When you are starting a greenhouse activity, even if it is just a hobby, or you want to turn it in a profitable business, you should know from the very beginning that the main factors that influence the good growth of your crops are the greenhouse covering materials.
They differ due to their properties, and before you cover your greenhouse with some material, you should think in considering the external factors where you live. Some greenhouse covering materials are better light diffusers and illuminate the crops in a better way, or resists to high temperature or bad weather, reducing costs.
The climate plays an important role in a crop growth. If you live in a warm area you have to use a multi-layer greenhouse covering material to reduce heating inside and burning your plants, because of the high amount of light concentration. Light diffusing is also an indispensable feature for the greenhouse covering material, in order to prevent plants from burning. If you live in a cool climate, then you really have to consider in an insulator material to retain the heat inside, a twin-walled plastic material being a good example. These materials come with different insulating values, also known as the R factor number, and should be used for proper conditions.
A good cover material for your greenhouse must be durable, lightweight and should be easily replaced if damaged. The price differs depending on the provider, but a good research will do the job. You also have to think about shipping costs because the same amount of greenhouse covering material has different weight. There are different types of greenhouse covering materials and the most known are, glass, fiberglass, polyethylene film (PE), covering. They are used in different circumstances influenced by the weather, environment and the owner desire.
Glass is used mostly in northern Europe and North America, and is the most common greenhouse covering material. It appeared hundreds years ago, because of the people desire to have plants at any time of the year. However, because of its weight and if it brakes might endanger the crop it pointed the greenhouse covering material manufacturers to find out other options to cover a greenhouse. Another glass disadvantage is that glass doesn’t diffuse light, overheating and creating hotspots inside the greenhouse damaging the crops.
Another material used for greenhouse covering is plastic, because it’s light, practical and has better heating properties. The technology today improved plastic characteristic in order to resist longer, and to increase productivity.
A good greenhouse covering material has to be able to transmit as much light as possible without letting ultra violet light inside, which might burn the plants. The light diffusing characteristics have to be superior in order to prevent the formation of shadows and hotspots inside, providing a better climate and reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation.
The biggest concern of a greenhouses owner is the maintenance. A good neat greenhouse improves the crop’s growth, and reduces costs. So you should regularly clean your greenhouse from dust and dirt. You can also add light materials in your greenhouse in order to attract more sunlight.
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