Thinking of Buying a Greenhouse?

Always dreamed of owning a small hobby greenhouse?  Ponder upon these points first before running out and buying the greenhouse of your dreams.

Credit: John Glover

Year-round growing with a greenhouse

A greenhouse closer to the residence is more often tended

If your dream has always been to own a small hobby greenhouse, here are some points to ponder:

    * Taking on the responsibility of operating a greenhouse is like having a new pet. It requires regular care while in use. However, on a sunny February day, it is the next best thing to a winter holiday.
    * Building an inexpensive wood and plastic structure and evaluating your level of interest before making a major investment (the cost of buying a greenhouse is generally in the area of $3,000 to $6,000) might be a good idea if you are not sure you want to take on the additional work of a greenhouse.
    * A south-facing location with easy access is ideal.
    * A southeast-facing location is preferable to southwest because the morning sun will heat the greenhouse and save energy.
    * You should have six or more hours of sunshine per day for solar heating and basic growth.
    * Glass glazing is 20 to 30 per cent more effective than twin wall polycarbonate for illumination but 50 per cent less energy efficient.
    * A lean-to greenhouse attached to the south wall of a house has less heat loss.
    * The closer the greenhouse is to the residence the more likely the greenhouse will be checked on a daily basis.
    * Water and electrical utilities are easier to connect if the greenhouse is close to the house.
    * Concrete or concrete block provides the most stable foundation.
    * Establishing the greenhouse floor below ground level will increase the interior height and reduce heat loss.
    * A gently sloping concrete floor with a drain gutter and cleanout area will make housekeeping easier.
    * The more automated the greenhouse is the more expensive it becomes.