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Greenhouse Buying Guide - Choosing The Right Greenhouse
When choosing a new greenhouse for your garden there are several things to bear in mind if you are going to get the most from your choice. A wrong decision can prove costly in the long run so be sure you know exactly what you need before you buy. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
What Do You Need Your Greenhouse For?
If you are looking to grow flowers or vegetables all year round then a tightly sealed, insulated greenhouse with good light transmition, ventilation and heating will be most desirable. However, if your greenhouse will only be used for germinating seedlings or wintering less hardy plants through light winters then a simple plastic frame with a polythene covering will no doubt suffice.
Free Standing or Attached?
Depending on your requirements there can be major benefits of either of these types of structures. An attached greenhouse can be a simple lean-to style greenhouse attached to the side of your house or a more expensive sunroom style construct in fitting with the rest of your building. The main advantage of either is in terms of maintenance and running costs as an attached greenhouse will benefit from being very simple to adapt to your existing lighting, heating and water sources. The major disadvantage here however is that being attached to your home means the greenhouse will have less direct exposure to the sun which may limit the types of plants you can grow effectively and positioning to minimise this is all important. A permit may also be required as this will be seen as a building extension to your home.
A free standing greenhouse on the other hand, offers many gardeners a much welcomed retreat away from the home, somewhere to escape the madness as it were. They are typically more expensive, requiring additional heating during the winter months and cooling during the hottest periods and you will also need to plan how to get electricity and a water to your new building. Your greenhouse will however have maximum exposure to sunlight.
What Size Greenhouse Do You Need?
Before you can begin thinking about anything else you need to know what size greenhouse you require. As a rule of thumb, whatever size you think you need right now is going to be too small for you a year later. Buy bigger than you need or you'll end up looking at a costly extension or a new greenhouse before long.
However, that doesn't mean you need to go overboard. If space is an issue then a lean-to greenhouse which attaches to the side of your house or other building might be the perfect solution. Equally, a mini greenhouse or a simple cold frame might cover your needs. Whichever size you choose, be sure to check out whether you need planning permission from your local authority before you put anything anywhere or you could be told to remove it later.
Which Frame Is Best?
Wooden, Metal or PVC? Experienced hobby greenhouse owners will tell you all about the benefits of a wooden frame. If you are building your own greenhouse then wood is also the easiest to work with. Wood is also a strong frame suitable for any covering you choose and if properly maintained will last a long time. The side benefit of wood comes about when you want to drive hooks in here and there to hang tools on or otherwise affix things to the frame. This is a simple hammer job with a wooden frame but a pain with an aluminium or galvanised steel frame. Wood does however need regular maintenance to protect against the humidity of the greenhouse environment and insects.
Aluminium, galvanised steel or other metal frame requires virtually no maintenance and is also strong enough to take any covering you choose. Metal frames do conduct heat and cold however and are therefore more difficult to heat and cool. Plastic frames can only be used with lightweight plastic sheet coverings and are usually only found in small structures likes portable and mini greenhouses.
Which Greenhouse Covering?
The four basic choices of covering you will find for a home greenhouse are the traditional glass panes, polycarbonate, fibreglass or polythene plastic sheeting. There really is no 'perfect' covering or construction material for a greenhouse, and what you choose will ultimately be as much reliant upon your budget as it is upon your requirements.
Plastic sheeting is cheap and the choice of commercial growers although probably not suited to the home user as it is less than attractive to look at, tears easily and typically needs replacing within 1 to 5 years.
For the hobbyist, the choice is most likely to be between a glass, fibreglass or polycarbonate cover. Glass is the traditional choice of greenhouse covering for hobbyists and of the three, allows the most unfiltered light to penetrate through and is the most attractive if your greenhouse is going to be a feature of your garden. It does however require a strong, sturdy frame and solid foundation and if your greenhouse is going to be placed near trees, around kids playing ball or in a particularly windy area or if you just happen to be a particularly clumsy gardener, can prove to be an expensive option. A glass greenhouse can also prove difficult to keep heated in the colder months and tough to keep cool in the summer months as glass is such a good conductor, heat and cold just pass through.
