Your Guide to Buying a Greenhouse
Posted: February 13, 2020
Now is the perfect time to buy a greenhouse. Bargains can be grabbed and your gardening season can be up and running in a matter of days. So keep a cool head, dive right in and decide on which one is for you.
The Size of Your Greenhouse
Little and Large
Go for the biggest greenhouse your budget allows. Even after a few weeks of growing in a spanking new greenhouse you’ll soon realise you need a little bit more space. It’s the nature of gardening – plants and your enthusiasm grow hand in leaf. Saying that, it has to fit in your allotted garden space.
You'll need to find an area that is open, sunny and away from overhanging trees and always on a solid base.
The most popular size of greenhouse is 6x8ft and for good reasons. It fits into most garden spaces and doesn’t cost a fortune to buy and maintain. This Halls 8x6 Popular Greenhouse in Green is a fine example.
But little ones are useful if you want to start out and feel your way into greenhouse gardening. This Eden 4x4 Birdlip Greenhouse is a charming size offering plenty of growing room for the new gardener.
A bijou lean-to is just the job for getting seedlings up and running and a few pots of tomatoes in high summer. Look out for something like this: The Palram Lean to Mini Greenhouse. It will fit into most spaces and return a lot of produce for very little outlay. It’s also a superb addition to any existing greenhouse you may have for when you need that extra space.
Of course, a whopper is just the tonic to pick yourself up from any winter blues and to start a glorious 2020.
This Rion Grand Gardener is a beauty. 8x20’ of magnificent growing space is the must have greenhouse for any dedicated gardener.
And just in case you want a big ’un with sensational looks, then The Palram Victory Orangery, Greenhouse and Sun Lounge has to be the choice. It is the perfect combination of great looks, great size and versatility.
The Material of Your Greenhouse
Aluminium vs Wooden Greenhouses
Once you have decided on the size of greenhouse you want, the next decision is what you the structure to manufactured from. Wood is a traditional material while aluminium is very popular.
Wood is warm. Wood smells divine when you first walk into your new greenhouse and it’s easy to fix thermometers, shelving and staging to a wooden frame. Wooden frames will age elegantly, turning from the usual orangey brown of the original preservative to ash within a year or so. Beautiful. And you can ring the changes by painting and staining wood. Keep up with or even better, start a colour trend in your gardening community.
But wood needs some kind of maintenance regime. Regular preservative is a good idea. Moss and algae growth loves wood as much as any dedicated greenhouse devotee. Quality wooden greenhouses are manufactured from pressure treated wood 9 look out for this when comparing models to ensure you get the best value for your money – if you can, always go for pressure treated wood when buying a wooden greenhouse. Always) Pressure treated = a longer guarantee against rot.
Maintenance is relatively low to zero – an annual wash down with soapy water usually does the trick (the greenhouse that is, not the actual gardener)
The Style of Your Greenhouse
Steady Eddie or Wild child?
Traditional styles like the Palram Harmony 6x4 Silver Greenhouse are the most popular.
For a more moden option, choose a black greenhouse such as the Eden 6x10 Burford Greenhouse.
Or you can go for angles with a structure like this: The Forest Buckingham Wooden Greenhouse. It combines a lot of growing space and fantastic looks, and is capable of becoming a real focal point in the garden.
All styles are built around having space to grow plants – that is after all the number one reason for having a greenhouse. But it’s worth considering where your greenhouse is going to be installed and the effect it has on the rest of your garden.
Just when you thought you’d decided on the ever popular 6x8’ aluminium greenhouse complete with staging and shelving – your eye is taken by a hybrid structure. Is it a shed? Is it a greenhouse? No, it’s the best of both worlds. The Windsor 8x6 Greenhouse Combi Shed is perfect for gardeners who want the storage capacity of a shed and the growing space of a greenhouse yet only want one structure in the garden.
Structures like this are great if you want tools, compost and other gardening paraphernalia to hand when tinkering with your burgeoning cucumbers and aubergines. They are a great purchase.
Perhaps the best solution for a small space is Palram Plant Inn Mini Greenhouse . You get the top part of greenhouse and the bottom section of shed. And with clever water collection, the whole thing can make your gardening experience so much more pleasurable with a footprint of 1.2m square. Now that’s clever and a real talking point in your garden.
Bits and bobs
Gone are the days of tiny shards of glass littering your garden paths after a direct strike by a football. Polycarbonate glazing is tough. Toughened horticultural glass is, well, tough. Neither will explode into millions of pieces. If you can upgrade to a tougher glazing then do so.
All greenhouses can be heated. Electric heaters are best as they can easily be plugged into an accurate thermostat for clean, efficient heating. But it will of course need professionally installed cable running to your greenhouse. It’s worth thinking about before you install your greenhouse.
Paraffin heaters are traditional, easy to install (unpack, fit together, fill with paraffin and light that wick) but do need a little maintenance and care. But they aren’t controllable in the same way as electric heaters.
Collect every drop falling on the greenhouse roof and divert into a water butt or two. You’ll be surprised at how much you can collect and in the absence of a nearby mains tap, it could save many many metres of trudging up and down with a watering can.
Rainwater is also better for your plants as it doesn’t contain any additional chemicals and is warmer for your plant roots. This might come in handy when fitting guttering and water butts to your greenhouse or hybrid house.
Cold frames are a must for every garden. They are perfect for acclimatising your young plants to the great outdoors. Raised in a greenhouse, if plunged into the great outdoors without this half way house of tenderness, they will suffer. But move them from greenhouse to a cold frame before planting outside they will thrive.
Cold frames are also a superb area of overspill as your greenhouse bursts at its seams (not literally – but even if it did you will have a long guarantee to use!) And cold frames can actually be heated – so cool frame might be more accurate. They can certainly be insulated and easily covered in snowy or freezing conditions. This is a beauty with plenty of growing space: The Forest Large Cold Frame.
The last word on greenhouses
If you like your garden you need a greenhouse. There are many to choose from so carefully decide the best for you. Whichever one you choose consider the guarantee. A long guarantee gives you peace of mind. There will always be ‘budget’, cheaper greenhouses than you the one you have your eye on but many of these will be poor. Go for quality from the off – and reap the rewards for years to come.
Now go and get a greenhouse!
Find Buy Sheds Direct's full range of greenhouses here.