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Gardening Patch

Choosing a green house - an overview

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The first question to think of when choosing a green house is what do I want to grow in it? The answer to this question will help you make decisions on many of questions that you will need to answer when deciding on buying a new green house.

The types of plants and the seasons you want to grow these plants in will effect the amount of space, required light levels, temperature and humidity levels that the green house must be capable of achieving in order to promote healthy plant growth. If you are a keen vegetable gardener then you will want to be able to grow produce in your green house all year round and so will need the maximum light levels possible in the winter. If on the other hand you are simply using the green house for propagation and germination then the maximum light levels may not be so important.

The next thing to assess is the required size and position of the green house. Green house size will be influenced by a number of factors including budget, plant types, number of plants, workspace required and building planning regulations. Many sure that you choose a green house that has the capacity to hold more plants than you currently would want to put in as over time you will find many more uses for your green house than you originally thought possible.

Choosing a site for the green house is vital as it will effect the type and levels of climatic exposure the green house receives. Some plants require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to develop properly and so the level of light / shade the site will receive is an essential part of siting a green house. Remember that the sun will be lower in the sky in winter and this will most likely effect the amount of shade the site receives. The site also influences how much exposure to wind the green house experiences. Higher exposure can lead to increased heating requirements and thus can affect the long term expense of the green house.

The green house should be situated on a stable site so that the foundations for the green house are solid. Try not to locate the green house in areas where cold, damp air will collect such as in dips or low lying areas of the garden.

What shape do you want your green house to be? Again this will depend on the types of plants you are growing, how you want them arranged, do you require the green house to be connected to your house or a wall to provide insulation and extra heat to the greenhouse.

The shape of the green house can also determine how efficiently a certain site is used. How easy must it be for you to reach all parts of the green house without bending over too much or having to kneel down.

The shape of the green house can also significantly impact on the visual appeal and this can be an important consideration for some, especially for green houses that will be visible from the house or the main seating area in the garden.

Greenhouse materials

The construction materials to be considered when choosing a green house can be split into 3 main areas.

  1. The green house frame which is normally constructed of either wood or aluminium although plastic is increasingly being used.
  2. The glazing which is either glass or some form of plastic.
  3. The flooring / foundations which can be made from gravel / concrete / wood.

Hopefully this article has provided you with the key considerations that you must think about when choosing a green house and also links to more detailed information should you want to look at the selection criteria in more detail.