The major alternative to glass is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate sheets are lighter than glass and far less prone to breakage. Sunlight penetration through polycarbonate is less than achieved with a plain glass cover however, but as light diffuses through the sheets, plants are less likely to burn under strong sunlight. Single polycarbonate is as attractive as glass but the real value in polycarbonate comes from the double or triple thickness sheets which have an in-built air space between each sheet and can save a lot of money on heating costs.
Fiberglass is a lightweight solution which allows roughly the same amount of light to pass through as glass but is less aesthetically pleasing and is prone to staining over time.
Heating, Lighting & Ventilation
Depending on what you want your greenhouse for, you should consider the associated heating, lighting and ventilation requirements. For many, the requirements of their greenhouse is driven as much by their pocketbook as it is by any other requirements. The initial outlay is easy to see but hidden costs such as heating, lighting and cooling requirements are often overlooked. By chosing the right greenhouse in the first place you can often cut down on such costs - remember - glass and metal are conductors and are therefore harder to heat during the winter months which can prove costly if you are prone to long, cold periods. A lean-to greenhouse attached to the side of a building can, with a little bit of forethought, make use of that building's heating and lighting sources potentially saving money on both initial set-up and running costs.
Mark Falco is the owner of ukgardeningsupplies.co.uk - a UK gardening shopping guide featuring cheap greenhouses and more gardening tools, equipment and supplies at low prices from UK online garden centres and nurseries.
Metal Garden Furniture
Since Victorian times metal garden furniture has become a popular way to decorate gardens. In fact, since this furniture can easily last for many years with the proper maintenance, some people are still using pieces in their gardens that were made in the Victorian era. Metal garden furniture adds both a classic style and durability, which demand that it should be considered as the preferred choice of garden furniture.
Landscape wallpaper can be a great addition to your computer's desktop. Since most of us always have our PCs running, it is refreshing to see a beautiful masterpiece on the display when the computer is not in use. You may even be able to download landscape screensavers as well.
How do you make those flowers bloom where they are planted and not go overboard and how do you make your turf stick to its own turf and not edge into your flower beds, borders, and garden spaces? Lawn edging is the answer!
5 Simple Steps to Care For Your Push Reel Mower
Though most Push Reel Mowers made today are durable, they do require some basic care and simple maintenance in order to keep them running smoothly. Taking the following steps will ensure you have years of use on your push reel mower. Wipe the blades clean after each use. This helps prevent moisture from the grass from staying on the blades and causing (over time) rust, or dulling the blades. You can use a cloth, brush, or small towel. Periodically oil the moving parts. Do this before your first cutting of the season, then periodically throughout the season if it looks as though the mower needs it. This helps the moving parts to continue to work smoothly. Clean the yard of debris before each use. This helps the blades maintain their sharpness by not having to "chew" on small sticks. Check for, and tighten any loose parts. Do this at the beginning and end of the mowing season. This helps ensure you don't lose any loose parts in the lawn while cutting. This is a rare occurrence but an inspection of the mower is simple, fast, and could be worth it in the long run. Watch what you're doing! Don't bang the mower into fence posts, rocks, or other immovable objects while cutting since this may damage the mower and/or the blades. It's better to either move the object, or, use an edger after you've finished mowing. If you follow these 5 simple steps, you will ensure a long and productive life for your push reel mower.
Planning Permission Tips UK - Landscaping Schemes - Do They Add Value-Is It The Chicken Or The Egg?
Have you noticed how everything looks great at the moment - in the garden and parks I mean. Everything seems in bloom, full of colour and life. This is a great time of year for biking as well but that's another story.
How and When to Plant Roses
When spring comes and the ground is thawed, it is time to start planting your rose garden. Roses have been a cherished aphrodisiac since biblical times. They have been around for over 3000 years, yet they still hold a particular mystery and fascination, not to mention the fact that they just look and smell good!
Lady Bugs Are Your #1 Natural Pest Control
First, this bug has many names. Some of it's names are:
How to Rid that Lawn of Thatch!
You know that brown patchy debris in a lawn that accumulates on top of the soil but below the grass line? That's thatch.
