Greenhouse Buyers Guide
A Greenhouse can be used as an all-weather, all year round, outside room. The focal point for your garden and of course a fantastic growing environment! If you have ever tried to grow plants outside, you will know that we are at the mercy of the British weather. A Greenhouse allows you to control the growing environment to ensure gardening success.
The Greenhouse you select will be an asset to your home for many years to come, it is important that you choose the right model and size for your needs. Greenhouse size is the most important choice. You should select a Greenhouse large enough to allow enough room for plants and a working area for potting up your seedlings. If you have the room select a size that will enable you to put a table and chair in the Greenhouse, this will let you enjoy the garden for more of the year. Will the Greenhouse be used by wheelchair users or the less mobile? Some Greenhouse models have low thresholds to allow wheelchairs (and wheelbarrows) easy access. Make sure that the door is wide enough and that there is enough ventilation, both for the plants and you. Automatic vents reduce the need for visits to the Greenhouse during the growing season. When used in conjunction with watering systems, autovents will ensure your plants thrive, even when left unattended for several days at a time.
Safety should be your first concern when selecting a Greenhouse. Many Greenhouses are supplied with horticultural glass which shatters in to large unpredictable shards. If there will be less mobile people, children or animals present we strongly recommend that you select only Greenhouses glazed with toughened safety glass or with polycarbonate panels.
Traditionally the advice is to site you Greenhouse with the ridge running east to west to get the most sunlight. In practice (with modern Greenhouses) it is more important to site your Greenhouse in a convenient location. Try to avoid overhanging trees and locating the Greenhouse too close to buildings which will block sunlight. Of course, you should try to avoid areas where ball games take place! If you live in a windy spot try to shelter the Greenhouse and make sure you select a sturdy model. One thing to consider is that someone will need to visit the Greenhouse to check on the plants, so make sure that the Greenhouse is not too far from the house, near a pathway. Your plants will need watering, so make sure there is a close water supply and make use of water butts to collect water from the Greenhouse gutters.
Building your Greenhouse can seem daunting, but if you are proficient at DIY you should be able to complete the project in around 2 days. Large Greenhouses will take longer and we always recommend two people to complete the job. Alternatively, we can arrange for installation by our experienced fitters (at extra cost). Some Greenhouses have optional steel bases, which make the construction easier and faster.
Greenhouse staging and shelves will help to organise your plants and working area, a minimum / maximum thermometer will help optimise the growing environment. Guttering and downpipes will enable the collection of rainwater. Automatic vent openers will ensure your seedlings get the best start and don’t get too hot on Spring and Summer days.
Vegetables are an excellent choice, you will love the quick results and what could be better than eating something you have grown yourself? Herbs and salad leaves can be grown year-round in a Greenhouse with quick and tasty results. Tomatoes and chillies will thrive when compared to those grown outside. Don’t forget companion plants that help with germination or attract beneficial insects such as marigolds. The Greenhouse is also an excellent place to over winter your tender ornamental plants.