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Step-by-step Guide to Backyard Greenhouse Materials & Construction

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on May 08, 2024

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Countless gardeners would love to maintain a productive garden throughout the year, but that is difficult to achieve with the challenges of northern winters. A backyard and hobby greenhouse can be used for backyard gardening can be the solution even during frost and snow. However, some gardeners have concerns about the resilience and reliability of these structures in extreme weather conditions. Many greenhouses available on the market are not built the same, and the difference in the quality and suitability of the materials used in their construction can significantly impact their performance, durability, and overall effectiveness. In regions where the winter months are particularly brutal, greenhouse materials are not only a matter of preference but a critical decision. It can determine the feasibility of extending the gardening season and safeguarding sensitive plants from harsh weather conditions.

This blog aims to offer a comprehensive analysis of greenhouse materials to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision. Our objective is to help you select a greenhouse that is capable of enduring the rigors of northern winters while providing an environment for your plants to thrive. We want to empower you with the insights needed to choose a solution that not only meets your gardening needs but also represents a wise, long-term investment in your gardening pursuits. Let’s dive into the critical factors that define a superior greenhouse, ensuring that your passion for gardening flourishes year-round.

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Garden With a Greenhouse

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Greenhouses, with their ability to create microclimates, serve many functions that go beyond the simple extension of the growing season. They offer protection against the cold and are a sanctuary where your crops can flourish even as snow blankets the ground outside. In the summer months, these structures are still valuable, providing a controlled environment that can keep pests at bay. Greenhouses are instrumental in the seeding process, offering a stable and controlled environment for the germination of seeds that might otherwise struggle to grow in the unpredictable outdoor climate.

Greenhouses can also serve as a storage space for mulch and soil, ensuring that essential gardening supplies are readily available and maintained in optimal condition. This protected environment safeguards mulch and soil from deterioration caused by outdoor storage conditions. For those plants that are especially delicate — requiring precise conditions of humidity, warmth, and light — a greenhouse provides a nurturing space that can be meticulously controlled to meet these specific needs. This ultimately makes it possible to grow a wider variety of plants successfully.

To truly harness the full spectrum of benefits that a greenhouse for backyard gardening can offer, it is crucial to select the right materials for its construction. The materials chosen not only dictate the longevity and durability of the greenhouse but also its efficiency in insulation, light diffusion, and even its capacity to withstand the challenges posed by pests and diseases. Each material comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, impacting everything from the initial setup cost to ongoing maintenance requirements. The selection of greenhouse materials is not a decision to be taken lightly but rather a critical step in ensuring that your greenhouse is as productive, functional, and enduring as it can be.

DIY Builds vs. Pre-built Greenhouses

When considering adding a greenhouse to your garden, the choice between constructing one from the ground up and opting for a pre-built greenhouse is a significant one. While the initial cost and time investment might lead many to consider the DIY route, the appeal of a pre-built greenhouse lies in its simplicity, efficiency, and guaranteed quality. A pre-built greenhouse offers a streamlined process, without the need for extensive construction knowledge or a considerable time investment. These pre-built options are expertly designed to ensure ease of assembly, enabling gardeners to swiftly extend their growing seasons.

Building a Greenhouse Yourself:

  • Opportunity for complete customization to meet specific gardening needs
  • Restricted availability to high-quality materials
  • Individual skill and knowledge is required
  • Potential challenges in ensuring durability and optimal plant growth conditions

Buying a Pre-built Greenhouse:

  • High-quality, durable components chosen for compatibility and performance
  • Meticulously engineered by reputable providers to withstand the elements
  • Guaranteed optimization of plant growth and longevity of structure
  • High-quality materials are used throughout for a stable, efficient gardening environment

Choosing the Best Greenhouse Materials

In the quest to create the perfect environment for year-round gardening, choosing a greenhouse with the right cover material is essential. Each material option has a unique set of attributes, challenges, and benefits, directly influencing not only the health and productivity of your plants but also the overall sustainability and efficiency of your gardening endeavors.

