Six Tips For Planning Your Hobby Greenhouse



Adding a hobby greenhouse to your acreage is an investment that will pay off in both gardening goodness and lifestyle, but only if you get it right the first time. Here are some considerations before you put in your order.

  1. Location, location, location—You want an area that is both accessible to you—you’ll be hauling flats, trays, water, and plants in and out—but still receives a s full share of light during the day. Tucking a small greenhouse under large trees in the backyard is a plan for disaster.
  2. Attractiveness—Decide whether wood or metal is right for you, and whether you want (or need) a brick or stone base. Wood can be painted or left natural if it is a weather-resistant variety like redwood. Metal can come in virtually any color and is often powder-coated, a more durable finish than paint.
  3. Glazing—Glazing can range from clear plastic for low-cost short-term solutions, to vinyl, polycarbonate plastic, and glass. Glass is the most durable, and individual panes can be easily replaced when broken. Double-glazed greenhouses offer more “heat-trapping” for cold regions than single-pane versions, but are more expensive.
  4. Venting—As the sun inches higher, venting is important. Look for at least one roof vent and one side vent to release trapped heat on warm days—two are preferable. Automatic vents are often available.
  5. Shape and height—Quonset-style greenhouses go up quickly and at relatively low cost, but you lose much usable space to those sloping sides. Look for an upright greenhouse that offers at least one foot of space above your head at the eaves (where the sidewall and roof come together).
  6. Size—By the time you add potting benches on one or both sides, it’s clear that a hobby greenhouse should be at least six feet wide, and probably larger. Length will depend on how intensive your gardening is, and your pocketbook.

Most greenhouse kit manufacturers offer accessories and upgrades that can make your greenhouse life easier or more convenient. Keep in mind that you may want to have additional lights, fans, or some form of heat, so the ability to incorporate electrical connection to your greenhouse can be important. So, too, is having running water nearby, if not inside the greenhouse.

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