Hydroponic Greenhouses — Glass versus polyethylene

Once you have had a taste of hydroponic gardening, you may find yourself wanting to expand your efforts to a scale that is bigger than what can fit in the corner of your living room. It is time to start looking into a greenhouse. There are so many kinds of greenhouses on the market today, that it can often be confusing deciding which is best for your particular needs. Let’s explore two of the most common types of greenhouse coverings, glass and polyethylene film. Hopefully, this will make your choice a little bit easier.

When deciding between glass panels and polyethylene film covering, there are several factors you need to take into consideration. These factors include how much you can afford to or are willing to spend; environmental factors required for the hydroponic plants you are growing; and how permanent, or temporary, you want your greenhouse to be.

Glass is the most expensive covering for a greenhouse, costing on average six times more than polyethylene film. The framework of your greenhouse will also be more expensive, as glass is heavy and needs a stronger framework. Glass, however, can withstand extremes in temperature better and will not need to be replaced as often as polyethylene film. This being the case, within twenty-five years, you are looking at the same general cost for covering and the difference comes in the amount spent on the framework. If you are unsure about how long you plan on maintaining a hydroponic garden, you may wish to go with the less initial outlay.

Glass covering is the best choice for allowing sunlight to reach your plants. It allows more of the rays to reach your garden; however, you may need to look into some type of coating on the glass to help diffuse the sunlight and allow it to reach more of the leaves. For insulation against extreme temperatures, polyethylene film works better than glass. Polyethylene film, however, can “sweat”, dripping onto the plants inside and increasing the overall humidity level of the interior. Some of these films are now being made with a coating that helps alleviate this problem.

Glass greenhouses last longer than those covered with polyethylene film. Glass can weather well for over twenty-five years. If you are planning a long-term venture, this may be your best choice. Keep in mind, however, that glass can’t stand impacts as well as polyethylene film and you may find yourself replacing panels more often. If you are merely leasing your property or are not sure how long you may continue with hydroponic gardening, you may consider polyethylene film coverings. Many inflatable structures are made of this and are easy to assemble or disassemble, making it easy to re-locate or eliminate the greenhouse.

Finally, the greenhouse is only a starting point for a productive hydroponic garden. To help ensure your plants get the best nutrition possible, you should check out the seven best-kept secrets of hydroponics and subscribe to the Advanced Nutrients newsletter at http://www.advancednutrients.com/newsletter/. Advanced Nutrients is the world’s foremost supplier of hydroponic nutrients to discriminating growers everywhere.

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