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16 messages
26/11/2012 at 21:34

Hi, quick question, appreciate your thoughts please, I've been offered  a 6 foot x 4 foot greenhouse at a very reasonable price, I have the perfect spot for it, sun pretty much most of the day and very little work to do to sort out the base area. What's concerning me is would this be a practical size to use, I'm mainly thinking of raising annuals from seed and growing tomatoes in the summer. I appreciate that anything is better than nothing and I have limited experience of using a greenhouse. I'm worried that I will need more space and will regret not saving for something larger. Anyone been there and can offer some practical advice.

26/11/2012 at 22:35

Depends how reasonable the price is.

I have a 6 by 8 GH and it came free. There really isn't room in my garden for anything larger but in the spring I also need a 4 shelved plastic GH to fit in everything I want to grow.

I started off growing toms but this year grew chillies, peppers, toms, cues and aubergines along with veg started off in modules and have now moved onto flowers. I've only had the GH 3yrs   If you already think it's too small chances are it is.

26/11/2012 at 22:38

I ran a 6x8 for years but that was a bit small. You've got to leave room for you to get in there as well, cutting down bench area even more. I suppose it depends on how many trays/plugs of annuals you're thinking of raising and whether they'll be out in the garden before the tomatoes are taking up too much room. Can you work out how much area your annuals will take up?, How many seed trays in square footage and whether they'll fit into the space you'll have.

27/11/2012 at 09:57

Norm2, they are never big enough, mine have increased in size each time I moved.
That greenhouse will do you if you have plenty of light you can use shelving to stack the trays and keep changing the trays around rather than just a single staging. I use shelves above my warming sand bed so they can be lifted out of the bed but still be in warm air.
By the time you come to plant the tomato's the annuals should be in frames or in a sheltered spot hardening off if not already in the ground, it will work.

Frank.

27/11/2012 at 16:00

The worst mistake in buying a green house is, buying one that's too small.We bought the 8ft by 4 and that is too small,unless you have no room and we regretted it ever since .Buy the biggest you can afford and have space for.

27/11/2012 at 19:15

Thanks Guys, certainly some food for thought there, I shall have to give this some serious consideration. Everything I have read on the subject says to get the largest you can accomodate as space is at a premium in the spring when raising young plants, however I am not sure about utilizing the increased space in a large one for the rest of the year, which embarassingly is where my inexperience in greenhouse gardening comes in, I have gardened for a good few years now, but mostly concentrated on lawn and flowers. 

27/11/2012 at 22:49
Norm, I think you will find 6 x 4 too small but if it's really cheap....? I have a hexagonal greenhouse. It looks good and, because I'm pretty tall, and this sort of greenhouse is tall too, I thought it a wise choice. However, a bigger greenhouse would have been a more sensible choice in hindsight. Is 8 x 6 a better choice? I sense a bigger one than that may not be for you..?? You can use it for overwintering plants too, of course. A greenhouse gives you so much more in your garden. You won't regret having one.
28/11/2012 at 22:07

Hello!

I have a 10x8 when I first put it up it looked massive from inside, now it's a little tiddler and as I have so much stuff inside for the winter, the only free area is just inside the door!

Wish I had bought a 12x8 instead!

When I moved into this house there was a 6x6 there but I soon got rid of it!

Believe it or not it was much harder to control the temperature than the larger one, in the summer the temps flew up and in the winter time  I could feel the warmer air rushing past me everytime I opened the door, so whatever heat had built up was lost!

But to me,a greenhouse is a must have item!

Cheers

28/11/2012 at 22:20

Hi , firstly a massive thanks to everyone who took the time and trouble to respond, It's really appreciated, having mulled it over the good news is I have managed to secure an 8 x 6 model  It's secondhand but in really good condition and I can't wait to get it. The bad news is you'll now be inundated with questions as you guide me through getting the most from it, should keep the forum busy in the coming year.

First question is should I pave the whole base or keep one side as border soil ? 

A very happy and excited Norm

28/11/2012 at 22:51
Can you just pave/concrete sides? Greenhouse soil is important. You will be even more excited when you pick your tomatoes next year
29/11/2012 at 20:24

I have one side as a bed and paved where the frame touches the ground. The paving is just a few inches inside the GH down the side where the bed is. The bed is about 6 ft by 1.5ft The paving on the outside allows for a path round the GH about 1ft wide so I can clean the glass.  

 There's a gravel path down the middle of the GH and a wider paved area on the  side opposite the bed with wooden staging about waist high. It's great, the staging is used to pot up when not over flowing with plants in grow bags and pots during the summer.

The top end on the GH has paving as wide as a portable 4 shelved unit I have for trays of seedlings in spring which can be removed when the weather starts warming up and the area fits about 4-5 deep flower buckets for  anything you choose to grow which needs heat.    

29/11/2012 at 20:36

6x4 is defintely FAR TOO SMALL, I think mine is 8x6 and THAT is too small. The bigger the better. Really, secondhand greenhouses are almost given away.

29/11/2012 at 20:53
Paul N wrote (see)

6x4 is defintely FAR TOO SMALL, I think mine is 8x6 and THAT is too small. The bigger the better. Really, secondhand greenhouses are almost given away.

So I gather which is why I opted for an 8 x 6, no need to shout

29/11/2012 at 21:00

Shape, and construction, and position is very important. YOU will need the same space in it however wide it is. Assuming square or rectagonal, A 2 foot path for you, will leave more room for plants in an 8' wide than 6' wide. Similarly 4'6" high at the sides gives room for a bench and shaded room under for resting plants, and maybe a narrow shelf round near the eaves. Put the greenhouse on a 9" concrete block base wall and suddenly you have extra space and light at the sides. If the bench is supported by the greenhouse walls and not on separate legs, as on the old BACo professional range, then the floor underneath is all available. This assumes the greenhouse is in a position with light all round, placed near a fence and down goes your growing space again.

Get the biggest you can afford. 12' x 8' can be less than £100 on Ebay.

05/01/2013 at 06:37

Mine is only 8x6 i think - too small - not enough space for a larger one.  It's full of overwintering pots and pelargonium plants at the moment, plus a few flower seeds (ever hopeful), parsley, rocket, salad leaves.  I'll be planting a few pepper seeds soon in a propagator, then it's time to start the tomato seeds....   I don't use the garden soil as we are very sandy here.  I grow the tomatoes in bags of compost rather than grow bags as i got better results - turn the bag on its side to make a deeper bed and only 2 plants per bag. I read this advice in a GW several years ago & have taken it ever since.  One other thing, when we bought the GH we invested the extra for a self opening light, just on one side - a boon when we are on holiday.  Wish we had done the other side too!  This cost about £30 but that was 10years ago!

05/01/2013 at 06:45
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