As many more of us begin gardening to supply our own home-grown fresh food and decorative plants or flowers, the tendency to want to garden year-round, especially in cold or cooler climates is increasing. For ideas, I turned to a recently published report from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension on the subject of hobby greenhouse installations.
According to the extension website, there are two basic types of greenhouses: attached and freestanding. An attached greenhouse may be even-span, lean-to or window-mounted, while a freestanding greenhouse is usually even-span with a symmetrical roof.
After you have decided which type of greenhouse you want, the extension says you will need to determine the best location for it. You will limit the types of plants you can grow if you do not put your greenhouse in the best possible location.
The most desirable choice for a greenhouse site is on the south or southeast side of the house in a sunny location where it will capture the most sunlight from November to February. The east side is the second best location. The next best locations are the southwest and west.
The north side is the least desirable location.
If walkways will be used only as a place to stand while servicing the benches, an 18 or 19 inch walk is sufficient – if a wheelbarrow will be brought into the greenhouse, the width must be 24 to 30 inches
The paths and floor of a greenhouse should be gravel, cinders, crushed stone, concrete, brick or other material, because a loose surface absorbs moisture better and helps to maintain desirable atmospheric humidity.
The length of your greenhouse is best determined by the number of plants you plan to grow. Most 6-inch pot plants require a minimum of 1 square foot of bench space.
Finally, the extension says always make the greenhouse 25-50 percent larger than your original demands in case you are eventually adding plants to their collection. And whether the greenhouse is covered with glass, fiberglass or polyethylene film, shop around because all types have advantages and disadvantages.
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