Greenhouse Installation Tips for Home Hobby Greenhouses
Preparing and installing your greenhouse can be a cinch, or it can take lots
of planning and preparation time. If you are planning on buying a portable
greenhouse kit, like the Flowerhouse models, little or no preparation is
needed. These portable models go up and are taken down after a rather short
period of use. Larger, permanent greenhouse take more planning, as they will
be a permanent fixture in your yard..
A greenhouse that is anchored to the ground will almost certainly require
a building permit from your town, prior to installation. A portable greenhouse,
probably will not require a permit. We encourage you to talk with your local
town building department prior to installing any greenhouse, to identify
potential issues and local requirements.
Greenhouse Site Selection
Selecting the perfect site for your greenhouse should be tops on your mind,
prior to selecting and buying one. Here are some key things to consider:
Sunlight- You will want to position your greenhouse to allow as much sunlight
Protection from wind is important with smaller units, and those with plastic
windows. The ideal placement is a spot in full sunlight, yet on the leeward
side of a house, garage, hedgerow, or other objects that can break,
or slow, the full effect of high winds.
Proximity to trees- Broken branches could fall and cause damage. This is
especially true of a plastic greenhouse. Even polycarbonate window may be
scratched or damaged by heavy branches.
Proximity to your house and/or gardens.
Proximity to power, if you are planning to use electricity inside of the
Levelness of ground.
Height of surrounding ground. The greenhouse should be slightly elevated
above level ground for proper drainage.
Preparing the Site for your Greenhouse
We tell people that the most important thing about preparing the site is
making it level. Whether it's a small Guarden Raised Bed Greenhouse, or a
full-sized walk-in Juliana model, the ground needs to be leveled off. The
appearance of your greenhouse, says a lot about you and your gardens. Being
level, will also make it easier to use. Doors and entryways will work better.
Worktables and benches will fit better inside.
Cleanup brush, shrubs and bushes around the site. It will make the whole
area, including your new greenhouse, look great. You may also need to trim
branches of nearby trees or shrubs to let in additional sunlight. This
should be done before you install your greenhouse...not afterwards.
Protection from the Wind
As described above, smaller and plastic walled models need some protection
from the full force of high winds.
Your greenhouse should also be securely anchored to the ground to prevent
damage from high winds. Portable greenhouse are usually anchored with long
spikes into the ground. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to the
number of spikes. Usually, they are included with the kit.
Larger greenhouses should also be anchored to the ground or a foundation
in some manner. Anchor bolts should be used with cement foundations. Large
screws or bolts work well with landscaping timber. Many units, like Poly
Tex, Rion and Juliana, greenhouses have bases. Some are included with the
unit, while others are sold separately. So, be sure to check this important
issue, prior to purchase. The bases are buried into the ground with
the tops at ground level. Then, the greenhouse is attached to the base as
it is assembled.
Never set greenhouses onto the ground without properly anchoring it securely.
Or, during he next high wind, you may find it "Gone with the Wind".
Greenhouse floors can be grass, dirt, stone or gravel, brick, wood chips,
sawdust or a cement foundation. Select the floor that is best for you and
Regardless of the choice, we recommend that the floor level be slightly above
the ground level around your greenhouse. A slightly elevated floor,
is less likely to get muddy, soggy, or experience water from excess rainfall
or sudden snow melt.
Installing Electrical Power
Many growers want electricity in their new greenhouses for lighting and
heating. The first step in this endeavor, is to contact your town and
identify the proper codes and requirements. It almost certainly will require
underground electrical cable. We recommend a certified, or licensed
electrician to install the electrical work properly and safely.