If you’re serious about growing, you need a greenhouse. And, like all houses, an efficient greenhouse will be double-glazed to give you the controlled and consistent environment your growing plants need. Double glazing will give you a year-round greenhouse to beat the vagaries of the British seasons, one that you can bring up to temperature and keep there, at the right humidity, using little energy and without waiting costly fuel. Not all greenhouses can be linked to mains services, so you may be heating using other means; the more efficient you can be, the better all round, and the more you derive benefit from the plants you’ll be able to nurture. Double glazing will also make the most of solar gain, so any sunny day in even the coldest winter will add to the total of warmth in your greenhouse – it will get in, but it can’t so easily get out.
Another benefit of double glazing is the control of humidity, essential if you’re looking to grow tropical species. You may need damp warmth, which you can achieve in the managed environment of a heated greenhouse with double glazing, with the solar gain as added input – which may be increasing with climate change. If you don’t want the humidity, just the warmth, that too can be achieved in this managed environment.
If you’re the grower who wishes to feed the household, you will be able to get off to a good start with early maturing seedlings that are advanced and strong to plant out as soon as risk of frost is past. There is nothing more discouraging than having all your carefully nurtured young plants felled overnight by a late cold snap – I know it from bitter experience! Such a catastrophe can leave you with no prospects if it is too late in the growing season to start again, and the loss is grave if you’re seriously growing food for the family. You can also keep some plants within the managed environment of the double-glazed greenhouse for their entire growing cycle, right up to harvesting. This gives you the chance to grow less common vegetables for our climate, and get good results – like aubergines and sweet red peppers, and for the longer term, grapevines and citrus. Grapevines can be grown – as at Hampton Court – with the vulnerable heart of the plant inside the greenhouse and the seasonal summer growth in the open air. Alternatively, you can use a double-glazed greenhouse as you would any other with airflow and no heating – just the glass.
A double-glazed greenhouse will give the self-sufficient family a whole new set of benefits when it comes to achieving successful crops; it will also offer the enthusiast a managed environment for exotic plants; and it will open up opportunities for whole new adventures in growing, whatever the weather.