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Garden Greenhouse Selection



Heating and Greenhouse Selection
This page is concerned with considering how heat requirements can affect your choice of garden greenhouse. If you already have a green house and are looking for the various methods of heating it, click here to go to the relevant page.


It will pay dividends if you consider what level of heating you want in your greenhouse before you buy it. This will enable you to select a greenhouse more in keeping with your needs. There are three basic heat level requirements in a garden greenhouse and these are based on the minimum level of heat required in winter.

The Cold Garden Greenhouse This is where no artificial heat is used, all heat being directly from the sun. Unless your area is very mild, this type of greenhouse will be of little use in the winter months. But in spring it can be used to propagate and/or grow from seeds a wide variety of plants. The greenhouse will protect the seedlings from the wind and provide a slightly higher and more even temperature.

In the late spring to summer months a variety of heat loving vegetables and plants can be grown in the ground inside the greenhouse. Many plants simply would not thrive in the cold with no protection. 

Using a greenhouse in this way will be no problem with all types of greenhouse. Because it will only be used from Spring onwards, light levels should be high enough for almost all plants.

The Frost Protect Greenhouse The aim here is to keep a minimum temperature of 7C (45F) during the winter and spring. 

Because plants can be started off early in the year with a greenhouse of this temperature, good light transmission is necessary. The cost of heating should also be considered, some greenhouses are better at retaining heat than others. The use of an electric propagator should also be considered - how much room will it take up and will there be an electric supply to the greenhouse?

Brick based greenhouse. Click to enlarge. Copyright David MarksThe Warm Greenhouse The aim here is to keep a minimum temperature of 13C (55F). At these temperatures it will be possible to grow plants throughout the year. If this is your plan, light levels will be very important. You may possibly want to use artificial light at some time of the year. Is the greenhouse large enough for this and where will the lights be placed? 

The cost of heating a greenhouse to these levels may mean that a greenhouse with a solid base wall is a good way to reduce costs. Double or triple glazed polycarbonate may also be a good idea to retain heat.