Eight Things To Think About When Building A Greenhouse
This means no more worrying about Winter frost, no more limitations on the types of plants that you can grow and of course, no more Sundays missed when the weather says you can’t work in the garden.
Should you find yourself actively planning a home greenhouse, here are eight important factors to consider.
The first step towards building your own greenhouse is of course choosing the perfect spot in your garden. Assuming you have options in this regard, there are a number of important factors to consider, the first of which is light.
Greenhouses can do a lot of things but they can’t grow plants without sunshine. And this means that you must choose somewhere that receives at least six hours of sunshine per day.
While not strictly necessary, morning sunshine is considered ideal as it allows plants to start their food production process early.
The perfect spot for a greenhouse is somewhere that not only provides plenty of access to the sun, but also plenty of protection from the other elements. The more exposed your greenhouse is to the wind, the more expensive it’s going to be to keep it warm in Winter and cool in Summer.
It’s also worth noting that greenhouses are rarely the most sturdiest of structures and the last thing that you want is for your newly created greenhouse to be blown down during a storm.
Proximity to your Home
Another important location factor to consider is proximity to your home. This is important for two reasons.
First off, greenhouses need access to water, electricity and heating. The closer your greenhouse is to your home, the easier it’s going to be to provide these things.
And secondly, the closer your greenhouse is to your home, the more convenient it’s obviously going to be to get to everyday.
Don’t underestimate the importance of building your greenhouse on the right foundation. Building a greenhouse on uneven ground is a surprisingly common mistake and one that can have serious implications over time.
Choose a foundation that’s level, structurally sound (concrete is perfect but not strictly necessary) and most importantly, not prone to water build up.
When deciding how big your new greenhouse should be, it’s important to think about the future. Rather than asking yourself how much space you need now, think about a year, or even five years, from now. Take a short term view and you will regret it in the long term.
Before you build the biggest greenhouse that you can fit in your garden however, it’s important to also keep costs in mind too. The bigger your greenhouse is, the more expensive it’s going to be to heat during the Winter.
Finding a balance between these two competing goals isn’t easy but it’s an important balance to strike.
Once you’ve chosen a location and decided on a size, the next step is obviously to choose a material. Greenhouses are typically made primarily from two materials, one for structure and the other for protection.
The most popular materials for greenhouse structures are wood and aluminium. In terms of maintenance, aluminium is preferable as it can handle humidity without being covered.
In terms of aesthetics however, there’s no denying that wood looks a lot more natural and therefore better suited to a greenhouses interior. If you care about the environment, the renewable nature of wood obviously ensures that it wins in that department too.
When it comes to protection, you’re also likely to be choosing from one of two options, the first being glass and the second being some kind of plastic. While glass is the traditional choice, plastic, particularly polycarbonate is generally a better choice.
Unlike glass, polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable, very lightweight and of course, cheap. Many types of polycarbonate panels are also designed to block out harmful UV rays while simultaneously allowing as much beneficial light to enter as possible.
Portable or Fixed
Finally, if you’re a fan of gardening but not a big fan of building complicated structures, portable greenhouses are well worth looking into. While somewhat limited in terms of size, in terms of ease of assembly, they can’t be beat.
They also benefit from the fact that being portable, they can obviously be easily moved.
And this means that if you happen to find that your choice of location was less than stellar (it happens), you obviously won’t be stuck with sub par growing conditions.
The author of this post, Clark Douglas, is a part of the team at MDM Products LLC, a company that provides portable greenhouses and a range of garage products. He has a keen interest in gardening and enjoys sharing his ideas via blogging.