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Posted by Eli Silver on

Hi there, if your reading this you are probably in the market to buy a greenhouse and very likely you’re a bit confused with all the options out there and just cant figure out whats the right greenhouse for you. I know Just how you feel that is why I created this guide to help educate you on the different options  available and how to find the ultimate greenhouse to fit you personal needs. Before we get started it is a good idea to take a step back and ask yourself. How committed am I to this project ? Am I gonna carry through ? Next week will I welcome my new greenhouse ? Next year will I still be committed? Also it is important to determine if you really want a proper greenhouse or merely a season extender such as a mini or portable greenhouse or cold frame (to be discussed in a later article).

Now that we established a firm commitment to purchase and maintain a greenhouse it is time to seek out the greenhouse you can call you own.  Since most options in a greenhouse are there either to benefit  the flora or the for the pleasure of the owner.Many times you just can’t please both.It is therefore important to decide on the primary purpose of your purchase is it for your plants or for yourself. I its for yourself then follow you instinct and ignore all advice including this guide.

The next step is to decide if you want to purchase greenhouse or do you want to build your own greenhouse.If you are the diy kind of guy then go ahead do your own thing there are many plans to follow give it a try.(to be discussed in a later article)

If your still with me it’s time to get real we need to scout out the location for you greenhouse.

  1. space– you want to make sure you have as much space for you needs and then some
  2. access– you want access to water, electricity,  and your house or whatever else is important to you
  3. sun-to heat you greenhouse and grow healthy plants you want as much direct sun as possible stay away from shade greenhouse should face south for the most sun generally if you want a lean-to stay on the north side of house if possible
  4. level– you want the ground level  to keep the greenhouse sturdy also its very important to have proper drainage and not sit on waterlogged ground
  5. safe-make sure its not a area where a tree or other things   may fall and the ground should be sturdy also it shouldn’t, be to windy etc.

Now walk out to that area and measure again to see how large a greenhouse you should get and visualize what you want there .It is also a good idea to find out if there are any zoning restrictions or permits necessary for building greenhouses in your area.

Once you outside it’s a good time to consider your options for a base  and or anchoring of your greenhouse.For the base of you greenhouse there are basically two options one building a base either from concrete or from wood concrete is sturdier and shifts less and lasts longer. However you must make sure to provide proper drainage also you shoud find out how the greenhouse connects to the base you might want to leave holes or build accordingly.thedrawbacks are that it is harder and more costly to build also it gets cold. Wood base is easier and can be adjusted if needed but make sure to use treated wood so it doesn’t rot or get infested. Either way you have the added bonus of having a floor in your greenhouse. You can also build a combination or just build the base around the perimeter. also be advised that you can build alow wall as a base which is very pretty and adds height some models allow for that. whichever of these options you choose you have to make sure the base has a very flat surface.The other easier options available is a greenhouse that comes with a base that you dig straight into the ground.

Once you know the size and  base options  for your greenhouse its time to decide on the actual greenhouse. I’ll start with the material glass or polycarbonite (plastic) . Glass is more traditional and looks great and is strong against snow and lasts for tens of years the problem is that it’s delicate and also doesn’t hold the heat so well. poly carbonite on the other hand is very sturdy and shatterproof it holds in the heat better but it doesn’t look nearly as good and doesn’t last as long as glass (it’s usually guaranteed for ten years) Also the pollycarbonite defuses the sunlight that it doesn’t burn the plants which is something to watch out for with the glass(sometime a shade is necessary). The thicker it is and the more layers  the better insulation it will provide and the stronger it will be. So the colder your climate the thicker you’l need.

The other decision with regard to material is wood or metal frame this is a matter of personal preference just make sure its sturdy and the wood is treated that it doesn’t decay or rot some wood like ceder  naturally  does that.

The shape is also aminly a matter of personal preference just make sure there is no place for the wind to catch .Also you want the snow to slide off easily.

It is important to make sure your greenhouse has proper ventilation because in the warmer season  it can get to hot so check that it has windows or vents.

Accessories like benches and heaters etc/ that are made to custom fit add a lot to the greenhouse but that’s for a different time.

It;s a good idea to check out the manual before purchasing it gives you a pretty good idea what your getting.

My favorite is the Riga check it out here

That’s it for now please leave me comments about you greenhouse experiences also what you would like me to write about in future posts.

Call me at 732 806 7959 I will walk you through the process of finding your greenhouse


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