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The different types of greenhouse

Plastic greenhouse

Perfect if you're just getting into gardening. These are great value, easy to assemble and simple to look after.

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Cold frames

You can use these movable mini-greenhouses anywhere you have plants that need protection from frost and damp.

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Wall greenhouse

Also known as lean-to-grow greenhouses. These are great if you don't have much space.

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Full-size greenhouse

For the dedicated gardener and available in a range of sizes. Pick either a classic wood greenhouse or durable metal model.

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Where should I put my greenhouse?

 
  • Somewhere flat, not bumpy or on a slope.
  • Away from trees to avoid shade and falling branches.
  • Near walls or hedges to offer protection from the wind.
  • Close to your house if you need mains power for lights and heating.
  • Close to a tap for water.
 

How can I get the best sunlight for my greenhouse?

 
  • Point the door to the north or south to get the best sunlight for all-year-round growing.
  • Point the door to the East or West to get enough sunlight for spring and summer growing.
  • For wall/lean to grow greenhouses, place them facing south if possible.
 

Should I choose a wood or aluminium greenhouse?

Wooden greenhouse

Pros

  • Natural, traditional look
  • Easy to customise (shelves, hanging hooks, etc.)
  • Timber offers more insulation

Cons

  • Wood needs treating annually
  • Can be chipped and damaged
  • Harder to change windows

Aluminium greenhouse

Pros

  • Easier to assemble
  • Sliding doors on some models (easier to get in and out)
  • Tough and durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Easier to change window panels

Cons

  • Can't be customised, but may include areas to add fixtures
 
 

Choosing a base for your greenhouse

 
  • You'll need a base to secure your greenhouse to the ground. Bases are sometimes included, or can be purchased separately.
  • You can also make your own base with concrete or cement. A base should be the same size or a few cms larger than your greenhouse.
  • You'll also need to anchor your greenhouse to the base. An anchor kit may come with a base, or be sold separately.

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Should I choose glass or polycarbonate for my greenhouse windows?

Horticultural glass

  • Standard value option
  • More fragile. The glass can shatter
  • Lets in a lot of light

Safety glass

  • Much stronger
  • Won't shatter - breaks into small bits
  • Lets in a lot of light

Polycarbonate

  • Strongest option, hard to break
  • Offers more insulation
  • Lets in slightly less light

Styrene glass

  • Plastic. Stronger than glass
  • Won't shatter, but not as strong as polycarbonate
  • Can discolour over time

Cutting width

  • Like double-glazing, it holds more heat.
  • There are lines across the window, so it's harder to see through
 

Important accessories for your greenhouse

Shelving & staging

Ideal for creating space to place small plants and to store your tools.

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Shading screens

Shading screens allow you to reduce the heat if your greenhouse gets too hot, but still lets light in.

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Vents

You can replace windows with vents so it's easier to control the temperature. You can also automate windows to open to let out heat.

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Waterkit

These are little drainpipes that attach to the side of your greenhouse to help you collect rainwater.

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