A greenhouse, also known as a "forced environment," is a special type of artificial environment that allows plants to grow in spite of harsh weather outside. The primary minimum requirement for any garden greenhouse is that it enables sunlight and heat to reach, offering a microcosmic, plant-friendly environment favorable to plant life.

The Framework

A basic greenhouse consists of four basic components: the roof, a central heating, and air conditioning unit, interior walls, and windows. The roof and walls are constructed from plastic or metal mesh that is nailed together at the edge of the roof, while the windows are supported by concrete blocks on the inside of the walls.

The Perfect Temperature

Plants need more heat from the sun to thrive than they do from the cold. Plants that need less heat will grow better in a greenhouse. A greenhouse provides the perfect temperature to allow the growth of the kind of plants that thrive in the shade, such as plants like cacti and ferns. Many types of plants that need more light and heat will grow better when grown in a greenhouse.

The greenhouse's insulation can provide adequate insulation to provide adequate warmth during winter. During the summer, however, the plants need less heat to survive, so the greenhouse needs to be ventilated to allow the air to flow freely through it. This is done by placing the greenhouse against a wall or building, with the greenhouse's sides facing outward.

In addition to heat, plants need to be exposed to light. This helps them to thrive, especially if they get too little sunlight or too much exposure to the sun. Planting trees and shrubs near a greenhouse that has no direct sunlight will prevent them from growing in the greenhouse.

Greenhouse plastic can provide enough warmth to allow the roots of small plants to get a chance to root deeply into the ground, while larger roots will stay in the soil. If the soil surrounding the plant's roots becomes compacted, the roots cannot get a chance to root deep enough to feed properly.

A Perfect Combination

These four components, combined with the basic requirements of a greenhouse, provide the perfect environment for most plants. Some, however, require more than just sunlight and heat and air. A greenhouse should have other elements, such as drainage, for example, drainage holes in the roof and window coverings.

Greenhouse use is very popular because of the number of plants that can be grown under its conditions, and because it can give you a controlled environment that is favorable to plants. In the right climate, plants can flourish even under harsh conditions, provided they get at least five hours of sunlight and six hours of direct sunlight. While it is possible for plants to prosper in a greenhouse, they will not thrive without the proper nutrients.

The best time of day to provide natural sunlight to plants is from sunrise to sunset. The sun's rays are strongest at these times and they will not harm the plants. In addition, the plants will not get burned if they do not receive enough direct sunlight to photosynthesize.

Plants that receive too much heat and too much shade may not develop well, either. Plants that get too much water or too little water will also struggle to thrive. A greenhouse should provide proper drainage so that the plants will not drown and die in excess humidity. or too little water will cause the plants to dry up too fast.

Learn How to Detect Diseases

Plant diseases can be spread by the wind and can be passed from one plant to another through spores. Plants that are near trees, branches, and other objects that blow by may also be susceptible to disease. It is important to keep the temperature of a greenhouse stable because plants may need more heat during warm months than they need in colder months. In order to minimize this problem, consider moving the greenhouse away from trees, rocks, and other objects that blow by regularly.

A greenhouse can work in many ways to help plants flourish. It does not take much to set it up, though, so it can be used to create an ideal place for growing plants whether you are a beginner or an expert gardener.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.