Greenhouses are not just static structures that stand empty. They have moving parts and are filled with benches, tools and many other accessories that help support and care for the plants housed there. Tools, measuring instruments, and the like naturally come to mind for any avid gardener. But there are dozens of accessories for the greenhouse itself, as well.
Louvre’s, glass or plastic shutters that admit air, are often part of greenhouse design. They help ventilate the interior, a problem in areas where summer sunlight hours are long and hot. Like anything else, they can break and need to be replaced.
But even when they don’t break, the greenhouse shopper may want to consider replacing them with auto-louvres. These clever devices allow opening and closing the shutters automatically. Some work on a timer, others are triggered by temperature.
Galvanized steel braces are available that will allow you to shore up the base of your greenhouse. They act somewhat like a metal strap around a wooden barrel, giving it additional strength and supporting the structure. This can help prevent collapse during storms and even increase the support for the roof under heavy snow load.
Shelves have gone from static and boring to functioning works of art. There are aluminum shelves that can interchange heights. Others can be re-arranged into different geometrical shapes for attractive displays and maximizing space usage. They come in a variety of colors, with plastic liners, wheels and all sorts of different options.
Rainwater kits are a great addition to any greenhouse. They make watering the plants a breeze and optimize your water use. You can get small, single nozzles or entire tracks. Some have misting attachments, movable heads and other gizmos. Many are controllable by digital 24-hour/365-day timers.
Of course, when it comes to tools and instruments, the number and variety of available choices is just astounding. Soil thermometers, salinity gauges, moisture-level testers, phosphor and nitrogen level monitors… you name it.
There are heating devices in dozens of different styles. Some lamps or ‘toaster-coil’ types will spot heat a corner. Others, such as track systems, can be attached to the roof and heat the entire greenhouse in the winter.
A chemical factory of cleaning aids can be had today. Mildewcides, calcium carbonate removers, window cleaner, cement floor cleansers… an endless choice.
Ordinary garden tools are now made of many more materials than ever before. Don’t like metal trowels? Get a composite that’s stronger than steel and lighter than plastic. Want a shovel that telescopes out five feet or collapses to 12 inches, with a three-inch wide mouth? No problem.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be a tool that will robotically remove aphids or plant tulips, but it can’t be too far in the future.
Every kind of book imaginable to help you build your greenhouse, maintain it and care for the plants inside can be had online. If there’s a subject you need to know about, finding the information – and the tools to help you act on it – is just a few clicks away.