How to choose a Greenhouse?
How do I go about choosing a new Greenhouse?
In an ideal world, with plenty of space to site your new greenhouse and cost is not an issue, the growing capacity you require is likely to determine the size.
Keen amateur gardeners may choose a small greenhouse (6 wide by 8 long), while gardeners who require a much bigger growing capacity might opt for a large greenhouse, for example 10 wide by 12 long or indeed larger.
An example of a small greenhouse would be the Popular range which come in sizes starting at a 6' x 4' (see here)
However, choosing a greenhouse inevitably involves a trade-off between the growing capacity, the actual physical space you have in your garden to put it and invariably the budget.
Survey your garden
If you start by doing this first, you will quickly identify all the options you have for the best position for your new greenhouse. There are several main factors to bear in mind:
Best position and aspect
Some recommend that a greenhouse should be positioned so that the ridge-line of the roof lies east to west to ensure that the longest side of the greenhouse will be fully exposed to the sun from the south. While there is an advantage in following this advice, particularly for long greenhouses such as 8' x 20', its important is not to overestimate this. This is because the most common sizes of greenhouses, such as the 6' x 8' are virtually square so an east to west aspect makes little difference.
It’s sufficient to position any one side of a small or medium sized greenhouse in a south or southwest facing aspect for best exposure to sunlight.
However, don’t worry if this isn’t possible because, even if only the roof catches direct sunlight, this will be sufficient to warm-up your greenhouse considerably.
Shelter from the wind
If your garden is in an exposed position consider the proximity of hedges, walls or fences that will provide some shelter from wind.
All greenhouses, even the very best ones, are vulnerable to strong winds so this is something to bear in mind.
Try and avoid trees
To prevent potential damage to your greenhouse, overhanging trees are best avoided if at all possible!
Ease of use and maintenance
When deciding on the position for your greenhouse, also consider how convenient it will be to gain access to it. If you place it at the end of the Garden, how easy will it be to get to on cold wet days?
Consider how you will get water and if needed electricity to your new greenhouse. Quite a few Greenhouses require some form of electrical supply for example Propagators and greenhouse heaters.
This is an important factor for many greenhouse buyers since they want their new greenhouse to blend into their existing garden landscape. Most greenhouses nowadays come in an attractive Green finish. (see photo above) This blends in to the surrounding gardens and no longer is considered an eyesore.
Now that you have decided on the best position for your greenhouse, consider the following.
Measure your preferred site
A greenhouse is impossible to select and price up until you know the width and length of your site. Remember to leave sufficient space around the perimeter of the greenhouse base, to allow you access for cleaning.
Once you have decided on the optimal size, simply choose your model, glazing options and colour.
Ensuring good foundations for the greenhouse base
A level, or almost level, site will require less work to achieve a good floor area for the foundations of your greenhouse. The most popular method of making a foundation is to lay flag stones ensuring an overlap of at least 6 inches outside the dimensions of the greenhouse base.
However, fixing your greenhouse direct into the soil is not nearly as secure or strong as bolting the base of the frame to a hard surface.
Most greenhouses are supplied with an aluminum base on which to mount the greenhouse frame. One some models these are optional extras and on others are included with the greenhouse.
Lenehans offer a full installation service for all our greenhouses if required. In our next post we will talk about the various greenhouse accessories available to enhance growing area and tips to get the most out of your greenhouse.
To start building your greenhouse online with Lenehans simply;
We hope you find this useful.