Garden Benches - What They Are
Putting in a flower garden or any garden for that matter takes time and dedication. However, the result is gorgeous color, magnificent fragrance, wonderful foods to eat, and an overall sense of accomplishment. Therefore, why stand back and admire your garden from afar when you can use a garden bench to be closer. The great thing about garden benches is that they can be any size and made from just about any material. For example, a garden bench can be made from scrap wood lying around the house, logs, wrought iron, concrete blocks, marble, rock, granite, railroad ties, and so on. You could easily take a few pieces of old scrap lumber or a nice big log and create a quiet place to sit. If you want something more elaborate for your garden bench, you can purchase one already made or have one built.
What is Compost Tea?
Organic gardeners all know compost is fantastic stuff. But now, there's something even better and that's compost tea. If you start with a good compost you'll have a versatile elixir for all your garden needs. Compost tea helps prevent foliage diseases and at the same time increase the nutrients to the plant and shutdown the toxins hurting the plants. It will improve the taste/flavor of your vegetables. So why not give this tea a try either by buying it or brewing it yourself. You won't believe the results!
June Gardening Tips
These are just a few gardening tips for you to consider here in late June. Many people seem to think that just because all the plants have been put into their places for the summer and your perennials are blooming, or past bloom, there is no more work to be done. The garden is full of multi-colored flowers, so there must be little or nothing to do. Right? No, there is always work that may be done.
Funky Garden Plants 2
What's a perennial garden plant that blooms in the winter? A hellebore! It is an outdoor plant that is shocking to see blooming sometimes in the snow. There are many varieties. They are perennial which means they come back year after year.These are best planted in shady areas, but where they will get sun in the winter, for instance under leafed trees or something of that nature. What is so unusual about hellebores is that they bloom somewhere between Dec. and March. There are very few plants that do that! One variety is called a Christmas Rose. These plants usually must be puchased at a nursery. Check out your local nursery for this wonderful family of plants.
Pruning the Backyard Grapevine
Proper pruning of your backyard grapevines is essential to maintain vine size, shape, and yield of the grapes. If you don't prune your vines, they will become unruly, tangled messes. Fruit ripeness will suffer. Overproduction of the vine may lead to premature death. It is also one of the harder things to visualize but one of the easier things to accomplish for the home gardener.
Bird Baths in Your Yard
Lap Pools ? Great Exercise Inside Or Any Size Backyard
Do you love swimming? Do you dream of an in ground pool in your backyard; but you just don't have the room for it? If space is an issue; in ground lap pools allow you the exercise you desire for any size backyard. They are so great because they allow you to go swimming and get some exercise in a very small space. It doesn't matter if you own a mansion or have a small backyard. Lap pools are versatile in their style and design and you can configure your own pool to the size and shape of backyard you have. A lap pool was once typically a long and narrow pool and usually only 3 feet deep. Sizes range everything from 6 x 30 to 12 x 44. It was meant purely for the enjoyment to swim back and forth. Health spas or gyms often have these types of pools because they are meant for exercise instead of just recreation. Since they are just for this purpose; more space is needed for these pools, but you can customize them to fit right alongside the house. You can also configure the pool to be an L shape or whatever is needed for your space. If you don't want this kind of in ground pool for doing laps there are other choices available to the homeowner.
Teak Adirondack Chairs
Outdoor furniture constructed with teak wood is a favorite among consumers due to the beauty and durability of the individual pieces. For this reason, a wide variety of outdoor furniture is made using teak ranging from teak Adirondack chairs to classic, formal furnishings.
Choosing the Perfect Landscape Painting
Landscape paintings are a beautiful way to spruce up the decor of your home. Although you can buy cheap reproduced paintings, you may want to consider purchasing an original from an artist to reduce the risk of a friend obtaining the same one. You can even buy one from an undiscovered up-and-coming artist to get a beautiful landscape painting at half the cost.
The Perfect Accent -- Miniature Roses
Indoors or out, you'll find miniature roses very easy to grow. These little guys sometimes get overlooked because they give off little fragrance, yet they can be the perfect visual accent to any home or garden.
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