Maryland has abundant and healthy plant life since it has a climate that helps support various types of plants. The state has substantial fertile agricultural land, which has led its residents to take a serious interest in farming and gardening. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Maryland’s nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod industry was ranked as the state’s third-largest agricultural commodity. If you enjoy gardening, you may be thinking about having your own greenhouse to protect your plants and help them grow optimally. Let’s look at four things to consider when building a greenhouse.
1) Why do you want to build a greenhouse?
Whether you grow your plants commercially or just happen to love spending time in the garden, the main reasons to build a greenhouse in Maryland are:
- To do gardening in all seasons – If you have a greenhouse, you do not need to worry about growing your plants in cold winters or scorching summers since a greenhouse has a controlled environment that helps all plants to thrive.
- To protect your plants – A greenhouse helps protect plants from pests such as locusts, spider mites, caterpillars, and also unpleasant weather.
- To save money – Gardening enthusiasts spend a lot of money buying lawn grass or plants for outdoor gardens each spring. If you have a greenhouse of your own, you’ll be able to grow lawn grass and plants instead of buying them from outside.
2) What style of a greenhouse are you looking to build?
When it comes to greenhouse structures, according to the Oklahoma Extension, there are broadly two types two consider:
- Freestanding – A separate building that provides more growing space for your plants and gives you the flexibility to place it anywhere on your property. Such a greenhouse usually gets more natural light but needs more heat at night and in winters due to exposed surface area. A freestanding greenhouse means you have to factor in higher heating costs compared to lean-to greenhouses.
- Attached lean-to – Built against a building’s wall or a garage, using one or more sides of an existing structure. Building such a greenhouse means that it is near available water, electricity, and heat. However, you will have to manage with limited space, limited light, and limited ventilation. If you opt to build such a greenhouse, consider artificially augmenting ventilation and light to ensure optimal plant growth.
3) Ensure proper lighting
Proper lighting is vital for plants to carry out photosynthesis, a process in which water and carbon dioxide is converted into carbohydrates using light. In a greenhouse, either sufficient sunlight or proper light from other sources is vital to ensure photosynthesis. Being in the North-Eastern US, Maryland does not get optimal light for plant growth during winter due to cloud cover. In such a scenario, supplemental lighting in a greenhouse helps the process of photosynthesis. If you carry out commercial production of crops, consider installing a refurbished grow light at a competitive cost that allows your plants to undergo maximal levels of photosynthesis, ensuring proper plant growth.
4) Insulating your greenhouse
Winters in Maryland usually mean low temperatures, snow, along with slippery roads and sidewalks. If you live in this state, follow these tips to ensure that you get enough preparation for the winter months. If you are planning to build your own greenhouse, you should insulate your greenhouse correctly to protect it when it gets cold. Use thick panels that are durable and protect against external cool air entering and lowering the temperature in your greenhouse. Proper seals around the doors and windows of a greenhouse are also vital to prevent inside temperatures from plummeting during winter. Some greenhouses come with seals around windows and doors. If your greenhouse doesn’t have this, seal up cracks using tape or bubble wrap.