Which green­house to buy

There are many op­tions to con­sider for first-time buy­ers

Amateur Gardening - - Gardening Week -

YOU want a green­house, but which model would suit you best? There are so many op­tions out there, it’s hard to know where to start.

The first thing to say is go for as large a struc­ture as you can af­ford or fit in your gar­den – and re­mem­ber that even then it will never seem big enough!

Look at your bud­get and con­sider what frame you want. Alu­minium, ei­ther nat­u­ral or painted, is a tra­di­tion­ally pop­u­lar op­tion and is light, easy to fit and casts lit­tle shade.

Wood is at­trac­tively ‘rus­tic’, but needs more up­keep, takes up valu­able glass space and is more ex­pen­sive.

When it comes to glaz­ing ma­te­ri­als, glass is the best as it lets in 90% of avail­able light, re­flects heat and doesn’t lessen the qual­ity of the sun­light. Tough­ened glass is a must for doors and where there are chil­dren and pets.

Poly­car­bon­ate sheet­ing is lighter than glass and more durable, be­ing less likely to break. How­ever, it lets less pure light through, which can slightly limit seedling growth. We have re­placed a cou­ple of

bro­ken glass panes with this ma­te­rial, but they are low down and have had no ef­fect on op­ti­mum grow­ing. Choose a sunny site

away from large trees, hedges or build­ings. Po­si­tion your green­house on an east-west axis to max­imise the plants’ ex­po­sure to sun­light, even in win­ter. Shel­ter it from northerly and east­erly winds, which chill the air and can knock back young plants and seedlings.

An­gle your green­house on an east-west axis and site it some­where rel­a­tively shel­tered

A green­house will help plants sur­vive the worst of the weather

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