08 July, 2011
What Are the Advantages of a Greenhouse?
For individuals who enjoy home grown fruits and vegetables, a greenhouse provides an efficient way to grow crops in relative safety from the outside world. Greenhouses are typically equipped with glass or clear plastic walls, which allow them to conserve heat while still allowing light to filter through. This creates an ideal environment for growing numerous varieties of plants.
Longer Growing Season
Plants grown within a greenhouse aren’t subject to the same degree of temperature variation as plants grown in an outdoor garden. According to TLC Home, greenhouses work by trapping radiation from the sun inside the enclosure, which results in heat retainment in the structure. The new microclimate the greenhouse creates allows gardeners to extend the growing season of plants that would not thrive in the colder climate outside of the greenhouse. This allows consumers to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers out of season.
Many varieties of plants are prone to damage from insects. A greenhouse keeps plants in isolation, locked safely away from the outside world where insects, rodents and other animals could damage crops. The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University states that gardeners should isolate their plants within a greenhouse that is caulked and sealed. A greenhouse in complete isolation that is tightly sealed with properly controlled air flow can provide protection not only from insects and rodents but from diseases as well.
Protection From the Elements
The weather is unpredictable. Even the best meteorological equipment isn’t correct 100 percent of the time. For gardeners, a drastic and unforeseen change in weather patterns can mean death even for carefully tended plants in an outdoor garden. Plants grown in a greenhouse, however, are protected from blizzards, dust storms, and high winds. In addition, greenhouse plants aren’t at the mercy of soil erosion due to torrential rain or flash floods. This gives gardeners the comfort of knowing that they don’t have to race home from work to cover their gardens or simply hope that their plants survive during periods of inclement weather.
Control Over Produce
Those without the benefit of a garden must purchase their produce at the grocery store or a local farmer’s market. Commercial farms often use pesticides and other toxic chemicals to improve the growing conditions of their crops and increase production. A study performed by the Environmental Working Group revealed that not only do trace amounts of these toxic substances remain on produce after its harvested, but 5.6 percent of produce contains pesticides that have been long banned in the U.S. Individuals who opt to use a greenhouse to grow their own produce have complete control over the growing environment, and, therefore, they can grow fresh, delicious produce without worrying about pesticide residue that could potentially harm them or their families.
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