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Is corrugated plastic (the type commonly used for signs) a good covering for a greenhouse? Answered

I'm in the planning phase of a greenhouse next spring and I'm wondering if the corrugated plastic that you usually see election signs made of would be good for a greenhouse covering. Has anybody tried this? If so, could you post your results?

Here's some information I've come up with already:

1) Corrugated plastic is relatively cheap as dirt compared to glass and corrugated polycarbonate panels marketed under "Palruf" and "Suntuf".

2) There is a greenhouse covering marketed as "Solexx" that appears to be nothing more than corrugated plastic and is claimed to be superior to glass and polycarbonate panels. It's also very very expensive.

3) Solexx panels are claimed to diffuse the light coming into the greenhouse. This is supposed to be better for the plants than direct light from glass or polycarbonate. Below is an excerpt from the Solexx website:

"How does light diffusion affect plant growth? Plants create food from light so the type of light they receive is important. Plants exposed to direct light (no diffusion) produce a majority of their food from the top leaves facing the sun. The select leaves absorbing the sun energy do most of the work while the shaded leaves do very little. Direct light also creates excessive heat which causes plant stress. When a plant is immersed in diffused light, all the leaves can photosynthesize resulting in more food production and healthier, fuller plant development. In addition, the upper leaves of the plant receive less intense light which means they will not suffer from plant stress caused by sun burn and excessive transpiration. "

Again ,if anyone has tried using corrugated plastic as a covering for a greenhouse could you please share your results? If anyone has their own comment or prediction please share it.

If not, I plan on conducting an experiment to test the performance of different greenhouse materials on plant growth. I may have to use artificial light instead of sunlight however, since the growing season here is coming to an end.


Greenhouse-grade sheet may have the same structure, but is not necessarily the same material with the same optical-properties (see other answers)



7 years ago

It depends where you live. Some cheap corrugated plastic becomes yellowish and dim, which might be a problem in countries like England. In more sunny countries though, it would protect the plants from overly harsh sunlight. An experiment is always the best way to find out what you have. Don't be too hasty, next season will be fine too. I like the UV protected plastic with the enforcement: cheap, strong and designed to last 10+ years. It also provides some privacy... In Holland, 3 E/ m^2.

I haven't seen transparent corriflute type plastic but it may exist.

Many green houses are covered in little more then polythene sheeting. Very cheap. I have a dome green house here in the Uk that as an experiment I covered in cling film (saren wrap) It has worked Ok so far, a few holes in a recent storm - hail stones I think - but easily patched.

I've seen a lot of corrugated plastic toppers -- plusses are the cost, downside includes strength and transmissiveness (which in direct sunlight may be a good thing)