SO HOW ABOUT A HOBBY GREENHOUSE? Do you spend dollar after dollar each spring, just to have your flowers die in the winter? A hobby greenhouse makes an easy solution that will save you money and lets you have fun all at the same time. Greenhouses provide your plants with a healthy environment to survive the winter and let you grow plants all year round. It’s your space in your yard where your personality can shine, and you can grow whatever flowers or vegetables and fruits that you desire. This is a hobby for all seasons. No matter where you live, a greenhouse allows you to expand your gardening hobby into the winter months. You need to decide on a few things before get started, like your greenhouse’s location, if you want a foundation for your greenhouse, and the size of the greenhouse you want to set up. Greenhouses are available in many shapes and sizes. If you have limited space, you might want to consider a lea-to or attached greenhouse. This is one that is physically attached to another building, like your house, garage or shed. This type of greenhouse gets less sunlight during the day simply because it is attached to another structure so you should choose a spot that receives the most amount of sunlight throughout the day. In choosing your location, it is best to start with a level, well drained site. If your area tends to experience heavy rains, this will help you avoid problems with drainage in and around the greenhouse. A drainage system may be necessary if you cannot find a site with good drainage. Snow is normally not a problem as long as your greenhouse is well insulated and has heat. Strong winds can present a real danger to your greenhouse as cold winds against the outside surface tend to drain it of its interior heat. Windbreaks are the best defense against strong winds. Try to use windbreaks like shrubs and fences that won’t block your sunlight. Your location should be where there is sunlight. If you mainly want to grow plants in late fall and winter, your greenhouse needs to receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. However, if you plan to use it mainly for starting seeds and transplants in the summer, then you should look for an area with partial shade to help minimize heat buildup in the afternoon. The best position for your greenhouse is to have the ends facing east and west as this will give you the best heat gain during the winter and minimize shadowing. If you live in a hot climate, you might want to take advantage of the shade provided by a tree in the summer, but keep in mind the danger that can result from falling branches. Another thing to consider in getting a hobby greenhouse is size. The main thing to consider is how you plan to use your greenhouse. If you plan to use it for a collection of houseplants, then you should plan on a larger area than you currently use. Upgrading to a larger greenhouse can be more costly than getting a larger size to begin with. If you plan to use it seasonally or for a sunspace, then you will probably be happy with a leanto greenhouse. Another factor is height. Make sure your greenhouse has adequate headroom. A taller unit will also be easier to heat and ventilate. A foundation is not required by many hobby greenhouse kits because heating is not a problem. However, a large greenhouse may benefit from a foundation since they absorb heat during the day and help to keep the area warm at night. The main three types of foundations are treated wood, concrete and brick. Adding a foundation does increase your cost overall so you should keep this in mind when deciding what to build. Many people put down their own foundation, but you can hire a contractor to build it for you instead.
Ventilation is another important factor to consider when you choose your greenhouse. Without proper ventilation, your greenhouse can become too humid or too hot for your plants. A good ventilation set-up offers your plants the best mix of carbon dioxide to absorb from changing air. This usually means circulation of new air every three to four minutes inside during the summer. Without this in the summertime, your temperature will rise in the greenhouse. Fans contribute to mixing the air along with vents in the roof and sidewalls. In the spring and fall, these vents can usually cool the greenhouse without circulating fans which keeps your electric bills lower. During the winter, opening and closing your vents will let your plants get accustomed to the colder weather without freezing. The clear or semi-clear walls of your greenhouse allow light in for your plants and also heat the area for you naturally. If you love plants and want a year round hobby, then a greenhouse may be your answer. This is a place where you control everything. You grow the plants you want and control the sunlight, lighting, water, heat, and the cool air. It can be your special environment that you design with flowers or plants, and where you can use your imagination to get away from it all.