Monday, January 07, 2008

Greenhouse Selection Tips

Greenhouse selection is always a topic of concern, especially among newcommers, to the hobby. Here are a few questions, that may get the ball rolling, for you. What is my budget? What size do I need? Does style factor in? What do I want to use this greenhouse for? What kind of greenhouse is best for my weather? Any Restrictions or permits needed in my area?

The first thing to do is decide what plants you want to grow in your greenhouse. Decide if you will start them from seedlings, or small plants. Once you decide on the plants to grow, learn as much as you can about growing requirements. You’ll want to know which greenhouse features are essential.

Set a budget early on, to keep yourself on the right path, from the start. Greenhouse pricing is generally based on features, size, and accessories.

Availability of space will help you determine the size of the greenhouse, as well as the number of plants you intend to grow. Take into consideration the amount of space each plant will take, as it grows, before it is able to be transplanted outside of the greenhouse. The research that you do, on your plants, will help you with this.

If you are going to use your greenhouse to start seedlings, you won’t need a huge structure. In fact you may find contentment with a collapsible or cold frame greenhouse. For growing flowers you’ll want something larger, tightly sealed, with good insulation. If you want to grow fresh fruits and vegetables you’ll need something with lots of space to move around in and extra height for tomatoes, etc., to grow into.

Style is, of course, a matter of taste, but incorporating style into your greenhouse selection is also a matter of funds. If you want to invest in a greenhouse that suits the design of your home or landscaping, or if your desire for a greenhouse leans more toward hosting luncheons than producing fresh tomatoes, you’ll spend a little more than what you would for a greenhouse bought on function alone. Of course a greenhouse with more architectural flare is more than worthwhile if you can afford it- not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but can add a lot of value, including curb appeal, to your property!

You’ll also want to do some research into what is desirable for your environment. If you have harsh winters, you’ll need to invest more of your budget into a sturdier frame, stronger glazing, peaked roof, etc. If you get extremely hot summers and mild winters you may want to look at wood frames which are less costly than some metal frames and do well in dry climates. If you get wet winters you’ll want to invest in a rust-proof aluminum.

The need for permits can be resolved with a simple phone call to your local zoning board. You may find you don’t need a permit, or you may find the necessary steps and restrictions to legally build a greenhouse on your property.

If you have tips that you would like to submit, for greenhouse shoppers, or growers, please do so! We welcome your comments!

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