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Inside a greenhouse

A greenhouse (also called a glasshouse or hothouse) is a building where plants such as flowers and vegetables are grown. It usually has a glass or clear (transparent) plastic roof. Many greenhouses also have glass or plastic walls. Greenhouses get hot during the day. The sun's heat warms the plants and soil (dirt) inside the greenhouse and they stay warm through the night, because the heat cannot escape.

Types of greenhouses[change | change source]

Greenhouses come in many different sizes. Some people have small greenhouses in their backyard, outside their home. Plant companies have large greenhouses. Their structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings. Small greenhouses are often called mini greenhouses or tomato houses. They are used by people with smaller gardens, those on a budget as well as those that want to start off their seeds and seedlings in a protected environment as we as those growing things that need warmer conditions - say tomatoes or even beans.

Role of green houses[change | change source]

Many vegetables and flowers are grown in greenhouses in late winter and early spring, when it is still too cold to grow plants outside. Then these plants are moved to the soil outside as the weather warms up. Greenhouses are used to grow crops in cold countries such as Canada. The largest group of greenhouses in the world is in Leamington, Ontario (in Canada), where about 200 acres (0.8 km²) of tomatoes are grown in glass the greenhouse is very helpful.

Gardening in greenhouses[change | change source]

A glasshouse in the Botanical Garden of Curitiba, in Curitiba, Brazil.

Gardening and growing plants in greenhouses is different from growing plants outside. No rain can get inside a greenhouse, so gardeners have to put water on the plants. As well, greenhouses can get very hot from the sun's heat, so gardeners have to make sure that it does not get too hot for the plants. Greenhouses usually have vents that can be opened to let excess heat out. Some greenhouses have electric exhaust fans that automatically turn on if it gets too hot in the greenhouse.

History[change | change source]

In ancient Rome, Roman gardeners grew cucumbers in frames covered with oiled cloth or with sheets of mica. In the 1500s, Italian gardeners built structures for the tropical plants that explorers brought back to Italy. Jules Charles built the first modern greenhouse in Holland. In the 1800s, large greenhouses were built in England. They are also very warm.

Other websites[change | change source]

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Woods, May (1988) Glass houses: history of greenhouses, orangeries and conservatories. Aurum Press, London, ISBN 0-906053-85-4.