I think every gardener dreams of having a greenhouse. It is a place that you can start your seeds, cuttings and overwinter tropicals and annuals. A retreat where you can garden all year around when it is cold outside and the snow is flying. I have had two greenhouses. The greenhouse in the picture is my second purchase. My first greenhouse was a very small polycarbonate greenhouse. I really enjoy my greenhouse, but if I had to do it again I would make a few changes from what I have today. If you are thinking about buying a greenhouse, here are some suggestions.
1. Do your research on what is available in greenhouse styles, frames and glazings.
2. Buy a greenhouse bigger than what you think you will need. Plants grow bigger and you will find yourself adding more plants and filling up the greenhouse.
3. Do you want a free standing greenhouse or one that is attached to your home. A greenhouse attached to your home is more convenient to enter than walking in the rain or snow to the free standing design.
4. Check for restrictions in local building codes and with your neighborhood associations for rules and restrictions.
5. Do you have water and electricity available? Adding water and electricity to the site is an extra cost in construction. Make sure that your electrician knows how to properly install electrical into a greenhouse. Water and electricity don't mix well!
6. Do you want a greenhouse with glass (single pane or double) or polycarbonate. I prefer glass because I enjoy seeing my flowers blooming in the greenhouse from my house in the winter. I have tempered glass and it has held up very well in hail storms.
7. Plan for extra expenses in cooling and heating of your greenhouse.
8. Do you have a good spot in your yard for placing a greenhouse. Study your yard and the lighting conditions in your landscape.
9. Watch for location of trees. I did have a branch drop on my greenhouse during a storm and break a window out.
10. If you install your greenhouse, be careful installing tempered glass. Tempered glass will shatter into small pieces. We were advised not to wear rings on our hands that could nick the edge causing the glass to break.
11. Consider if you want a permanent foundation and what type of flooring you would like for your greenhouse.
12. Remember you will have extra expenses in additional equipment like thermometers, benches, fans, heaters and other items for your greenhouse.
I mentioned earlier that I would make a few changes in purchasing a greenhouse from what I have today. I have a single pane greenhouse. I would prefer one with double panes for better insulation saving on heating bills in the winter. I would also prefer having it attached to the house for the convenience. I do not have water inside my greenhouse and walking in and out to water in the winter in snow and the rain is a pain. I have had a greenhouse for over twelve years and I have enjoyed having it. I find that my greenhouse allows me to continue to garden all year round and I can start plants from seed saving me money. I also can purchase sale plants late in the season and carry them over in the greenhouse till spring planting time. The greenhouse also allows me a jump start into the gardening season. I pot up many of my containers early and allow them to grow in the greenhouse before moving them to the garden. If you have been thinking about a greenhouse do your homework before you make your purchase. There are lots of greenhouses to choose from and one that will fit your needs.
The Creative Gardener