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Request for explanation[edit]

(N.B. Section heading added by User:PaleCloudedWhite on 10 December 2013)

The picture is BEAUTIFUL, but the explanation of how a greenhouse works is beyond my rhetorical talents. Please someone make it simple enough for even a hot-headed global warming advocate to understand it.

I added a simple but accurate explanation of the greenhouse effect. I'm not sure if a more complete explanation (which would include a description of infrared radiation) belongs here or on the solar greenhouse (technical) page. --MiguelMunoz 08:54, 28 July 2006 (UTC) the picture is nice but i think you should put a picture in that shows you how a greenhouse works not the bueaty of the picture-- 20:54, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Greenhouse gases[edit]

How do greenhouse gases affect a plants growth?

I still don't know

It may be the gases that are in the greenhouse try to connect with plants growth which causes the plants to have the same chemicals as the gases which might not be natural gases but instead artificial gases.

sorry i still don't know —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:09, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

This is utter gibberish. Greenhouses don't use greenhouse gasses as insulators, they use glass or plastic (as it states in the article). However, CO2 (which also, coincidentally, happens to be a greenhouse gas) is required for plant growth. If you were to increase the concentration of it in a greenhouse (e.g. by using an oil burner) then it would benefit plant growth. (talk) 17:45, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Greenhouse gases as so-called because in the atmosphere they reduce the radiation of heat out into space, effectively making the planet a giant greenhouse. See Greenhouse effect. -- (talk) 17:37, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Greenhouse gasses are a hoax —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:18, 28 December 2010 (UTC) Not a hoax, but you certainly wouldn't be able to increase the temperature in the greenhouse very much by adding c0297.91.188.153 (talk) 08:30, 1 July 2016 (UTC)


The current text references a Jules Charles (who is actually Clusius, I believe) as building the first practical modern greenhouse. I'm trying to find a reference for this and having trouble; I can find that Clusius founded an early botanical garden but this is claimed to be the second in northern Europe, not the first, and nowhere in the Clusius material I'm reading are there any claims for seminal greenhouse building. [1] [2] [3] Is the person who put this in still here and do you remember where it came from? It'd be great to source it. Thanks. WikiJedits (talk) 14:13, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It's all over the web that the first greenhouse was built at Leiden in 1599 (see, as just one example, [4]). Clusius was then the Director, according to good sources. But where the greenhouse statement came from isn't clear. It's in a book: Sharma, O.P. (1993), Plant taxonomy, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, OCLC 180646566 , p. 126, which could be referenced, but this isn't exactly an authoritative source. The section on the history of the Leyden Botanic Garden in the otherwise apparently sound book Hyams, Edward; MacQuitty, William (1969), Great Botanical Gardens of the World, London: Nelson, ISBN 0 17 143004 2  doesn't mention a greenhouse. So I agree that we really need to find a proper source! Peter coxhead (talk) 12:27, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Another possible source! Loudon (1835) says that "Greenhouses [..] appear to have been first constructed by Solomon Caus [sic] at Heidelberg, in the year 1619. (See §599.)" Although an "orangery" in mentioned in §599, actually §595 and Fig. 130 give more details. This part of Loudon's work is a translation of de Caus (1620).

Citation needed[edit]

I pulled some info from the page listing the Willcox, AZ greenhouse as the largest greenhouse complex in the world. This ref calls it one of the largest.[5] Hope that helps. Mrshaba (talk) 21:37, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

A little context, please? Are you offering this information for addition, or are you trying to fulfill an outstanding cite request? Viriditas (talk) 22:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
There's a citation request for the Willcox info on the greenhouse page. The above source lists the Willcox site as one of the largest greenhouse complexes but I could not find a ref that listed it as "the largest" as the page says. Someone familiar with greenhouses might know the Willcox site is the largest but I listed the ref for review. Hope that provides some context. Mrshaba (talk) 01:47, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

There are way bigger greenhouse complexes around the world, one of the really large ones is the almeria region in Spain where the huge amount of greenhouses is vissible from space [6]. Almeria is covered with almost 50.000 acres of geenhouses so the willcox area is tiny. (talk) 13:00, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

RE: Almira, Spain I changed the article to read "50,000" acres instead of "50.000" acres." In Spanish, the period is used instead of a comma to indicate thousands, but since this article is written in English, it might be confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

That picture of the Almeria site is absolutely awesome. I'll see about uploading it to WP because NASA material is often free. It's great to see that people read and respond to the talk pages. 50,000 acres makes the 262 Willcox site seem like an anthill and the picture shows that the area is nearly unbroken. I'm amazed at the magnitude. One thing though... What exactly are salad vegetables? There must be a better measure of agricultural production? Pershaps the 1.5 billion in economic activity or a measure in bushels? I'll will definitely look into this myself. Mrshaba (talk) 23:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The photo for the Almeria greenhouses is now here. Mrshaba (talk) 23:32, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

greenhouse in africa[edit]

i think that green house in africa could save for the eradication of food shortages —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Why greenhouse gets warm?[edit]

I suggest following text:

