For growing seedlings, early vegetables and greens in the unfavorable climate of central Russia, summer residents use various types of shelter structures. Small buildings up to 1.3 meters high and wide – within an ordinary bed for 2 rows of cucumbers, are called greenhouses.
Determine the purpose
To begin with, it is worth identifying the main characteristics of a greenhouse and its differences from a greenhouse. Capital buildings, called greenhouses, reach a height of more than 2.5 meters and such a width that agricultural machinery can move between rows. It is the size of greenhouses that differs from greenhouses in the first place. Usually, greenhouses are first erected on newly emerging garden plots: the costs are small, it does not take much time for the device.
In addition to size, greenhouses and greenhouses differ from each other in the predominant set of crops grown in them.. The division is conditional, but still there are some plants that are completely unsuitable for growing in a greenhouse..
For example, it is impossible to plant tomato seedlings in a greenhouse in a permanent place, the height of which can reach 2 meters. The height of this structure is rarely even 1.3 meters..
In a small building, it is possible to grow only low-growing varieties of tomatoes suitable for open ground. But these varieties love fresh air and do not tolerate high humidity, so they do not need stationary greenhouses, but portable ones. They are installed in the garden in unfavorable weather, and in good weather, they can be completely or partially disassembled. To obtain a rich harvest of tomatoes in the open field, gardeners often use greenhouses made of wire arcs and a covering film. Due to their small volume, a comfortable microclimate for intensive growth and development of plants is quickly created in them..
The period of use of greenhouses is significantly shorter than that of greenhouses, especially heated ones.. Greenhouses at the end of the summer season are usually dismantled, and installed in place after thawing and drying of the soil in the spring. Heated greenhouses are operated all year round, the use of unheated structures begins much earlier than greenhouses, they are not dismantled for the winter, and if they are dismantled, then partially (for example, the film is removed).
But greenhouses have their advantages: the earth warms up faster in them and the necessary microclimate is established for the rapid development of plants. Humidity and temperature in greenhouses already in early spring in good weather become ideal for growing greens, zucchini and cucumbers.
Greenhouses are most often used for growing seedlings and early greenery.. Cucumber plantings, zucchini, squash and peppers also feel comfortable in them. The dacha owners themselves need to decide for which crops it is most effective to use greenhouses. The following subjective factors play an important role in the choice: the climatic zone of residence, the set of desired vegetables and herbs, personal requirements for productivity, the financial capabilities of the family.
One of the main advantages of greenhouses for gardeners is their quick, low-cost device on their own. The base is made on a flat area of boards in the form of a rectangle with a given length and width. The frame is then attached to this base. The frame can be made of wooden blocks of various shapes (quadrangular with one slope or gable, arched from bent metal or synthetic pipes). These types of structures are usually covered with a film cover..
There are also greenhouses with a base buried in the ground.. In this case, a ditch up to half a meter deep is dug in place of the greenhouse, and opening or removable frames are installed on top. These frames are made of wood or profile from light metal in the form of horizontally or with a slight slope of the laid windows.
Modern factory greenhouses are often equipped with self-opening vents and even whole frames. Such devices, operating from temperature, are the key to preserving plants from overheating during the absence of the owners in the country..
The fantasy of the owner of the dacha is often limited by the availability of improvised material. If financial capabilities allow, then you can purchase some ready-made parts of the future greenhouse, or even a completely factory product that meets your own requirements for material, optimal size and functionality. But it is not always possible to find such an ideal structure, so most gardeners begin to build their own version of a protected garden bed.
A small or large greenhouse consists of:
In ubiquitous arc structures, even a base is missing. The arcs are stuck into the ground for stability and covered with a film. In hot weather, the cover is removed, and in bad weather, it is returned to its place. If it is warm and there is no scorching sun rays, then it is enough to lift the film from the ends for airing. The arcs that make up the frame can be made of thick steel wire (6 mm thick), electrical aluminum conductors, pipes made of metal or polymer, as well as curved from hazel or willow rods.
The bases for serious structures are made of wooden planks, beams, thin logs, metal products (corners, profiles). Wooden materials are treated with drying oil, used car oil, sealants and antiseptics to protect them from moisture. Metal structures are primed and painted. All these measures are necessary to extend the service life of structures..
The frame can be of the following types:
The most common material for all types of frame (except for tunnel) is wood. Some factory products are made from steel or aluminum elements. Tunnel greenhouses are made of metal or polymer arcs (bent pipes).
Wooden frames are the most time consuming to manufacture and have more than a dozen design forms.. Among them: triangular, inclined with one slope, wall-mounted, attached to greenhouses or a house, gable, frame. In industrial production for summer cottages, even the names of the samples give an idea of their forms: “butterfly”, “bread box”, “convertible”.
The choice of covering material for greenhouses is wider than for greenhouses.
- Glass in framed types of structures. The frames in this case are mostly wooden.
- Polyethylene film. It is used for tunnel coverings, as well as in frame and other types of frames. But it is not durable, so it needs to be updated annually, which is a troublesome business. Plain film is best used for primitive devices under arcs..
- Reinforced polyethylene film. Strong covering material compared to conventional films. But the price is also appropriate.
- Cellular polycarbonate. This two-layer plastic material with an air gap is resistant to hail and wind and retains heat well. In terms of light transmission, it is not inferior to glass and film. Suitable for stationary greenhouses that do not need to be cleaned for the winter.
