Garden greenhouses will help to lengthen the growing season of the gardening year. It can turn the later part of winter into spring and extend the summer months in autumn. This really is the main reason for having greenhouses.
Any gardener who is keen to grow food will see that buying a greenhouse is a sound and long term investment for your home.
The initial outlay will reap returns in just a few years when you make savings on buying plants that are raised from seed by raising them yourself, and from the vegetable harvests that will knock a substantial amount off your shopping bill.
Being a long term investment, it is important that you really assess what size and type of greenhouse will best suit your budget and needs.
What Size of Greenhouse?
The size of the greenhouse will all depend on what you plan to grow. If you want to grow vegetables, sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuces, then to include raising seedlings and possibly also some fruit, you will most likely need a glazed green house that measures around 10ft x 8ft (3m x 2.5m).
If this size is a bit too costly for your budget, check out the same size that is made of polythene instead of glazed, or buy a glazed greenhouse that is smaller and put it to the most use in raising seedlings and early plants until they are ready and hardy enough to plant out.
Your decision on the size of garden greenhouse will also be impacted by how much it is going to cost to heat it if you want to grow your plants earlier than their natural season.
If you have a larger sized greenhouse with more glass it will ultimately be more costly to heat.
Types of Greenhouses
There are many different sizes and shapes of greenhouses but on the whole there are only a few types. The following are most common and popular.
These freestanding glasshouses are one of the most popular types with side walls that are vertical, or at a very slight angle. The glass can extend down to ground level, or be designed to stand on a low brick wall, or have some kind of timber cladding that goes up to the staging.
The best one for growing vegetables would have glass right down to ground level on at least one side so that you can have success with plants planted directly into the greenhouse border.
A lean-to greenhouse is usually erected along the wall of a building, effectively appearing to be ‘leaning’ against the wall, although it’s not really leaning. The wall would preferably be a south facing wall to get maximum sunlight throughout the day. Lean-to houses are generally warmer than free-standing greenhouses. Apart from having the wall of the house to retain some warmth, you can often extend the heat from your house into the greenhouse, such as the central heating.
You may need to get planning permission for this type of greenhouse if it is to be attached to your house wall.
Hexagonal / Circular
A glass house of this shape may look a little unusual but it has its own set of advantages over the other types. For example; there is an even distribution of light and because there is no pathway taking up space, maximum use of floor area is enabled.
Aluminium or Wood
You can choose to have a garden greenhouse made from either metal or wood. Also see… Greenhouses for Sale
Wooden greenhouses do blend into their natural surroundings well but you will find that they need have a wood preservative treatment about every three years depending on the harshness of the weather conditions. A wooden house will probably be delivered in several sections ready for assembly followed by the glazing. The glazing will most likely be the longest part of the job and may take a couple of days depending on the size of greenhouse.
A metal / aluminium greenhouse does have an advantage over wood in relation to the glazing process as the panes will likely be very quickly clipped into place and therefore take a shorter time to erect. If you have to pay someone to put up your garden greenhouse you will make savings on labour in this respect and they are also easier to maintain than their wooden counterparts.