The 5 Ws of Planning a Smart Greenhouse

By Haley Bridgnell
What do I want to grow and when? In other words why do you want a greenhouse? This is the first question we start with when planning any greenhouse, because what you want to grow, over what seasons, dictates a lot about your greenhouse design. Generally, we group greenhouses into three categories by their temperature…

Choosing the Right Angle for Your Greenhouse Roof

By Haley Bridgnell
The best angle for greenhouse glazing in the roof is not as clear cut as some solar greenhouse designers make it sound. Solar greenhouse designers often cite a rule of thumb along the lines of: To find the “best” angle for a greenhouse roof take your latitude and add 20 degrees.While the logic behind this rule…

3 Types of Greenhouse Floors

By Haley Bridgnell
Even an insulated year-round greenhouse doesn’t need a finished floor as a house does. Most of the footprint will be used as a planting area, which may or may not need a level finished surface. Your flooring option usually depends on how you want to grow in the greenhouse – whether growing directly in the…

Choosing the best glazing for your greenhouse

By Haley Bridgnell
We use the term glazing to describe any transparent structural material, whether glass, rigid plastics like polycarbonate, or plastic films. If designing your own solar greenhouse, these materials are critical to greenhouse efficiency and performance. Here are the main variables to pay attention to: light transmittance, insulation, placement, durability and cost. In our next blog we’ll…

Solar Greenhouse Basics: Ventilation

By Haley Bridgnell
Even a well-designed solar greenhouse will overheat sometimes. This is because greenhouses are excellent solar collectors. While all that light is needed for growth, it often creates too much heat. Ventilation is essential not only for cooling but also for plants’ health. A leaf surrounded by stagnant humid air is a bug’s best breeding ground.…

Solar Greenhouse Basics: Orientation

By Miriam Schaffer
Solar greenhouse design begins with choosing the correct orientation for your greenhouse. For those in the Northern hemisphere, this means maximizing Southern exposure of your greenhouse. The length of the greenhouse (longer dimension) should face South as this is where the majority of light comes from in the Northern hemisphere. The North side of the…

Solar Greenhouse Basics: Insulating your foundation

By Miriam Schaffer
Insulating the soil underneath your greenhouse is an essential (and easy) step for energy-efficient year-round growing. Here's the basics. Often when building an energy-efficient greenhouse, people think about solar greenhouse design with the right orientation and enough thermal mass. But they don’t realize that there is a whole lot going on underneath our feet. The…

Greenhouse Foundations

By Miriam Schaffer
So, you want a year-round greenhouse?  Time to dig deep (literally). At Ceres Greenhouse, we design and build super energy-efficient, year-round greenhouses that are built to last.  We talk a lot about growing bananas, citrus, figs, tomatoes and other fresh fruits and vegetables, but we rarely “dig deep” to discuss the first steps of building…

3 Ways to Heat Your Greenhouse for Free this Winter

By Miriam Schaffer
Learn how to harness and store solar energy to keep your greenhouse growing through the winter for free (or next to nothing) Greenhouses can be interesting environments to grow in. This is because standard greenhouse materials like glass and plastic (“glazing”) are extremely good at letting in light and heat in, and extremely good at…