For your own greenhouses, you need to choose those materials that are available on the farm and more fully meet the plans for vegetable growing on your own plot. If you build light greenhouses, then you should not acquire expensive covering material for them. Disassembling or storing them somewhere in a barn for the winter will damage the coating..
For capital devices, it is better to purchase glass / polycarbonate that can withstand the snow load in winter. Usually good greenhouses pay for themselves within 3 seasons, and then only give profit for at least 10 years..
Ready-made greenhouses of even one model can have several modifications with different sizes: height – from 70 to 140 cm, width on average – 130 cm, and length – from 1.6 to 6 m. Frames for buried structures rarely rise above the soil surface by more than 50 cm.
Home-made devices for protected ground are designed according to arbitrary sizes, which are based on the parameters of the beds that are usual for local standards. It depends on the type of crop that is planned to be grown in the greenhouse and the agricultural technology of its cultivation (how many rows in the bed, recommended distances between rows, plant height, bushes density, the desired amount of harvest, methods of processing the beds and irrigation technique).
Tunnel-type shelters are arranged on beds with a width not exceeding 1.5 m and a height of arcs up to 1 m. Reasons for restrictions: economical consumption of covering material, ease of work with such film sizes, stability in strong winds. The standard width of polyethylene film in rolls is usually 3 and 6 meters. A six-meter canvas can be cut in half and get two sets of covering material for arc shelters from one purchase. The 3-meter width of the shelter is the most convenient and economical size for tunnel greenhouses of the specified parameters..
For growing seedlings and salads, small greenhouses are made in the form of a square box up to half a meter high. They perform the function of portable structures: the seedlings of the transplant period have reached a permanent place – the greenhouse is transferred to another bed. Frame structures are also a type of portable greenhouse. Their sizes range up to 1.2 m in width and 2 m in length. In frame buildings, one side along the length is often made inclined and reclining on hinges, and installed in such a way that the slope is facing the southern (sunny) side of the horizon.
To get a good harvest, it is not enough to decide on the type, size and material of greenhouses. It is important to choose the right location at their summer cottage.
It is undesirable to place greenhouses in the following places.
- Under fruit trees and near tall stands. There are two main reasons for this: shading from the sun and a high risk of damage to the covering material and structural elements from fruits and twigs falling from the branches..
- At the fence, shrubbery and building that can block the structure from the influence of the sun for a long time. Plants should receive good sunlight throughout the day. Light is needed for the quality and taste of vegetables and herbs.
- In a remote, inclined or low place of the site. Greenhouses should be as close to the dwelling as possible (ideally attached to a house or other buildings on their southern sides) in a level, dry and high place.
- In places where the wind blows constantly. These can be places between two country houses, strips of fruit plantations, in which a windblow is artificially created..
The optimal placement along the length of the greenhouse is from east to west. You should also place any beds on the site, regardless of the presence of covering structures on them. In this case, the plants receive maximum illumination during the day, without shading each other in the beds. Recessed greenhouses are set up in dry places where groundwater is far from the soil surface.
Summer residents who trust ready-made types of greenhouses from trusted manufacturers more than their own ability to design them, we can recommend the following popular models that have a good rating and have received good reviews from grateful buyers (but with an indication of some shortcomings).
- Tunnel greenhouse “Snowdrop”. Modifications have a length of three to eight meters. Arcs made of plastic pipes that do not crack either from heat or cold. The covering material is agrotex, which has proven itself well in indoor vegetable growing. The value of this material is that it allows atmospheric water and fresh air to pass through, while maintaining a normal microclimate inside.
- Greenhouse “Dayas”. It has an arc structure and consists of sections, which is convenient for changing the length of the device. Plastic arcs are soldered into the covering material, thereby ensuring the stability of the structure. The length of the greenhouse is from 4 meters, the width is 120 cm, the height is 70 cm.According to reviews, it is easy to install and fold, but not very convenient for maintenance (it is difficult to open, the arcs are of poor quality, the structure requires weighting).
- Greenhouse from cellular polycarbonate “Lotus”. It is only 80 cm high, 90 cm wide and 2.1 meters long. Conveniently opens according to the principle of “bread bin”, made of polycarbonate. Durable and reliable portable product.
- Greenhouse “Butterfly”. The frame is made of lightweight profile metal, instead of a covering material – cellular polycarbonate. A convenient fold-down system of side walls on each side provides easy access to the plants. Easy to fold and carry to any location. Length – up to 4 m and height – 1.5 m.Of the disadvantages – it requires additional strengthening from the wind.
The main advantage of all the listed models is affordability (from 2000 to 6000 rubles). Covering materials are of good quality, and cellular polycarbonate, with careful treatment, can last about 10 years.
When arranging a greenhouse economy in the country, one should not forget about aesthetics. Factory greenhouses are made with the same proportions, dimensions and do not spoil the general appearance of the site. The situation is worse with home-made products: sometimes their appearance does not stand up to any criticism: who is in what is much and without any rules. But it also happens the other way around, if the owner thoroughly and with a soul approaches the matter. For example, the following homemade greenhouses can be cited..
Polycarbonate greenhouse with metal profile frame and lifting roof.
Greenhouse sections with their own soil, heating system, made of wood with polycarbonate frames.
Tilting greenhouse made of tubular frame and reinforced film.
For how to make a greenhouse from polypropylene pipes with your own hands, see the next video.