Glass Roofing

Over the years, glass has been the ideal choice for greenhouses. Its clarity not only ensures maximum light penetration but also contributes to a greenhouse's classic, picturesque appearance. However, this greenhouse cover material can have several significant drawbacks. The primary concern with glass is its lack of energy efficiency; it does a poor job of retaining heat, leading to higher heating costs in colder climates. Additionally, the upfront cost of a glass greenhouse can be substantially higher than alternative greenhouse materials, making it a less accessible option for budget-conscious gardeners. The fragility of glass also cannot be overlooked — it is prone to cracking or shattering under impact or during severe weather events, such as hailstorms or heavy snowfall. This requires gardeners to carefully consider the greenhouse's location and potentially higher maintenance and repair costs over its lifespan.

Polyethylene Roofing

Thick 16 mil polyethylene roofing is one of the best materials for greenhouse coverings. This material is cost-effective and user-friendly with enhanced durability and protection, making it a superior alternative to glass. Its ability to withstand UV degradation significantly extends the lifespan beyond that of other greenhouse roof materials, reducing the frequency of replacements. It is flexible, making it perfect for seasonal or temporary greenhouse setups without a heavy financial commitment. This thick material offers an economical yet durable solution that meets the needs of both beginner and seasoned gardeners, solidifying its place as a top choice for those seeking reliability without compromising on budget.

Fiberglass Roofing

Fiberglass, specifically fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), has a semi-translucent nature that diffuses sunlight, creating a soft, even light that reduces plant burn and encourages plant growth across the entire space. This characteristic, paired with FRP's notable durability and resistance to impact, positions it as an attractive option for gardeners seeking a long-term solution without the high cost and maintenance demands of glass. With a lifespan that can extend up to ten years or more with proper care, fiberglass greenhouses offer a commendable balance of longevity and cost-efficiency. However, it is important to note that over time, the surface of FRP can become somewhat cloudy, reducing light transmission. Regular cleaning and maintenance can mitigate this effect, making fiberglass a viable option for those prioritizing durability and effective light diffusion in their greenhouse.

Explore Premium Materials for Your Backyard Greenhouse

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Selecting a greenhouse that utilizes the right materials is crucial for optimizing its performance, durability, and overall gardening experience. Knowing what to look for in premium materials can significantly influence the effectiveness of your greenhouse. 

Flooring: Opt for moisture-resistant and durable flooring options like LP Prostruct Flooring, which can keep a greenhouse’s interior dry and stable. This flooring choice creates a safe environment for both gardeners and plants while keeping the space functional.

Benches and Shelves: Vinyl composite decking for benches and shelves offers a durable, easy-to-clean surface for your gardening tools and plants. This material resists rot, mold, and mildew, making it an ideal choice for the humid conditions within a greenhouse.

Roofing: Poly-sheeting roofing is a robust greenhouse covering material known for its strength, durability, and excellent light transmission qualities. This material provides an optimal growing environment for plants by protecting them from excessive UV radiation while ensuring they receive ample sunlight.

Exterior Frame: The exterior frame of a greenhouse should be designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions, providing a sturdy and reliable structure that lasts for years. A high-quality frame should support the poly-sheeting roofing efficiently, creating a balance between protection and light penetration.

Interior Paint: An all-white painted interior using high-quality paints like Sherwin Williams, enhances the light reflection inside a greenhouse. This promotes healthy plant growth and often comes with a warranty to provide peace of mind for long-term quality.

Elevate Your Gardening With a Well-constructed Greenhouse

Navigating the world of greenhouse materials can be daunting, but understanding the pros and cons of each option is crucial for creating an environment where your gardening ambitions can flourish. Each material offers distinct advantages to cater to different gardening needs and preferences. At Dakota Storage Buildings, we prioritize quality and durability in every component of our greenhouses. Our commitment to using the best materials ensures that our greenhouses stand the test of time, providing a valuable investment in your gardening journey.

Investing in a greenhouse for backyard gardening is not just about extending your gardening season; it is about embracing a lifestyle of sustainability, productivity, and enjoyment. With the right greenhouse, you can transform your gardening practices, achieving year-round growth and the satisfaction of nurturing your plants in an optimal environment. We encourage you to consider the long-term benefits and joy that a well-constructed greenhouse can bring to your home and life. Shop our pre-build greenhouses and transform your gardening experience.

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Topics:Backyard Greenhouse

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