This article discusses greenhouses and where to place them. It also covers protecting your greenhouse from damage and flooding.
With the coming of spring, many gardeners and plant lovers will want to erect a greenhouse. Youmay choose a soft-sided model that can be used during the spring and summer and stored for the winter. This type of greenhouse is relatively small and simple to use. More serious gardeners will want to construct a more permanent structure that is large enough to house a large number and variety of plants. Either choice will do a good job if it is erected on a site that will maximize the potential of the greenhouse while giving it a measure of shelter.
A greenhouse will do best on a more level surface.
Although many greenhouses have been placed on hill sides, the spot where the greenhouse sits should be level. This can be a natural level area, or it can be a place that has been landscaped for the greenhouse to sit. Since most amatuer greenhouses do not have floors, having level earth under the greenhouse makes for a better surface to sit pots, tables, and shelves. This type of site also makes it easier for you to move around inside the greenhouse if it is large enough to do so.
Find a place that will allow water to drain away from the greenhouse.
You do not want your greenhouse to go underwater every time a hard rain happens. Try to position the greenhouse in such a way that it is not in the direct route of a major storm runoff path. You also want to have most of the land around it slope away from it. Since the plants will be in pots, it is not necessary that natural water be able to get to them. You will be watering the plants with a hose, bucket, or watering can. The inside of the unit will have enough humidity just from the evaporation from the pots. It does not need to have standing water inside.
A greenhouse will need direct sunlight for several hours per day.
Most greenhouses will do alright with 3 to 5 hours of direct sunlight per day. Unless your house is very well vented, more than this can overheat the air in the greenhouse and damage the plants. The glass or plastic will amplify the intensity of the sunlight. This is a desirable effect until it becomes too much. If you are not going to be available to regulate the greenhouse temperature during the day, it is a good idea to limit the amount of direct sun.
Try to position the greenhouse in a place to avoid damage to it.
Because greenhouses are fragile by design, it is a good idea to put them where there will be a minimal chance of being hit by flying objects. The greenhouse should not be too near large trees that might drop branches. It needs to be safely away from normal play areas for children or teens. Baseballs, rocks, and hurled toys can all rip plastic and shatter glass. If you can find a place that is somewhat sheltered from excessive wind it would a good idea. Strong wind can rip plastic and carry debris that can break glass. If you cannot avoid the wind, plan on opening up the greenhouse to minimize the impact of the wind when it is strong.
Put the greenhouse in a place that is convenient and easy to watch.
Since you will be spending a considerable amount of time working in and around the greenhouse, it is best if it is not too hard to access. The best place would be close to the water source and near where the plants will eventually be planted. Having the greenhouse in plain sight will help you monitor that it is not being bothered by intruders. By making your greenhouse location convenient for use, it will help assure that you will be able to spend more time working in it.
Published in: Gardening