Greenhouse plastic is the covering that is stretched over a greenhouse frame to complete a basic greenhouse assembly. You’ll hear many different names for greenhouse plastic, including “greenhouse poly,” “greenhouse film,” “greenhouse covering,” and “polyethylene sheeting.” Greenhouse poly should not be confused with polycarbonate panels, which are a rigid plastic sheet that can also be used to cover greenhouses but is most commonly used only on the end walls. Greenhouse plastic covering comes in a variety of thicknesses, colors, and can have different additives to enhance performance. The size of your greenhouse and the quality of the plastic sheeting will determine the greenhouse plastic price. Hortitech Direct offers you many options and for some types of plastic, we can offer greenhouse plastic by the foot. Before you buy greenhouse plastic, you may want to read more about the differences and features that are offered.
What kind of plastic to use for a greenhouse?
Most greenhouse owners will want UV resistant greenhouse plastic sheeting. A plastic that also as an anti-condensate (AC) additive is also a good idea since it can get very humid inside the greenhouse. Greenhouse plastic sheets come in a variety of thicknesses. The most common greenhouse plastic is 6 mil thickness which can be rated as 6 mil 1 year (nursery plastic) or 6 mil 4 year greenhouse film which is the most common clear greenhouse plastic. You can also get 6 mil white greenhouse plastic for 55% shade for head houses and retail spaces.
Thick greenhouse plastic options may be needed for your end walls, doors, or if you need more resilience. 12 mil greenhouse plastic is good for these applications, and you will definitely want a 12 mil woven poly in black and white if you have a light deprivation greenhouse. However, for a heavy-duty greenhouse plastic to cover the roof of your greenhouse frame, you probably will not want to go any thicker than a 9 mil greenhouse plastic because thicker plastics will reduce light transmission.
If you are wondering what the worst greenhouse plastic choice is, that would be 4 mil greenhouse plastic. 4 mil is simply too thin for practical use. Sometimes it is used for temporary structures that will only be erected for a couple of months, but truly it is not a good option even for a hobby greenhouse.
How long does greenhouse plastic last?
Greenhouse plastics are rated with different lifespans. You should not use plastic beyond its lifespan or your light quality will be compromised and your crops will not be as productive. As plastics reach the end of their lifespan, they will have been broken down from sun and weather and will not maintain the stable environment plants need to thrive. 6 mil greenhouse plastic from Berry plastics offers options for 1-year or 4-year use. If you are not a year-round grower and your greenhouse is in a mild climate, you may be able to use a 1-year plastic. However, the best choice for quality and value is the 4-year plastic that will not have to be reinstalled annually (unless your greenhouse site gets very heavy snow). Learn more about installing greenhouse plastics.
Best Greenhouse Plastic
The best plastic for a greenhouse will depend largely on where the greenhouse is located, if it is being used year-round or seasonally, and what type of crop is being grown.
Best Plastic for a Greenhouse: Best Seller
6 mil 4 year clear plastic sheeting for greenhouses is one of the most popular options Hortitech Direct customers choose. It works even better if you opt for two layers of 6 mil 4 year plastic with an air inflation kit.
Best Plastic for a Greenhouse: Cheapest
Cheap greenhouse plastic is never going to be the best option for any greenhouse. Plastic simply costs more the better it is. If you are looking for a cheap greenhouse plastic sheeting we do offer 6 mil 1 year plastic. It is very wasteful to discard plastic after just one year though, so truly it is a better long-term value to invest in a greenhouse plastic that will give you a longer lifespan.
Best type of Plastic for Greenhouse: Mild Climate
6 mil 4 year greenhouse plastic sheeting is a good choice if your greenhouse is located in a mild climate. Again, you will get even better performance if you do a double layer of this clear greenhouse film and use a poly inflation kit.
Best type of Plastic for Greenhouse: Moderate Climate
Double 6 mil 4 year with a poly inflation kit will definitely be the best choice for moderate climates. It is also important to consider the greenhouse frame though. The greenhouse frame needs to be reinforced for snow and wind by using trussing and adjusting truss spacing.
Best type of Plastic for Greenhouse: Severe Climate
Severe climates experience more extreme climate factors like intense UV sunlight, heat, humidity, rain, wind, and/or snow. For conditions like these, you news a reinforced greenhouse plastic. 9 mil woven greenhouse plastic is a good place to start for severe climates. Anything less simply won’t hold up to wind and snow. When it comes to a greenhouse located in a state like Oklahoma, you will definitely want reinforced plastic sheeting for your greenhouse. The best option we recommend is to use a double-layer of 9 mil and 6 mil plastic with a poly inflation kit. The 9 mil woven greenhouse poly is used as the external layer, and the 6 mil poly is the interior layer. Our owner David Ross calls this the “Golden Goose of Greenhouse Plastics,” but he notes that you do loose some light transmission with this plastic configuration.
Best Greenhouse Film for Intense Sunlight
Shade cloth used with double 4 year 6 mil UV resistant greenhouse plastic is the best option for greenhouses located in areas like Arizona that experience intense sunlight. This plastic configuration is ideal to filter infrared, and the use of shade cloth is and economical and flexible solution. Since the shade cloth can be removed, it will not interfere with year-round cultivation.
Best Plastic Sheeting for Greenhouse with Light Deprivation
Opaque greenhouse plastic is needed for light deprivation greenhouses. The most common choice is 12 mil woven white and black greenhouse plastic. This durable plastic offers the best ligh-proofing.
Clear vs White Greenhouse Plastic
White greenhouse plastic is not a great option for most applications. However, if you need a covering for a foliage crop or for a storage space, head house, or retail area it is a good option that offers shade.
How to Make a Greenhouse with Plastic Sheeting
Once you decide what plastic to use for your greenhouse, you’ll need to install it. To install greenhouse plastic you will need channel wire lock bases, wiggle wire, and screws. First, channel wirelock base is mounted on all borders and perimeters of frame where plastic is needed by screwing base to frame. Next, you pull the greenhouse plastic over the greenhouse frame. Once it is in place you secure the plastic with the wiggle wire.
Where to buy greenhouse plastic?
Greenhouse plastic sheeting is not something you want to buy from Home Depot, Walmart, Amazon, or other big-box retailers. Hortitech Direct works with professional commercial greenhouse plastic suppliers like Berry Plastics and BTL liners. These companies produce real greenhouse plastic film that is able to withstand environmental conditions and has additives to preserve its quality under intense UV rays.
Greenhouse plastic for sale online offers you the convenience of getting your plastics delivered right to your site. There’s no need to go to the store when your greenhouse supply company can ship materials right to you. Hortitech Direct offers you all of this convenience with expert customer support. Once you know what greenhouse plastic you need, we can make sure you are getting the right product and the right size.