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Gardening Patch

Lean to Green Houses

Back to Green Houses

Lean to Green Houses take their name from their structural design. In essence a lean to green house 'leans' against an existing solid wall and so only has one side and two ends. They differ from conservatories in the fact that they do not normally have a 'door' that connects the house to the green house space and they do not tend to be double-glazed. Because of this lean to green houses are generally cheaper than conservatories.

Advantages of the lean to

Lean to green houses have been popular for many years for a number of reasons. When choosing a green house the shape of the structure will be influenced by a number of requirements, one of them being space. Lean to green houses generally take less space than their rectangular counterparts and they can make best use of small spaces. The depth of the lean to can however be as large as you want it to be so a lean to green house does not necessarily have to mean reduced space for plants.

Another advantage of the lean to green house is that they can maintain a more consistent temperature than stand alone green houses due to the fact that one side of the green house is a solid wall. This solid wall acts as a heat sink and in the day the wall absorbs heat which is then slowly released from the wall into the green house at night time. This slow release of heat can help maintain a more consistent temperature.

The fact that the wall is solid also means that the green house is less prone to heat loss due to loss of heat through the greenhouse glazing or from wind exposure. If the solid wall belongs to a house that is heated this will also help raise the temperature as the heat from within the house will pass through the wall into the green house.

Tending plants and maintaining your green house can be made easier by choosing a lean to because it is a lot easier to supply water, electricity and gas to a structure that is right next to the house. It means you don't have to trek off down the garden in the freezing winter or keep running up and down to fill the watering can.

Before you buy - points to assess

When deciding on whether a lean to green house is right for your garden you need to firstly assess the aspect of the wall that you plan to erect the lean to against. Ideally the wall will be south facing as this is the aspect that will receive maximum sunlight. If the wall is south facing long edge of the lean to will be parallel to the wall.

If the wall is not south facing and light levels are important to the types of plants you grow then you should at least consider alternative green house positions / structure types before deciding on a lean to.

Do the materials of the lean to fit in with the materials your house in constructed of? Don't let your lean to detract from the experience of enjoying the rest of your house and garden.

Lean to's can get very hot during the summer months as they have fewer walls for ventilation points and enabling a well-distributed circulation of air. Because of this they can be more suited to over wintering plants and extending early / late growing seasons rather than mid summer use.