Where to put your greenhouse
Siting the greenhouse is important. Don’t put it under trees where it will be shaded and subject to constant leaf fall in autumn. Place it out in the open, but sheltered from strong winds and in good light, and where you don’t mind looking at it. Access needs to be easy – an all-weather path will not only be practical but will also make for a good temper in foul weather. In terms of orientation, the theory goes that an east-west orientation extends light levels in winter, while north-south provides more even sunlight for summer crops. As long as the greenhouse is in good light, I don’t think it matters a jot whether it runs north-south or east-west. Place it where you find it architecturally pleasing. Buy as large a greenhouse as you can afford and accommodate. However huge it may seem at first, you will always fill it. It is a strange twist of Parkinson’s Law – the number of plants you want to grow increases to match the amount of greenhouse space on offer. A 6ft x 8ft greenhouse should be an absolute minimum, but 10ft x 12ft is ideal. The choice of material is up to you, from timber (western red cedar is lightweight, durable and needs relatively little treatment), aluminium alloy or powder-coated alloy (which is what I have), which looks painted but is tremendously durable and needs no treatment at all other than washing down each year with a pressure hose. A good greenhouse is expensive, but you will only need to buy it once.