Apollo and Phoenix ranges do not need a base).
Assembly prices may vary depending on the site but typical rates are as follows: 6ft x 4ft = €160.00, 6ft x 6ft = €180.00, 6ft x 8ft = €200.00, 6ft x 10ft = €230.00, 6ft x 12ft = €260.00. Please conatct email@example.com for details.
Horticultural or toughened glass?
The difference between horticultural or toughened glass is weight and how the material handles when shattered.
Horticultural glass or greenhouse glass has traditionally been relatively low grade both in thickness and the overall quality of the panes. This does not make it a bad product because we don't necessarily need high quality glass for horticultural applications, it still provides protection and lets in plenty of light which, after all, is all we need it for. The downside from a safety point of view is that it is more brittle and shatters into shards when broken. In my opionon, horticultural glass is perfectly fine for a reasonably shetlered glasshouse in a suburban setting but should not be used in exposed areas or where young children are regularly playing.
Toughened or safety glass is more costly than horticultural grade but is 10 times stronger and, when broken, shatters into very small pieces in the same manner as a car window. We would recommend that toughened glass is used in any exposed location and where safety is a concern.