Characteristics and main features of the Chinese greenhouse
Not always Chinese products are of high quality, but many products really deserve attention, even despite their origin. This also applies to greenhouses (vegetarians), designed according to the development of Chinese scientists, which will be discussed in our article. What is remarkable for such innovative designs, how to install them and what you should know about the features of further operation - we will consider further.
Design features of the Chinese greenhouse
Chinese greenhouses stand out from the rest with a semi-arch construction oriented east-west.
Also, these structures have the following characteristics:
- the presence of a wall on the north side of the building, which can adjoin the shelter or be erected separately - it is additionally insulated as much as possible even at the construction stage;
- the side walls of the structure are also often made in the form of capital buildings located in the direction from east to west (sometimes they are created from translucent, but the most durable and reliable materials);
- the presence of one of the walls of a kind of vestibule that restricts the access of cold air to plants inside;
- full light transmission only of the southern greenhouse wall of the arch structure;
- coating in the form of a cellular polycarbonate sheet or a special reinforced film with a high level of elasticity and strength.
Important! The tilted wall of a greenhouse constructed using Chinese technology allows the surface to catch the sun's rays and heat it in the same way that the sun heats the soil in normal times. There is no need for additional heating, with the exception of the winter period with significant temperature drops (typical for the Siberian region).
- Despite the comparative complexity of the design, greenhouses built using Chinese technology have a lot of positive properties:
- a special way of storing heat, due to which the maximum amount of solar energy is absorbed in the daytime, and is released back at night by soil layers (the presence of high-quality air exchange systems plays an important role in this);
- the presence of a “warm blanket” in the form of a kind of film made on the basis of rice husks, which prevents an excessive drop in temperature inside the structure even in the coldest time of the year;
- a large space that facilitates the planting of many crops and the ease of care for them (several people can work simultaneously in Chinese greenhouses, which greatly simplifies the process of caring for plants);
- the possibility of targeted additional heating due to the construction of the heating system in the existing extension of the greenhouse;
- regular and stable harvesting throughout the year;
- the possibility of installing a greenhouse in an earthen hill (if landscape features allow), which gives additional protection against cold in the form of an earthen embankment, as well as reducing the cost of acquiring material for the side walls.
Compared with many other options for greenhouse shelters, the Chinese variety is distinguished by a higher cost of materials, which will be noticeable already at the planning stage. Moreover, it is very difficult to choose alternative types of necessary products that could fully replace those provided by Chinese masters.It is these nuances, combined with high labor costs, that are considered the main disadvantages of the Chinese farmer's greenhouse, although if you take into account all the advantages of such a solution, you can ignore them.
Did you know? The first prototypes of the greenhouse on the territory of Russia began to appear in the second half of the 16th century, when the so-called "Greenhouse Chambers", which provided for stove heating, began to be organized in Moscow. Many exotics were successfully cultivated in them for a long time, and some of them even bore fruit.
Choosing the best greenhouse option
Even taking into account the structural features of a specific variety of the greenhouse, there are still many nuances that require individual refinement. So, during the construction of a Chinese greenhouse, it is worthwhile to pay attention to choosing its optimal size, choose the most suitable coating, and of course, figure out how to assemble the entire structure together.
When constructing a Chinese greenhouse on Russian territory, cellular polycarbonate or a special film in the form of reinforced polyethylene usually acts as a covering material. Compared to polycarbonate, it stretches better and does not crack, although its strength is noticeably lower.In addition, polycarbonate in most cases will cost a little more. Accordingly, each gardener must decide for himself which characteristics are more important to him.
When determining the appropriate size of a greenhouse, it is worth starting from the amount of free space for its construction. For the efficient cultivation of planted crops, the selected territory should occupy an area of at least 5 × 4 m.
The size of the back wall will depend on the length of the main wall to which the greenhouse itself is attached, and when choosing the appropriate shelter width, it is important to focus on the planned number of beds. For industrial plant growing, buildings are often built up to 10–15 m with a minimum width of the greenhouse - 2–4 m.
