Top tips for buying a greenhouse

28/02/19 News


If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying a greenhouse, whether you’re a first-timer or looking for an upgrade, the process of finding the right one for you can be timely and expensive without a little point in the right direction. More and more of us are expanding our green-fingered activities to include the growing of all sorts of things that would (in our somewhat sporadic UK climate) otherwise be unable to grow. There are so many benefits of owning a garden greenhouse including (and certainly not limited to): longer growing seasons, opportunities to grow crops out of season, as well as a nice warm outdoor space to spend winter!

With an estimated 2300 garden centres and nurseries throughout the UK and over two thirds of British adults visiting garden centers every year, knowing where to turn to find the perfect greenhouse for you can be bewildering. Here are a few of our expert tips compiled by none other than our fantastic team of gardening professionals, to help you find the perfect garden greenhouse for you and your plant growing dreams this year.

Greenhouse Location

When wading through the range of different garden greenhouses available, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the perfect location for your new purchase. Crops grown in Greenhouses will generally prosper in areas with plenty of light to really maximum growing potential, so try to avoid those shady corners if possible .Something many people forget when choosing the perfect spot is to avoid putting your greenhouse particularly close to trees. Whilst it might look nice burrowed amongst greenery,  falling leaves and debris throughout the year can make it pretty tricky to keep clean. Then there’s the perfect surface, you’ll need a flat and well-leveled area to really have the best chance at success, and if you have a sloped garden try not to place near the bottom as these areas are prone to frost and cold pockets. If your proud purchase is going to be located within clear view from your window then design is probably at the forefront of your mind. This is the opportunity to start looking into some of the stunning aluminum framed or beautifully crafted wooden greenhouses available, after all this is going to be a pretty substantial addition to your home.

Which Size and Shape Greenhouse?

Once you’ve chosen your ideal location, you can start to think about which size greenhouse is right for you. Each and every garden is unique, and so if space is a little on the tight side then maybe a small greenhouse is a good option for you. When it comes to shape and size, it is generally thought that the higher the eaves the more chance there is of light transmission, owing to an increased diversity in plant growth. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) when looking for a new garden greenhouse the eaves should be, at the very minimum, 1.5m tall to really optimise your growing space.  Whereas the ridge should aim to be around 60 cm above the eaves to allow enough of a slope to allow rain run-off as well as encouraging the loss of any excess heat. There are three main greenhouse shapes, lean-to; which make the most of an existing brick wall such as a house, octagonal or dome; which are useful for those awkwardly shaped gardens, and traditional. The type of shape you go for will be largely determined by the size of your garden and where you’re hoping to locate it, so it is worth having a think over this one.  

Greenhouse Glazing

Of course one of the most prominent features of a garden greenhouse is it’s clear glass structure which does a fantastic job at maximising light exposure and heat retention thanks to the way in which it reflects any heat generated within the greenhouse back into the structure itself. Be careful not to go for double glazed glass though, as it is thought to alter the spectral composition of any sunlight coming into the greenhouse which is certainly not ideal for those plants of yours. If you’re not keen on glass paneling there is an alternative, and it comes in the way of polycarbonate sheeting. This twin-walled plastic glazing comes with a range of benefits such as being lightweight and durable in even the most testing of weather conditions, but compared to glass it does not transmit as much light, which will compromise seedling growth.

Heating and Ventilating Your Garden Greenhouse

When it comes to optimising crop growth, many green-fingered enthusiasts consider adding some much loved heating to their garden greenhouses to really get those seedings off to the best start. There are a few different options when it comes to insulating your greenhouse such wraps or bubble insulation, which are relatively inexpensive. On the other end of the scale you might want a fan heater complete with a thermostat and propagator, which means you’ll need to consider the installation of your electricity supply when choosing your garden greenhouse and it’s base.

Your new greenhouse will need ventilation and one of the most popular solutions is roof vents, which according to RHS should be situated on both slopes and equate to roughly 20 percent of the total floor space.  You can of course opt for a slightly more technical approach with an automatic greenhouse vent opener, operating under the instruction of sensitive heat sensors it’s certainly efficient but can be a more costly option.

A Garden Greenhouse From Tates

Here at Tates of Sussex we have a wide range of greenhouses to choose from,  and our friendly team of gardening professionals are on hand to take you through every step of finding the perfect garden greenhouse for your home. All of our greenhouses come with a host of impressive features including guttering, security and accessibility and with good design at the heart of all our products, you’ll soon have even more reason to love your garden. If space is on your side maybe you’d like to see one of our larger garden greenhouses such as our 8’5’’ Wide GX800, with toughened glass and 4’ wide double doors amongst many of its features. On the other end of the scale, we also have many small greenhouses for those gardens with a little less wiggle room such as our popular 4’3’’ Wide Maxim greenhouse. Whether large or small, all of our greenhouses are entirely British made, with aluminium frames and a 10 year guarantee as standard, something that here at Tates of Sussex we are very proud to offer.  If you are looking for a little more information on any of our products, please do contact us and a member of the team will be happy to help.