Garden Action

The premier gardening information source


Go to pages about Selecting a Site For Your GreenhouseGo to pages about Selecting the Correct Greenhouse For Your NeedsGo to pages about Greenhouse Equipment - bench, capillary matting, heating, shade protection etc.Greenhouse manufacturers, retailers and suppliersGreenhouse plants index top navigation



What Size of Greenhouse?
There are several points to consider when choosing the size of your greenhouse. The obvious first consideration is how much space you have available in your garden.

Assuming you have sufficient space for a choice of greenhouse sizes, the next major consideration is what use will you make of your greenhouse?
If you plan to grow plants inside your greenhouse such as tomatoes or other heat loving vegetables, carefully measure out how much space these plants will take up.

Remember that plants growing in the soil inside the garden greenhouse will not be happy if benches are placed above them. It is a good idea to plan out the benching in your proposed greenhouse before you buy the greenhouse to get a good idea of the space which will be available.

Greenhouse and workshop. Click to enlarge. Copyright David MarksOne activity you will almost certainly want to do is raising plants from seed and cuttings. This will require some form of benches to work on and place the plants on when they are establishing themselves. Think carefully about the space these plants will need, not just at the beginning of the season, but immediately prior to be planted outside. It often comes as a shock how much space a few dahlias will occupy when they are large enough to be placed outside.

One space consideration often overlooked is the tools and equipment you will want to store in your garden  greenhouse. A bag of compost, a few hand tools, pots and containers - these all take up valuable space. A greenhouse and workshop combined (see the picture above) may be the solution to your space problems.

A very small greenhouse. Click to enlarge. Copyright David MarksA mistake often made is to buy too small a greenhouse initially with the thought that another greenhouse can be added later. Two facts weigh against this method of expansion. First, the larger the greenhouse, the more cost-effective it is. Just divide the floor space in a greenhouse by the cost to find out how much each square metre or yard is going to cost you. It will quickly become apparent that one large greenhouse is far cheaper to buy than the equivalent two smaller greenhouses. That's aside from all the extra effort in erecting two greenhouses compared to one larger one. Always go for the largest greenhouse that space and money allows.

One more factor in favour of choosing a large size of greenhouse is that the larger the greenhouse the lower the cost of heating it will be per square metre / yard. A larger greenhouse also mean that a more even temperature can be maintained.

The final consideration in greenhouse size is headroom! If you are tall consider carefully how much of the greenhouse will be available for you to move around in. And please, take good note of the height of the entrance to the greenhouse. Countless heads bear the scars of being hit whilst entering a greenhouse!