Planting and Gardening with Greenhouse Panels

Greenhouse panels are essential in heat retention and energy conservation. In addition, greenhouse plastic panels provide general protection against external pests, weather and other elements.

How Does It Work?

There are three basic kinds of light waves that come from the sun, which are infrared light waves, ultraviolet or UV waves and visible light waves. Each of these waves has comparatively short wavelength that will easily pass through most kinds of glass as well as polycarbonate sheets. Once the waves are inside, they are absorbed by the ground and plants, where they are turned into heat or thermal energy. Since this kind of energy has a relatively longer wavelength, it cannot go through the greenhouse panels thereby trapping it inside the structure. This is called the Greenhouse Effect, which is also the process that retains heat in our planet and makes your car interior hot during sunny days.

With the transformation of light wave comes another process that is referred to as convection. This process aids in maintaining heat inside your greenhouse. As the air that is closest to the plants and ground is heated up by radiating thermal energy, it rises naturally as it is lighter than cold air. In the atmosphere, this warm air will get cool again once it eventually reaches a certain height. In a greenhouse, however, warm air is prevented from reaching a height where it can be cooled down again. Thus, it maintains the heat and for each cycle, it gets a bit warmer.

The most common greenhouse kits and materials that are used in the production of greenhouse panels are polycarbonate and glass. Each kind of material has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you are not sure what type of panel to use, here is a rundown of each:

  • Greenhouse glass panels could be an attractive option but it is less efficient in retaining heat and more expensive. Glass is also known to admit direct light, which is more intense. This results to hot spots that can burn plants. Greenhouses that are made of glass are typically semi-permanent constructions which are initially more expensive to build but can last longer over time. They also tend to be more durable against weather and aging.
  • Polycarbonate greenhouse panels on the other hand are lighter and much stronger. This is a great bonus for greenhouse owners since this kind of panels is less expensive than glass. Polycarbonate beats glass when it comes to strength and it is safer as well, as the material will not break easily from the effects of weather conditions such as hail, snow and wind. If your greenhouse is located in your back garden and you have children running around, polycarbonate panels would be more ideal.

Ultimately, the choice could really depend on how long you will keep your greenhouse and the budget that you have. For best results, look for greenhouse panels that will diffuse light. This will prevent your plants from being burned and allow them to grow healthier and more vigorously.