Fabric vs. Other Traditional Greenhouse Materials

By Amy Grant | June 27, 2017
Image by Weather Port
by Amy Grant
June 27, 2017

During World War II, there was an explosion of gardening in the U.S. Victory Gardens, as they were called, were considered not only a necessity but one’s patriotic duty. Today, folks are discovering gardening for other reasons, but the joy and pride we take when growing our own food harkens back to the days of the Victory Garden. Not everyone lives in a region where food can be grown outside year round, but improvements in greenhouses have made that dream a reality.

During the 1851 Great Exposition in Hyde Park, London, England, attendees gathered in awe at the Crystal Palace, a huge iron and glass structure constructed to symbolize the achievements brought about by the industrial revolution. Stretching more than 1,800 feet in length, the structure was the creation of famed gardener, Joseph Paxton. Few of us have space for such an impressive edifice, but the folks at Weather Port have an array of sizes and types of greenhouses perfect for anyone.

While glass is a classic material for greenhouses, and yes, it does its job but is also heavy, prone to breakage, expensive, requires extensive maintenance and unless double-paned, lacks insulation. It also doesn’t diffuse light for plants. Too much light can burn plants or create too much internal heat within the structure. Other materials, however, such as thin plastic sheeting, the most commonly used material among commercial growers, is inexpensive and provides light diffusion. Sheeting keeps frost away and is easy to store, but it, too, has drawbacks such as tearing easily in the wind or heavy snow and, unless double poly layered, is uninsulated.

Fiberglass, seen in older greenhouses, is very strong, long lasting and has good light diffusion when it is new. Unfortunately, fiber shrinks as the material ages and eventually loses its light transmission. Fiberglass also yellows with age and has little insulation. Then there are the polycarbonates. They may be clear and single wall or multi-wall. The panels are completely clear and do not diffuse light. As they are clear, plants can be seen through them. They are surprisingly strong for their light weight and work as a large cold frame. These also have disadvantages in that they get very hot inside, lack insulation and are only sufficient to extend the season by a few weeks in the spring and fall. That said, they are made of high quality, long lasting material that is impact resistant, lightweight, and see through.

Then there’s Weather Port’s specialized high quality, fabric greenhouses. Unlike plastics or glass that can have a magnifying effect on plants, their translucent fabric diffuses sunlight to protect plants from UV rays. Additionally, some polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabrics can withstand heavy snow loads and offer increased insulation, making them great options for colder climates. This material won’t crack, shatter or leak like glass or polycarbonate, and the fabric greenhouse can be moved easily if need be. These folks know their fabrics; they’ve been in the business of producing the highest quality, best engineered fabric building and shelters since 1968.

American made superior quality fabric buildings that are used for everything from greenhouses, garages, wedding and party tents to military and medical shelter buildings. And their greenhouses can be customized for grow operations of any size. They can design greenhouses to accommodate insulation, HVAC, and electrical systems, making them suited for use year round in any climate. They can also design a greenhouse with shelving, LED lighting, and hydroponic growing systems. All are easy to install and disassemble as well.

So now that you know where to get the best greenhouse, it’s time to get that Victory Garden of yours growing by calling Weather Port Shelter Systems today.

The above article was sponsored by Weather Port. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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