Are you building a greenhouse? Abundant light is essential for healthy plant growth. While some gardeners are lucky enough to have greenhouse walls made from glass panels, most greenhouses feature either rigid panels or plastic sheeting.
With the right plastic film providing the right light transmission, a greenhouse provides an optimal environment for extending the growing season. You’ll be able to start new plants and protect fragile specimens all year round.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Greenhouse Plastic
- Size and Thickness
- Single Layer vs. Double Layer
- Additional Features
Choosing the best greenhouse plastic involves considering many of the listed factors above. Other things to consider are the local climate and determining the type and size of greenhouse that is best for your specific plants. You will also want to consider clear greenhouse plastic panels or greenhouse plastic sheeting.
- Polyvinyl Carbonate
The most common type of plastic for soft greenhouses, polyethylene is used on agricultural, commercial, and home greenhouses. It’s easy to work, affordable, and comes in large rolls for attaching to the exterior of the greenhouse frame. While polyethylene film doesn’t offer the same level of protection as rigid plastic panels, it’s easy to repair punctures and tears.
Size and Thickness
While rigid plastic panels range in thickness, polyethylene film is very thin. Most polyethylene film for covering greenhouses is an average of 6 mils thick. A mil is .001 of an inch, so a 6-mil polyethylene film is just .006 of an inch thick. Growers can often eke out 2 or 3 years of use from standard 6 mil clear greenhouse plastic film, depending on the elements.
Polyethylene film thinner than 6 mils is often unable to withstand winds and is more prone to tearing. A handful of thicker films are also available, including 10 mils and 14 mils. These top-notch plastic films can last up to 5 years in some cases.
Single vs. Double Layer
Plastic panels are not the only type of greenhouse plastic that comes in layers. Poly film is also available in a double-layer option that features baffles or air pockets. It’s more expensive than single-layer polyethylene film but offers added insulation and can last up to 5 years or longer.
The biggest benefit of any double-layer film is increased heat. It may make the difference between the temperature dropping below freezing for greenhouse gardeners in colder climates. Don’t depend solely on greenhouse plastic to maintain temperature as supplemental heat may be required depending on temperature.
- Anti-drip is treated with an agent that reduces surface tension. This causes the water that forms inside the greenhouse to run down the plastic rather than sitting on top of it or dripping below.
- UV-Protection - Greenhouse plastic with UV protection helps block ultraviolet rays, which may reduce certain types of pest infestations, such as aphids and whiteflies. UV blockers don’t filter out beneficial light, only damaging UV rays.
- Light Transmission - This is a percentage score commercial growers often look for when shopping for greenhouse plastic products. A light transmission score indicates the quality of light the plastic allows through to the plants. Plastic that blocks UV rays has a PAR score of 88-91%, while plastic that features anti-drip sheeting has a score of 82 to 87%. These percentages are typically referenced only by commercial and agricultural growers.
Why Buy Greenhouse Plastic At Hydrobuilder.com?
We carry the major brands of greenhouse plastic at the lowest prices online. Shop all of the different types of plastic available for covering greenhouses and learn why they are well suited for many greenhouse covering projects.