Greenhouses are designed to be warm, but certain features can make your conservatory even warmer. Higher temperatures will allow you to grow heat-loving crops like peppers, watermelons, or even lavender. Building hot greenhouses can involve changing the structure, the materials, or both.
Opt for a Space-age Structure
Traditional house-shaped greenhouses have been around for centuries, but the greenhouses scientists are planning on the moon or Mars, look nowhere like them. When it comes to space-age structures, one of the most popular shapes for building in other planets is the geodesic dome. Even on Earth, some of the largest greenhouse structures like the Eden Project in the UK and the Climatron in Missouri are geodesic domes. Smaller geodesic greenhouses or geodomes can be spotted throughout the USA, with owners opting for them because of their heat-retention as well as the novelty of their design. The dome-like structure of geodomes allows maximum sun exposure during all hours of the day. Traditional greenhouses only make full use of the sun for 3-4 hours, making geodesic greenhouses significantly hotter. A geodome is also able to utilize more space per square feet, giving you a larger area to plant your crops.
Ditch Glass for Modern Plastics
A greenhouse without glass is almost unthinkable, but modern materials are slowly changing things. Polycarbonate sheets are becoming the primary choice of new greenhouse owners, mainly because of their cost, ease of use, safety, heat retention’ and insulating properties. Polycarbonate sheets also disperse sunlight more evenly inside your greenhouse, eliminating the need to arrange your plants so that their shadows don’t get in the way of the light. As light is dispersed, harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays are also filtered out. Too much UV can damage your plants’ DNA, impairing photosynthesis, and forcing plants to expend valuable nutrition and energy into producing sunscreen. Polycarbonate sheets are perfect for geodesic greenhouses. They are easily cut to fit the shapes needed in a geodesic dome, and pairing the two together will create one of the hottest greenhouses you can build.
Turning Down the Heat
You’ve made a hot greenhouse for your crops, but too much heat can be problematic, especially during intense summers. Thankfully, you can make your heat-focused greenhouse a little cooler with temporary measures during the summer. Purchase window shades specifically made for greenhouses, to prevent your crops from getting scorched by the sun. You can put them up when summers are particularly hot and take them down once the hot months end. Venting options can also regulate the heat inside your greenhouse by promoting air circulation. Just make sure that pollution and insects don’t find their way to your crops. A small pond or a large basin of water can increase the humidity in your greenhouse during arid days and bring down the temperature by 2 or 3 degrees.
Turning up the heat will allow you to grow crops more used to warm climates and extends your growing season well past winter. While keeping it warm might not be a problem, don’t forget to take measures to keep things a little cooler during the summer.