Advice from the experts on how to choose your new greenhouse
A good quality greenhouse will extend the growing season of your plants and allow you to grow a larger variety. There’s now a greenhouse suitable for every garden but, with so many to choose from, how do you decide which one is best for you?
Our advice is to always buy the largest greenhouse you can afford. It is a long term investment and you don’t want to regret lack of space in the years to come.
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Types of Greenhouses
In addition to size, another crucial factor is the construction material, what’s better – wood or aluminium?
Wood has a traditional feel and probably blends into a garden more easily. It offers greater insulation and is therefore cheaper to heat. Modern greenhouses are made from long lasting timber that has either been pressure or dip treated or kiln dried, so they are very strong, stable and rot resistant. Cedar, although more expensive, can be left untreated and offer many years’ service.
Aluminum greenhouses tend to be cheaper, lighter to assemble and are available in a variety of colours. Glazing is more extensive, hence your plants will receive more light. There’s no longer any reason to worry about discolouration or corrosion as aluminium frames are anodised and powder coated to provide protection from the elements.
Freestanding greenhouses are the most practical style with light flooding in from all sides. Although impressively large lean to’s are available, freestanding models usually have more capacity and are therefore more productive with the opportunity to fit shelves and staging.
Wall gardens and lean to’s can be very convenient if you are restricted by location or if you can only cope with or want to grow a limited amount of plants. Larger versions can be positioned over a door to form a structure similar to a conservatory.
Once the size and style have been decided, there are plenty of other factors to take into account.
There are normally two or three glazing options. Horticultural glass is the cheapest with good light transmission. However it easily splinters into dangerous shards, hence should be avoided if children are running around the garden.
Toughened safety glass is stronger and disintegrates on impact while the more expensive polycarbonate offers the best insulation, is hard to break and still transmits 85% of light.
Staging is very useful for sowing seed, potting on. Plants and seedlings can be placed near the light and equipment stored underneath. Check whether staging comes as standard or whether it is offered as an optional extra.
Ventilation is extremely important, keeping the greenhouse cool in the summer is imperative. So is there enough and can more vents or louvres be added? Automatic vents are very useful if you are away from home.
All these aspects need to be considered and more, is a base included? Is there guttering to recycle water? Don’t rush your decision, personal preference and practicality will mean that eventually you’ll make the correct choice.
For more information on choosing a greenhouse, visit: https://www.gardensite.co.uk/blog/guides/which-greenhouse-should-i-buy-and-whyEnjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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