Building a Backyard Greenhouse: Wood vs. Steel

Owning your own backyard greenhouse is an investment that can elevate your gardening experience beyond just providing a year-round growing space. A backyard greenhouse creates a slice of Costa Rica in the middle of a blizzard, it provides a natural therapeutic escape to stretch your green thumb, and can even be an incredibly convenient produce…

Water Barrels vs. Phase Change Material

  Innovation plays an important role in every industry. Bulky, inefficient methods are catalysts for new-age technology. Since traditional greenhouses lack insulation, thermal masses can provide extra heat. Thermal mass materials absorb heat during the day and release the heat back into the greenhouse at night. Water barrels are widely used to maintain temperatures in…

Is My Plant Getting Enough Light?

The following is an excerpt from The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse, with additional content provided by expert greenhouse grower Paul Alaback. Year-round greenhouse growers, and all gardeners, often wonder whether plants are getting sufficient light. As we’ll explain further below, whether your garden gets enough light is somewhat subjective -- it depends on your expectations. Fortunately,…

How to Choose a Glazing Material for a Year Round Greenhouse

Below is an excerpt from The Year Round Solar Greenhouse. For more on choosing a glazing material for a greenhouse, plus costs and tips for installing glazing materials, please see the book. We live in a plastic-laden age, so when it comes to choosing a material for a year-round greenhouse, the choices can get overwhelming.…

Setting Controls in a GAHT System or Climate Battery

A climate battery is a ground to air heat exchanger, which provides year-round heating and cooling of solar greenhouses and other structures using the thermal mass of the soil underground. Ceres’ patent-pending Ground to Air Heat Transfer (GAHT™) is a high-performance climate battery specialized for year-round greenhouse growers. For more on how a GAHT™ system…

Tips on Using Water Barrels in a Solar Greenhouse

Year round greenhouses, or even those used for season extension, face the challenge of extreme temperature swings. The structure collects excessive amounts of heat during the day when the sun is out, causing them to easily overheat. However, they quickly lose this heat at night due to a lack of insulation, resulting in overcooling or…

Energy-Efficient Ways to Cool a Greenhouse

Growing in a year-round greenhouse often means contending with heat. For most crops, photosynthesis slows when temperatures exceed 95 F. As the dog-days of summer hit, we explore the most energy-efficient ways of cooling a greenhouse. 1. Keep heat out (Shade Cloth)  Best for: all climates The first is to reduce light and heat gain…

5 Tips for Building a Solar-Powered Greenhouse

Integrating solar panels with a greenhouse can make it off-grid, but takes careful consideration of your goals and the best strategy for doing so. “I want a greenhouse with solar panels”, is one of the top requests we get from clients trying to be more energy-efficient. So what are these people really looking for? The…

4 Ways to Use a Greenhouse in the Summer

Greenhouses can often take a back seat during the summer months, when gardens are flourishing outside. But that doesn’t mean they’re un-used. In fact, year-round greenhouses take on new roles to continue growing. Here are 4 strategies for getting the most out of a greenhouse in the summer. 1. Warm Crop Sanctuary One great strategy is…

Top 3 Greenhouse Pests and How to Deal with Them

Pests can affect greenhouses a little differently than the outdoor garden, particularly year-round insulated greenhouses that are warmer and more humid. The top three pests we’ve encountered in our years of greenhouse growing are aphids, fungus gnats and white flies. Of course, is not an exhaustive list –you may encounter many more in your experience --…