When you look out onto your garden and start to wonder where to place a greenhouse then you might by lucky enough to have a number of options available.
However, with options come decisions that need to be made. This is a good thing because when you have a little flexibility in where you position your greenhouse you can make sure it goes in the best place possible.
On the other hand, if you have a small garden and have only one spot where your greenhouse can go, then you have to work with the limitations that you have imposed upon you. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and with a little work, you could turn that spot into an ideal location. It could mean you have to cut back a tree that is casting too much shade or spend some time reorganising the rest of your garden. Whatever you need to do, unless the only location for your greenhouse is in a spot that gets no sunlight, any space can be made greenhouse friendly with a little work.
Lights Positive Effect On Your Greenhouse
The most important factor that influences the success of the plants that you are planning to grow is light and so this should be your number one concern when deciding on where to place a greenhouse. Anything that could cast a shade, such as buildings or trees, over your greenhouse will have a negative effect on the plants that grow inside. When determining this, you have to bear in mind the difference in height of the sun between summer and winter. In winter, the sun will be lower in the sky and so the angle of light that enters your garden will cast different shadows and might not directly shine on the greenhouse at all.
The Orientation Of Your Greenhouse
The orientation of your greenhouse will affect the amount of light that your plants receive during the year. It’s pretty much agreed that if you plan to use your greenhouse all year round, then you should set the central ridge of a rectangle greenhouse as close to an east-west alignment as possible. Whereas if you think you’ll only be using your greenhouse during the summer months then you should have a north-south alignment of your greenhouse to ensure maximum sunlight during the day.
Healthy Shelter For Your Greenhouse
Having an open site is the preferred option when placing your greenhouse. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have anything that could interfere with your greenhouse within 10m of it – trees not only block light, but they also have leaves that fall or twigs that break free. These objects and others can, in the worst case scenarios, damage your greenhouse but even at the minor end of the disaster scale, dirty your glass and block any guttering you may have installed thereby increasing the amount of maintenance work you need to carry out. In addition, some trees carry pests that can drop dew onto your greenhouse which can encourage mould and other unfriendly things to grow.
In saying that, not all of the trees or bushes in your garden have a negative influence on your greenhouse. Some trees, conifers for instance, provide a great windbreak to your greenhouse the whole year round and are less likely to drop bits and pieces that damage or dirty your glass.
Don’t take the idea of an open space to the extremes. We mention that your greenhouse should not have anything that could interfere with it within 10m and we recognise that this isn’t too practical for most people and their gardens. Greenhouses can be susceptible to winter storms and gale force winds which can not only damage but can impact upon the environment within your greenhouse. Growing or building an effective windbreak on the side of the greenhouse which seems to be effected most by wind isn’t a bad idea. Mostly this will be on the south-western side as this is where most weather fronts originate, but bear in mind the cold northern winds that can buffet the UK in Autumn and Winter – that cold air can seriously disrupt your growing plans during this time.
Ideally, you don’t want to try and stop the wind, but to merely lessen its effects. Bushes and hedges are great for this role but a fence with openings can also provide an effective windbreak. Try and avoid close boarded fences, however, as in real windy weather they can create areas where the wind is turbulent and funneled, thereby increasing it strength.
Providing Essential Services
Whether it’s from the get-go or at a later date, you’ll maximise the effectiveness of your greenhouse by connecting it to your homes electrical and water supply. Heated propagators or electric heaters are, depending on how you see your greenhouses role in your whole gardening strategy, the most obvious reasons as to why without having to explain why a water supply is needed. If you’re planning to do a lot of winter work then even a small light in your greenhouse will help immensely. As such, when you are planning on where to place a greenhouse in your garden then you need to take this into account. You won’t want it sited in the farthest reaches of your garden away from your home as that will only increase set-up costs.
It is possible to run a successful greenhouse without connecting it to your mains. Water can be collected through an efficient guttering system on-site and is accessible at all times or, failing that, it’s easy to run a hose from your home or an outside tap as and when needed. Heating and temperature control can be achieved by using either a paraffin heater or one that uses propane – although, it must be noted that neither of these are as effective and an electric heater. Heated propagators will of course be an issue as you won’t be able to use them within your greenhouse, but with a little imagination and utilising other areas of your home as an alternative, there are other ways to make use of them.
Accessing Your Greenhouse
While it’s important to be able to work within your greenhouse comfortably, you also need to consider working outside of your greenhouse or to access it without too much of a hassle. Whether it’s maneuvering a wheelbarrow to bring compost or other pieces of equipment or moving from one part of your garden to another as you work, you will need to be able to access the greenhouse and the space around it both efficiently and safely. In the planning stage, you should think about these things and make sure to incorporate the hows and whys into your entire strategy. Even if you don’t envisage building paths or potting sheds until a later date, you will need to have at least a fair idea of where they will be situated when you do get round to including them.
Hopefully You Won’t Have To Landscape Your Garden, But ..
You will want to place your greenhouse on dry, flat and even ground as this will ensure that it has a solid base to stand upon. Any work that you have to do on the ground is extra expense either in cash or workload. Worse still is building on the side of a hill as you’ll have to cut into the slope to create a flat even surface which will possibly entail hiring a digger. However, if it needs to be done, then you have to bite the bullet (and the expense). Erecting your greenhouse on uneven ground could cause problems with its stability and you could have problems in putting the frame together correctly which will have the knock-on effect of not seating the glass correctly. Cutting corners in this area is not advisable so make sure you take this into account when planning or where to place a greenhouse in your garden.