A screenhouse refers to a fully enclosed structure. It is similar to a greenhouse except it has a covering material that is permeable to air and moisture, for example shadecloth (known as a shadehouse) or insect screening (known as a screenhouse or nethouse).
A screenhouse can be used to modify several elements of a growing environment. The most common applications include reducing daytime temperatures, providing protection from wind and excluding pests. Other opportunties afforded by screenhouses can include protection from frost and hail, protection from heavy rain, reducing solar radiation/light levels and keeping vertebrate pests out of the crop.
A tunnel ( also known as a hoop house, cold frame, igloo or quonset) is a semi-circular or dome shaped structure 2 - 3.5 metres high at the highest point. A plastic cladding material is used over a simple, normally metal, frame. These structures are often an entry point for many growers into protected cropping.
A crop canopy, sometimes also known as a 'crop-top' structure consists of a covering material suspended (usually at height) over a cropping area while the sides remain open. Materials that may be used depend on the desired protective element and include plastic (known as a rainshelter), shadecloth (sometimes referred to as a shadescreen), hail-net and bird-net.
A cloche ( also known as a low tunnel) is a semi-circular or dome shaped structure less than 2 metres high at the highest point. A light cladding material, usually net or fine plastic, is fastened over a simple or light frame. The most common applications of cloches is to increase minimum temperatures or provide protection from rain, frost or pests.
A floating crop cover (sometimes known as a fleece) is a lightweight material that is lain over a crop without a supporting structure. Floating crop covers are commonly used to increase minimum tempertaures or provide protection from frost or pests.
Yes. There is a wide range of protected cropping structures. They each have their own merits and limits. Primary Principles can help you make an appropriate decision depending on your needs. For a simple question to get you started, you can use the cyberSULT facility or for a more comprehensive consultancy service get in touch via the contact form.