How to assemble a Chinese greenhouse with your own hands: drawing and step-by-step instructions
The construction of the Chinese vegetarium is somewhat different from the construction of standard polycarbonate greenhouses with four transparent walls. It is impossible to do without drawings and clear instructions for work, but first of all, it is worth paying attention to the choice of the foundation and its organization.
Given the presence of brick walls and the annexes created from them, it is not surprising that before building a greenhouse you will have to take care of a good foundation. Like the veggie itself, it should be located in the direction from the western part of the site to the east and have sufficient strength to hold the northern, western and eastern insulated walls.
Did you know? The largest greenhouse in the world since 2001 is deservedly considered the Eden complex, located in the UK. Several domed structures occupy a total area of 1.56 hectares.
The best solution in this case is a tape reinforced variety of the foundation, capable of withstanding serious loads. The organization of the concrete base provides for the implementation of the same actions as in the arrangement of any other greenhouse. Without a foundation, only the front polycarbonate part can be installed by digging the reinforcement into the soil. You can do without it if the soil on the site is not prone to subsidence or a sharp shift, otherwise the already built structure can give cracks.
The best solution when constructing the frame of a Chinese greenhouse is to buy a ready-made base directly from China. However, mail delivery is not always convenient, so Russian gardeners prefer home-made constructions from the profile. It is up to you to decide which size to choose, but always consider the possible load: in regions with long winters it is better to give preference to products that can withstand at least 1 m³ of snow on 1 m² of surface.The installation of the frame is carried out using angles, screws and guide profiles that need to be connected, based on the characteristics of the selected drawing. When ordering a finished frame design, the necessary step-by-step instructions for assembling a vegetarium are included in the delivery package of parts, so it is not difficult to understand the intricacies of the assembly.Thanks to this type of construction, it is possible to successfully grow a variety of crops throughout Russia, from the warm south with fertile lands to fairly cold regions. After installing the frame, the side walls can be sprinkled with soil to the very top, which will provide better heat retention inside the building. Before performing this action, it is recommended to plaster the brick base and, for reliability, cover it with a Streamflex waterproofing layer.
After the construction of the brick walls and the installation of the frame base on the south side, you can proceed to the skin of the frame used. Original Chinese greenhouses are covered with an opaque blue and white film, which provides sufficient light transmission even with slight twilight on the street. A greenhouse cover is made of durable polyethylene, which does not tear, but stretches very well.
Fixing the material in the upper part (under the roof of the supporting wall itself), you just need to roll the film around the frame, fixing in separate places with bolts with thermal washers. With careful use, such a film shelter for greenhouses can last up to three years without losing its properties.
Important! All open parts of polycarbonate sheets should be sealed with tape or special tape so that condensation does not form inside the cells, which violates the performance of the material.
A polycarbonate coating is attached in the same way, however, the honeycomb sheets will have to be cut depending on the size of the free space at the attachment points. For fixing the material, the same fasteners can be used as in the first case.
Greenhouse Care and Maintenance Tips
To get the maximum yield with the help of a Chinese greenhouse, you need to follow a number of simple recommendations:
- during the construction of a structure, it is better to place it on the southern slopes of the site, so that the soil layer plays the role of a major wall;
- to cover a strong reinforcing base, it is better to use a modern heavy-duty blue-white film, fixing it in a tense state, however, in the northern regions cellular polycarbonate with a high level of strength will be more appropriate;
- in too snowy winters, the greenhouse cover should be regularly cleaned of the snow layer, reducing the pressure on the frame part of the greenhouse and the coating material itself;
- when growing vegetation in the northern regions, you will have to take care of heating, since even the presence of a “rice blanket” is not always able to maintain the desired temperature level inside the shelter (stove stoves are usually installed on a tree or coal in an additional side extension made of brick);
- To moisten the soil in vegetarians, it is worth using drip irrigation or installing an irrigation system, but only in combination with good ventilation equipment.
Today, Russian farmers use several basic options for Chinese greenhouse constructions, but the largest ones are large greenhouses relevant in the industrial sector.
So, when growing a large number of fruiting plants, such shelters pay for themselves quickly enough, but in a small private economy they often turn out to be very costly, which is why gardeners are looking for more affordable and profitable options. In any case, having studied all the advantages and disadvantages of the described construction, you can make the final decision, taking into account personal capabilities.