Jack’s Greenhouse guide

A greenhouse is a wonderful addition to any garden, big or small. These fantastic garden structures help you to extend the growing period, allow you to propagate plants and allow you to control the growing temperature inside. Before you buy a green house here are a few key things you need to have thought about before you make your purchase.

The site of your greenhouse must be in a sunny spot so that the structure can fully utilise natural sunlight. If you are planning to buy a greenhouse in the summer do remember that the sun will be much lower during the winter and could therefore be shaded by other structures. Look and around your garden and spend time thinking about the best possible site that will receive a good amount of natural sunlight throughout the year.

If the site of your greenhouse is rather exposed it could be susceptible to wind damage in the winter months. Therefore try to find a sheltered sunny position in your garden or failing that do ensure that you buy a robust greenhouse such as one made from toughened glass.

The site must also have good drainage especially if you are planning to put plants on the floor of your greenhouse.

Most people already have a clear idea in their minds about what size greenhouse they require before they start to shop around. You may also be restricted on the size of greenhouse you can have due to the size of your garden.

If you do not know what size greenhouse you require the best thing to do is to firstly consider what you intend to use your greenhouse for, think about what you want to grow and what you will need to store inside this structure. Next mark out the plot of your greenhouse with string and pegs in your garden to check that it will fit and that your garden will not become too overcrowded.

Larger greenhouses are cheaper per square metre; the most popular sized greenhouse is the 8×6 greenhouse. Most gardeners recommend opting for a structure one size larger than you initially plan to buy as long as space is permitting. Over time you will increase the amount of plants kept inside this garden structure and will be thankful of the additional space.

Greenhouse glazing
Horticultural glass – This is the cheapest and most traditional form of greenhouse glazing. One disadvantage to this type of glazing is that it breaks into sharp shards which may be a concern if you have small children that like to play outdoors.

Polycarbonate glazing – Almost impossible to break but will reduce the amount of natural light that passes through.

Toughened safety glass – This is the most expensive type of glazing, it is far less likely to break than horticultural glass and when it does it breaks into far safer pieces.

Greenhouse frames
Wooden greenhouses – These will heat up and cool down slower than aluminium greenhouses. The wooden structures do look better than the aluminium alternatives however they will require maintenance and treatment every couple of years. Waltons greenhouses are strong and robust.

Aluminium greenhouses – Are the most common type now available and are maintenance free. Take a look at our great range of Eden  Halls greenhouses which are available in many different styles and sizes.

The most common is an apex greenhouse which has a door in the middle of one end and a v shaped roof which allows rain water to drain away easily. If you have a compact garden you may want to consider purchasing a lean-to greenhouse that is erected next to the wall of your house or garage. This type of greenhouse takes up much less room and the wall that they are attached to will act as a heat sink absorbing heat during hot times of the day and releasing heat when the temperature drops meaning that a lean-to greenhouse is far less susceptible to temperature extremes.

You must keep the air moving inside of a greenhouse on hot days. As a rule of thumb you should always have an opening glazing area that is one fifth of the floor area. When you purchase a greenhouse check that it comes with ventilation or whether you need to purchase this as an optional extra. Roof vents or side lourves can either be manually or automatically adjusted to open during hot weather.

For a wide range of greenhouses visit Jacks Garden Store now.

Good luck!

Gardener Jack

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