Constructing your own greenhouse

At some time or another most of us have fancied owning a greenhouse. They can be a lot of fun and pottering around under the glass can be very relaxing and has health benefits too. So why not make your dream a reality and get that greenhouse that you’ve always yearned for, the environment needs all the help it can get and that little patch of garden where your greenhouse sits can have a bigger impact that you would have thought.

Greenhouses can be expensive to buy and that puts a lot of people off, but building your own isn’t really a difficult task at all. It certainly isn’t rocket science, and the satisfaction of watching new life grow in your own handmade greenhouse is priceless. The first step is to choose a spot in your garden where it will bathe in plenty of sunlight.

It will need exposure to both the East and the West, particularly if you are wanting to grow both fruit and vegetables. Sunlight ensures optimum fruit on your plants, if you’re only option is semi shade still build it, it won’t do any harm. If you are thinking of a large greenhouse try and get hold of salvaged or recycled materials. This will keep the cost down, leaving you more to spend on irrigation and heating.

If you live in a very cold area you will have to construct an insulated greenhouse, if you are lucky enough to live somewhere warmer you will also need some kind of shade control. When it comes to the material for the panels always go for glass or fibreglass. They are far more durable than plastic for example, plus they raise the humidity within the greenhouse, which is essential for certain plants.

Ventilation and air circulation is as important as heat and humidity so ensure that you have taken this into consideration. These all need to be adjustable so that whatever you are growing can enjoy the optimum conditions for them to flourish. A big chunk of your budget will be used up in the foundation. Be sensible here; if concrete is too expensive see if you can get hold of salvaged materials to create a solid and stable base.

When planning the interior of your greenhouse make sure you allow for plenty of place for storage of tools, fertiliser etc. A tool rack and a bin for potting soil and fertiliser will keep the interior tidy while ensuring that everything is close to hand.