All gardening enthusiasts dream of having a greenhouse some day. Indeed, this device allows you to indulge in your passion in any season. It also recreates the best growing conditions for plants. Anyhow, selecting the right greenhouse involves several issues, such as ventilation, glazing, size, foundations and the specific greenhouse model, which must all be taken into account. So, feel free to explore all available options to find the one that suits you.

Different types of greenhouses are currently available on the market. These include high-tunnel greenhouses, aluminium ones, and cold frames. Each of them have characteristics that make them ideal depending on their specific use. For example high-tunnel greenhouses are perfect for early crops, commercial and industrial use, and for frost protection. As for aluminium greenhouses, they are suitable for horticulture, winter gardens, and sowing. Moreover, they adopt any temperature level, be it for tropical or temperate greenhouses. In regard to cold frames, they are like miniature greenhouses and are ideal for planting vegetables and crops in autumn. However, before making your final decision, it is advised to consider some criteria that make a real difference.

According to which criteria should you choose a greenhouse?

When selecting a greenhouse, several criteria are considered. These include, among others, the greenhouse’s glazing. Glass remains the most suitable material for achieving the best greenhouse effect, but it is also very fragile. In general, two types of glass are available on the market: the horticultural glass and toughened glass. The latter provides a more pleasant visual effect, and is of very good quality. As for the horticultural glass, it has the advantage of being affordable and easy to replace in case of breakage. Apart from glass, polycarbonate is a good option. Stronger and more insulating, it is also less aesthetic. Moreover, this type of glazing is not very recommended in windy areas. One can also find wooden greenhouses that need to be well-maintained to last a lifetime and others in plastic.

Apart from the glass panels, good ventilation is another prerequisite for a greenhouse. Indeed, this is what helps regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse. To this end, prefer the one with a roof skylight that will allow hot air to escape. Side windows are also recommended to get good air circulation, among others. Everything is perfect with an automated system for opening and closing these openings. And still concerning the openings, the door is also a key element to consider when choosing a greenhouse. In fact, it promotes air flow and the circulation of people. Thus, it is advisable to opt for a greenhouse with a sliding door so that it does not flap in the wind. The sliding door should be wide enough to get the plants and wheelbarrow through easily. Tables, shelves or seed bins can also be set up.

Finally, the base, height, and assembly time are key criteria for choosing a greenhouse. Concerning the base, the choice depends on the wind’s force. A concrete wall is recommended if it blows hard. However, aluminium bases are also very good. They add height to the greenhouse, and are easily mounted. As for the size of the greenhouse, it mostly depends on the garden and budget. However, the more voluminous it is, the easier it is to handle the temperature. Finally, assembly time varies depending on model, ranging from 5 minutes for folding greenhouses, to two days for models that cover a large surface area.

The benefits of having a greenhouse

Having a garden greenhouse allows one to grow at any time of the year while only requiring minimum amounts of pesticides. Sowing before the normal seeding period gives one the opportunity to enjoy vegetables and fruit throughout the year. Lettuce, tomatoes, citrus, and apples are a few examples.

Greenhouse maintenance

Set up your greenhouse to enjoy the sun for as long as possible. Clean it at least once a year both inside and out. Wooden and aluminium structures need to be maintained to prevent wear and rust. A well-maintained greenhouse helps to fight off infections that threaten plants.

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Published in Garden maintenance by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011