A greenhouse allows crops, flowers, and other plants to grow by creating an environment where heat and humidity can be maintained. Many plants can only grow in warm weather, but a greenhouse allows for growth all year long - as long as they’re properly sealed to keep that warmth and temperature consistency inside.
Many people are interested in building a quality greenhouse that’s budget-friendly. Because fiberglass and glass-walled greenhouses aren’t exactly affordable, there are other methods you can use to keep whatever you’re growing safe and warm - without breaking the bank.
How to Choose Greenhouse Plastic
When you’re building a greenhouse, any old plastic won’t do the trick. There are a few considerations to keep in mind when you go about making the decision, and here are the most important factors:
The material that protects your greenhouse will be constantly exposed to the elements - heavy rains, strong wind, and snowfall can have a big impact on its integrity. Even direct sunlight is not a friend to all plastics, as many plastics can turn brittle after lengthy exposure to UV light.
One single tear on your greenhouse plastic can reduce its effectiveness, so we recommend investing in a high-quality plastic that will stand the test of time. Choosing a plastic that’s made with strong material will save you from constantly spending money on repairs for your greenhouse. Invest once instead of over and over again.
Modern greenhouses have seen improved results by using transparent materials - many find that clearer is better when choosing the plastic that surrounds your greenhouse. Sunlight should be able to reach the plants inside your greenhouse so that they can go through the process of photosynthesis.
Finding the right balance between thickness and transparency is key when choosing the right plastic for your greenhouse covering. Some plants need enough sunlight to keep them alive, but not too much that they’ll dry out or burn. Other plants need as much as they can get. It all depends on what type of vegetation that you’re growing.
It’s true that a thick sheet of plastic is strong, but it also gets heavier with added thickness. A sheet of plastic is incapable of offering structural integrity, which means that the weight from that added thickness will depend on the frame of the greenhouse to hold it up. While it’s not a bad thing to have heavy plastic, you must make sure that the frame of your greenhouse is sturdy enough to uphold it.
Anti-Condensation & Anti-Dust
Depending on the climate where you live, there are a few factors that can reduce how effective your greenhouse is. When days are cold, the difference between the cold outside and the warm inside of your greenhouse will create condensation on the inner layer of your plastic sheet. This condensation could then fall onto your plants, which will disturb the ecosystem that you’ve put so much effort into creating by encouraging the growth of mildew.
Certain plastics are equipped to keep this condensation drip from happening - the condensation runs off the side of the greenhouse to meet the ground instead of disturbing the delicate ecosystem that the plants are thriving in. There are also some plastics that discourage condensates from dripping onto the plants and instead retain them on the surface of the plastic so they can evaporate back into the atmosphere naturally.
Using plastic sheets to cover your greenhouse is a method that has worked for generations. It’s cost-effective, budget-friendly, and worth the investment. Plastic sheets can be just as durable and lasting as fiberglass coverings - all you need to do is make sure to cover your greenhouse frame thoroughly and secure them at strategic points to make sure your greenhouse is as sturdy as possible.