Why is greenhouse warmer than the surrounding? It uses sun energy to heat up and keeps the received heat inside. To be effective, it slows down all known thermal transfer mechanics; thermal convection, thermal radiation and thermal conduction. Adjusting the greenhouse temperature is made by adjusting the thermal convection; when all windows are closed, convection is fully blocked. Opening windows increases the thermal lost by convection and cools down the greenhouse.
It is estimated that the major heat trapping is achieved by preventing convection; however, if either conduction or radiation is not prevented at all, the greenhouse will cool down to almost the same temperature than the environment. Therm "Greenhouse effect" is somehow misleading; blocking thermal convection is more important than blocking thermal radiation so actual greenhouse effect is playing smaller role in greenhouse.
The effectiveness of blocking thermal conduction and thermal radiation is depending on the materials used to build up the greenhouse.
Trapping thermal radiation is more valuable in environments where atmosphere moisture is low and night temperatures are also low. Big difference in environment and greenhouse temperatures increases the radiation loss greatly, especially if the heat can radiate directly to the space due to low natural greenhouse effect. Slowing down thermal conduction (insulating material) is more important when greenhouse is in windy environment and wind cools the walls quickly.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


Stovehouse redirects here, there may be an opportunity to expand on this in the article. An example: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed: in which The most Ornamental Foreign Plants, cultivated in the Open Ground, the Green-House, and the Stove, ... (1790) - cygnis insignis 15:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  It was very dangerous.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 18 June 2009 (UTC) 

How hot?[edit]

It doesnt say how hot they are or what the average temperature is etc —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

 Thats because it would be completely meaningless - you might as well ask what the average length of a bridge is! (talk) 17:40, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

supplying nutrient via water-based pyrolysis[edit]

Perhaps this can be included to article; see —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Text donation[edit]

From greenhouse effect, if you want it:

On the other hand, if one limits infrared radiation from the greenhouse, especially at night, one can substantially increase the temperature of the greenhouse, or limit the amount of heating that is needed. Aluminized screens which reflect the infrared thermal radiation so that it cannot heat the greenhouse windows are used for this purpose [1] As energy prices rise, similar screens are coming into increasing use in greenhouses. [7]

William M. Connolley (talk) 21:20, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Merge Polytunnel and Polyhouse into this article?[edit]

Hi, what do you think of merging the articles Polyhouse and Polytunnel into this article? They are both very short and it is very unlikly that they will be expanded in near future. Regards, --Kmw2700 (talk) 17:46, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Heating process[edit]

(N.B. Section heading added by User:PaleCloudedWhite on 10 December 2013)

" ... However, this latter process is a minor player compared with the former (convective) process. Thus, the primary heating mechanism of a greenhouse is convection." This line desperately needs a footnote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stubby Knight (talkcontribs) 03:27, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

"..Although heat loss due to thermal conduction through the glass and other building materials occurs, net energy (and therefore temperature) increases inside the greenhouse." Again another reference is desperately needed.

Thought experiment: Imagine I built a special greenhouse. Imagine I build one made entirely of steel. I paint it black. This means heat gain/loss will be extreme (a hot house). To prevent daytime heat gain I build a large car-port like structure covering my greenhouse. The car-port like structure sits about 10 feet above my greenhouse, is open on all sides, but shades the greenhouse completely. Now my greenhouse can freely lose heat through thermal conduction, but not lose any through convection. For lighting, I bring in light using fiber optics, enough to achieve the same illuminance in a regular greenhouse. This lights my greenhouse in the day, but at night it will be dark. This greenhouse will get cold at night and any plants will die. Conclusion: Thermal conduction is just as important as thermal convection. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stubby Knight (talkcontribs) 03:51, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Acceptable source?[edit]

A recent edit added info to the article that was sourced to a webpage produced by British Sugar. Is this an acceptable source for Wikipedia? I'm inclined to think perhaps not. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:50, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I'm a bit uneasy about it. There's a bit here from Reuters. There's also some material in here too. The concept – using byproduct CO2 and heat in greenhouses is relevant and interesting, so should be reported, I think. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:12, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it's relevant and interesting and should be reported. The British Sugar page isn't necessarily inaccurate, though I'm not convinced it would pass the WP:IRS test. This article as it stands states that "The refinery reduces its carbon emissions" as a result of the tomatoes using carbon dioxide "which would otherwise be vented to atmosphere", which sounds quite rosy but is effectively uncited (due to the position of the ref), and there aren't any hard figures provided on the BS page for comparison anyway, leaving questions unanswered. How much of the carbon dioxide escapes through the greenhouse vents? Would a similar amount of carbon dioxide have been used anyway by plants in the wider environment, if it had been released there instead?
The problem with the Reuters page (and thanks for finding that) is it's reporting on some things that were planned to occur, but hadn't at the time. I also note that its reported figure for the increase in tomato production (60 million tonnes per year as a result of expanding the greenhouse by 7.5 hectares) is somewhat at variance with the information at List of countries by tomato production, which makes me wonder if Reuters have misreported. 60 million tonnes does seem an unbelievably large amount from just 7.5 hectares.
I found an article in the main UK horticultural trade magazine, which seems to imply that as of 2008 only the Wissington glasshouse was/is hooked up to a factory, and hence it appears not to be the frequent occurrence currently stated in the article. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 23:39, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the info in the article isn't supported by more reliable, neutral sources. Feel free to remove it, or rewrite based on the ref. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:00, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


Heat transfer always moves from hot to cold. So if a greenhouse is slightly warmer than its surroundings, conduction and convection will only cool the greenhouse, never heat it. Thus it is completely incorrect that "the primary heating mechanism of a greenhouse is convection", as written in the current article. Radiation is the primary heating mechanism for a greenhouse. Rob Usiskin (talk) 09:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

As RU says, the current lede is a bit crap. It was better in the olde dayes, e.g. [8]. Who broke it, and why? William M. Connolley (talk) 11:50, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ C. Kittas, N. Katsoulas, and A. Baille (2003) "Influence of an aluminized thermal screen on greenhouse microclimate and canopy energy balance" Transactions of the ASAE 46 pp. 1653-1663.