If your garden is currently lacking a greenhouse you might be considering whether to invest in one. The good news is there are lots to choose from, which means you are bound to find something that will suit your needs and whatever size garden you happen to have.
What are the benefits of a greenhouse?
Greenhouses are superb for growing plants, vegetables and even fruit. They enable you to start growing earlier than you’d be able to in the garden, and to extend the season longer into autumn as well. This in turn means you can enjoy eating your own home grown fruit and vegetables virtually all year round. With some experience, planning and a good sized greenhouse, anything is possible.
A greenhouse will also ensure your fledgling seedlings and plants don’t clutter up your house. They won’t suffer through poor weather or an unexpected cold snap either. Furthermore providing you keep the windows and door shut at night, you can rest assured your plants will be safe from all manner of pests.
What size should you choose?
As such it makes sense to consider positioning before doing anything else. You might have an area big enough for a large 6’x 8’ greenhouse, but it may not be an ideal place to erect it. You need the sunniest position you can get in your garden for maximum benefit. Find the ideal spot and then see what the maximum size is that will easily fit there.
In addition you need to consider how much you will use it. Will you grow plenty of different things each year or work on a smaller scale instead? It can be better to buy slightly larger than you need to get the best results – something you can ‘grow into’, so to speak. There are lots of small greenhouses that provide everything you need for a good crop of plants.
Choosing your type
For starters you need to consider whether you want a greenhouse that will stand in a particular spot in your garden, or whether you would prefer something slightly different. Lean to greenhouses are popular if you want to keep your growing efforts close to your home, so you can keep a close eye on them. They are also space saving and can be ideal if you have a patio area or similar place that receives lots of sun. If space is a problem, choose a mini greenhouse – you can still start lots of vegetables and plants there before moving them into the garden.
The next step is to consider what your greenhouse will be made of. Glass is still used but it is of the tempered variety. Other options include fibreglass. Perhaps the most popular choice for the panels of the greenhouse is polycarbonate. This comes in single, double or triple walled options, of which triple is the best. It provides more heat retention and is also much stronger thanks to the additional layers. Polyethylene film is seen on cheaper greenhouses and generally on commercial ones of a great size.
Most traditional greenhouses have aluminium frames, with many finished in either a classic silver or a green colour. However, you can also choose a wooden greenhouse if you wish. They are usually treated for use outdoors but it is preferable to treat it regularly as well to enjoy a longer life. Plastic framed greenhouses are another option to consider.
You will find a large range of options online, from the smallest greenhouses suitable for all gardens to much larger ones that are ideal for dedicated gardeners. A great example is the 8’x 12’ Rion Hobby Green Greenhouse which is big enough for all manner of home grown delights. Your budget will play a part in which greenhouse you eventually choose, as will the size and positioning offered by your garden. However, consider your needs as well. It is often better to spend a little more to get something that will last longer and provide better heat retention and support for your plants.