Hothouse

Greenhouse  plans

Hothouses are used to grow plants, in a controlled environment. The hothouse is a greenhouse, where plants that require a warm climate can be grown. Hot houses are designed to maintain heat all year round, so plants that require warm/hot climates can thrive. Plants can be grown 'out of season' as constant conditions are maintained all year round. Fruit and vegetables that are required all year round, such as tomatoes can be grown so they are available at any time of the year.

The Hot House, Christchurch
Photo by Copleys

Hothouses are made from polycarbonate material, as this is a cheap and tough material. It also maintains heat well. Hothouses were previously made out of glass but polycarbonate is the preferred material. The way hot houses work is that they are artificially heated and the temperature is controlled so conditions are maintained constant, which is vital for optimally growing plants. The glass or the polycarbonate material traps the shortwave solar energy, which means that heat is kept in the hothouse. The plants absorb the heat which enables them to grow.

Irrigation systems are put in place to enable the plants to be watered efficiently. Some hothouses use hydroponic growing, as this uses minimal water to produce a great and consistent harvest. As plants that grow in warm conditions thrive on humidity, the hot house becomes humid, as the environment within the greenhouse is constantly warm. Evaporation of water from wind is eliminated as the hothouse is protected from external conditions, and there is no water runoff which means none of the water is wasted.

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