Setting up your greenhouse
Choosing a suitable greenhouse supplier is only one part of the process. You need to know how to start a greenhouse and there are some important decisions involved in how to set up your greenhouse and the equipment you’ll need. The following greenhouse infographic shows a typical and favourable greenhouse set up.
Before you finalise your greenhouse order, do consider including some of the extras that the makers offer. They will probably add to the cost (unless there’s a special deal, or you are a good negotiator) but it’s advisable to get it properly set up from the beginning, rather than trying to add them later on. Ask yourself how you are going to use your greenhouse.
Setting up your Greenhouse
- Unless you are restricting yourself to growing greenhouse crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers, you will need a bench down at least one side of the greenhouse.
- A shelf above the bench is a useful spot for seedlings
- If you want to sow from seed and overwinter tender plants in the greenhouse you will need a power source for a propagator and possibly a heated bench and fan heater
- If you are going to grow greenhouse crops you will need at least one bed, or a space for growbags; growbags can be stood on a bed to maintain a flexible space
- Ventilation is essential both in the roof (autovents are simplest) and in the sides; latched windows or louvres allow cross ventilation which helps keep the greenhouse cool in hot weather
- A maximum/minimum thermometer will help you keep an eye on the temperature
- Internal or external blinds allow flexible shading
- A paved pathway down the centre of the greenhouse provides easy access; watering it in hot weather causes evaporation which rapidly cools the greenhouse air
- If you choose a greenhouse with gutters you can harvest the rainwater to use in the greenhouse; it also helps to have a tap in the greenhouse or nearby as a back up
- A gravel soakaway around the base of the greenhouse will drain excess water away from the building
- A paved area around the greenhouse will make it easy to maintain, this page by Cultivar shows you some popular choices for greenhouse bases.