Lean-to greenhouses are constructed on south-facing walls on your house, patio, shed, or garage. This small-to-medium type of structure is most often made with a wooden frame and glass or clear polycarbonate panels for the greenhouse cover material. Lean-to greenhouses are ideal for starting seedlings.
Quonset greenhouses date back to World War II, when they were popular on military bases for their ability to be constructed quickly, yet soundly. They’re constructed cylindrically, with galvanized structural steel tubing for the frame and clear, flexible plastic sheeting for the cover. These are suitable for an aquaponics greenhouse design.
Saw Tooth Greenhouse
Saw tooth greenhouses have earned their name due to their interesting shape. Their roof is constructed such that one side is higher than the other, creating a distinctive notch at the center. This is done for the purpose of achieving maximum ventilation. Ventilator fans can be installed in the notch, or a more lo-fi version without fans can simply achieve natural ventilation with the wind via vent holes. Saw tooth greenhouse are an excellent choice for gardeners in humid environments, for those growing plants vulnerable to too much humidity, or for an aquaponics greenhouse.
This asymmetric style of greenhouse is designed to make the most of hilly terrain. The pitch and the width of the roof is unequal, with the wider side of the roof facing the south for maximum solar exposure. They’re typically constructed with wooden frames and film greenhouse cover material. The plants within can be grown in either terraced rows or raised beds. Uneven-span greenhouses are constructed with wooden frames and glass or polycarbonate coverings. Additionally, the northern wall can be opaque to conserve heat.
Ridge and Furrow Greenhouse
This style is created from two or more even-span greenhouses joined together. These large structures are perfect for gardeners who require a large amount of space for growing a high volume of flowers or vegetables. These can be built with metal or wooden frames and glass or polycarbonate roofs. One key issue to consider with this style is ensuring that the soil will drain adequately, as their large surface area can easily become saturated with water.
Gothic Arch Greenhouse
The major benefit of this style of greenhouse is the structural strength inherent to the gothic arch. They’re durable, resistant to snow accumulation, energy- and cost-efficient, and the shape is aesthetically pleasing. These are typically made with wooden frames and polycarbonate sheeting or polyethylene film for the roof. One additional benefit of this style is that the height can allow for growing vines and even small trees.
A hoop greenhouse is essentially a quonset greenhouse built on a smaller scale. They’re constructed with galvanized steel tubing or PVC for the frame, with a transparent film covering stretched over its circular shape.
A favorite of DIY gardeners, A-frame greenhouses have a classic triangular shape and can be built with whatever material best suits your light, space, and watering needs. Structurally, they provide lots of overhead space, so they’re ideal for adding hanging baskets.
Geodesic Dome Greenhouse
This fascinating shape is the most wind-resistant of all greenhouse designs, making it a good choice for gardeners in areas with harsh weather. The dome is constructed of a network of steel or PVC tubes, and the panel-style covering can be either polycarbonate or glass. Because of their unique geometry, geodesic domes are generally not recommended to be used as an aquaponics greenhouse. Their paneled roofs allow too much sunlight and cannot provide adequate ventilation.
Cold Frame and Hot Bed Greenhouse
This is the smallest type of greenhouse. Cold frame/hot bed combinations are perfect for gardeners with limited backyard space. They’re easily constructed from glass sash for the angled frame covering, and require materials like wood, brick, or concrete to create an insulated rectangular base.
Designed with symmetry in mind, even-span greenhouses have a classic shape featuring a roof of equal slope and pitch. These are one of the most classically recognizable greenhouse shapes. They can be made with metal or wooden frames, and their straight lines make them an ideal candidate for rigid coverings like glass or polycarbonate. These medium-to-large sized structures can be used for a solid aquaponics greenhouse design.
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