Selecting the right greenhouse for your garden is a decision that requires careful thought. There are a number of key factors to consider ensuring you end up with the best solution to meet your needs.
Size and Budget
There are lots of different shapes and styles of greenhouses available to suit your garden, however much space you have available. Mini greenhouses or pop-up greenhouses are perfect for bringing on trays of seedlings if room is limited and can be purchased very cheaply. A lean-to greenhouse will make the most of any unused walls whilst a freestanding greenhouse offers the greatest flexibility of growing options. A simple 6ft by 4ft greenhouse is a good basic option to get you started but you can opt for a larger more elaborate design if space and budget allows.
Greenhouses can be made from a variety of different materials each with their own benefits. Wooden frames made from teak or cedar look very stylish and work well within the natural setting of a garden, providing they are regularly treated to avoid damage from weathering. Aluminium frames are the most popular option as they are relatively cheap and can be assembled easily. Some smaller greenhouses are also available with plastic frames which can be a great value option and ideal if it is likely you will wish to relocate your greenhouse at any time. Polythene panelling is cheaper than glass although not as durable so it will need to be replaced more frequently, especially if it suffers damage due to extreme temperatures. Glass is generally regarded as the most preferable option but take care to ensure you choose toughened safety glass specially designed for greenhouses.
Ideally your greenhouse should be able to be used for a variety of different functions and types of growth. Staging is useful as it allows you to make the most of the available space. Build tiered platforms so you can have layers of grow bags or trays. A workbench at waist-height will allow you to sow seedlings or pot plants without having to bend over. A central solid path will allow you to easily move about in the greenhouse whilst keeping one side of the greenhouse clear allowing taller crops to be planted directly into the ground. Adequate ventilation will allow air to circulate and prevent your greenhouse from becoming too hot. You may also decide to include heating in your greenhouse. Electric heaters are ideal as they generate dry heat. Many also have a fan feature that can be used to cool the greenhouse when the weather is very hot. Think about different options for insulating your greenhouse in very cold weather, such as polythene or clear plastic bubble insulation, making sure it can be easily removed when the weather warms up.
Before purchasing your new greenhouse consider all the relevant factors such as ideal size, method of heating and what shape and materials would best suit you. This way you can be sure that you get the right greenhouse to exactly match your requirements.