Choosing a Greenhouse
Size is the most important factor to consider when choosing a greenhouse. Freestanding greenhouses are available as small as 6 ft. by 8 ft., but most gardeners find that a structure measuring at least 8 ft. by 10 ft. better accommodates plants and people. It’s easier to grow into a larger greenhouse than it is to expand a greenhouse when you outgrow your space.
There are numerous styles of greenhouses. Freestanding rectangular or hexagonal greenhouses, lean-to–style greenhouses that attach to a house or garage, and portable greenhouses with just enough room for a few small plants are several choices. Roofs may be peaked, rounded, or domed. Doors may swing or slide open. And windows or roofs may open to improve ventilation.
Greenhouse frames come in a variety of materials. Painted wood is beautiful, but rot-resistant cedar and anodized or enamel-coated aluminum is much easier to maintain. Although most greenhouses still have glass panels, new UV-treated polycarbonate panels are more energy efficient and less susceptible to breakage. Pea gravel is a practical choice for greenhouse flooring. It won’t become slick when wet and allows excess water to soak into the soil.