greenhouse advice needed

i am going to buy a greenhouse, i wanted a 6x8ft but just can't fit it in however much i try, we have a large old brick built bbq which my husband is reluctantly going to knock down (he only built it two yrs ago so i can have a greenhouseimage so reluctantly i will have to have a 5x6ft or thereabouts.

1) will i be able to get much in it? i really want it for seed sowing & taking cuttings, roughly how many standard trays on top shelf will it fit if i stage it all the way around? is that a good idea?

2) i would be happy with horticultural glass but as i have two grandsons 3&11, i think i'll have to go with toughened glass or the plastic stuff (polycarbonate is it)? is the plastic loud when raining & colder than the glass?

it will stand on indian stone paving, is this ok? i have seen some that have a strip of soil down one side, what is the purpose of this?

any other tips etc will be very much appreciated

thanks image 



  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Sanjy, any greenhouse is better than none and 6 foot by 5 foot gives you thirty square feet of ground space. on top of that staging all round gives another level then shelving will give even more space for pots trays hanging baskets. How will it face N. S. E. W.  Mine is South facing so the North wall is shelved in tiers though I do have a shelf on the South wall. On the floor under staging is a good place for bringing plants on in other words used properly there will be plenty of room. Unless you grow Tomato's peppers cucumbers Melons the green house will be empty once all the bedding is out, my way is to have staging in Autumn to Spring then take one side out it comes in handy for potting or putting plants on outside. Think about it, read some greenhouse books then make it suit your needs.


  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,164

    Hi Sanjy, sound advice there from Frank. I have a 6ft x 8ft greenhouse in a garden that's about 25 yards by maybe 10. I should think my GH could cater for a garden much bigger as in the time i've had it (February 2015), I've near enough filled the garden with mainly perennials and biennials all grown from seed.

    A 6 x 5ft gives you lots of potential and you'll soon find your having to give plants away. Mine has toughened glass which bumps up the price a bit but what price the safety of your grandsons? 

    The stone paving sounds like a good base as long as it's fairly level. The strip of bare earth down one side is for growing veg I believe, my own floor is completely slabbed cos I'm not a big veg grower image

    Like Frank says, take your time over won't ever regret having a greenhouse.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 719

    We have a small greenhouse, and it has staging all around. You can really only stand in the middle under the apex, so staging makes sense.  It's a bit tight spaced, we really need somewhere else for small tools, pots and non plant items to make the most out of it.  It could do with a little more ventilation in it than just the door.

    When the OT researched, she said that plastic in some ways was better because of light refraction and insulation, though it's not quite as attractive.  Given the space I think I'd have a poly-tunnel!

    Last edited: 27 May 2016 00:34:35

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    thank you everyone !

    The greenhouse will face more or less south, having it's back against a 5ft garden wall. I definitely won't be having horticultural glass as i'd be constantly worrying about the shards of glass with my grandsons if they should break it by accident. I do have a potting shed for tools,pots & compost so i guess that's a bonus but i am already outgrowing that! good to know what the soil bit is for, i won't be growing veg so i won't need that. The garden is pretty level so i think the base will be fine then.

    I've done quite a bit of research already but you can't beat first hand knowledge as to the pro's & con's.I asked about the polycarbon regarding noise/insulation really because i have that or similar on a lean too and it makes such a racket when it rains and also it's like an oven in summer and freezing in winter and wondered if that would also apply to a greenhouse?

    I hadn't considered a polytunnel due the aesthetics, my garden isn't massive and it's very cottagy, to be honest i'd rather make one out of old windows as they look nicer but practicality is more sensible, i will definitely have the auto window vents and a sliding door as it's pretty windy, the sea is across the road. 

    this is my ideal greenhouseimage

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 719

    I think I'd rather sit in that greenhouse!

    If you have the wall there, why not a lean to?

    Sounds like the hubby loves building things, a project awaits!

    Having said that, we were going to buy a second hand greenhouse, people are always giving them away on free-cycle etc, then we saw an end of season sale item (the frame) in one of the diy centres for next to nothing.  Glass was surprisingly expensive, but was cheaper to buy and get cut from a glass centre/shop.  Not sure if they could do the toughened glass, and at what sort of price.  Maybe it's worth getting a quote.

    I'd be more worried about the kids putting a ball through the greenhouse, or ripping their faces on roses than the glass hurting them.  But it doesn't hurt to be cautious.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 719

    We bought Omar shelving units from Ikea for the staging:

    That cost more than the greenhouse!  But most staging I see for sale is flimsy and expensive.

    We are happy with the result.

    Last edited: 27 May 2016 10:24:38

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    i know me too wayside, too expensive to make out of new wooden doors, you would need say an old school being demolished to get the old style doors, love it.

    the staging shelves are ideal from ikea, do they rust?

    i might make them out of old pallets, yes my poor husband i'm always piling up jobs for him to do, the bbq area is quite large so it has to go image we can put a bbq anywhere really, most of the time i have a giant paver over the top of the bbq and have plants piled on it so it's almost a greenhouse already without sides & a roof image i would like a second hand greenhouse but did wonder at the cost of replacing the glass with toughened, one came up for £80 with all the staging but i missed it & i have email alerts on trash nothing if one comes up on there, that cover freecycle and some other free sites too.

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,236

    I read this the other day and watched the video linked in one of the posts. Talk about a labour of love. I'm not suggesting it for you sanjy but perhaps something on a smaller scale. Keep an eye on gumtree and local auctions for doors if you decide to go that way.


  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,164

    I went for toughened glass only because we have two dogs who charge up and down the garden. The day I finished the glazing, our border terrier came inside for a nose at the same time as I let fall a bag of compost. He can be very flighty and went to run out of the door but hit the glass section to the right.

    The force of him hitting it knocked it clean out as the spring clips gave way. It clattered on the concrete outside but didn't even chip. No shards falling and best of all a stunned but otherwise unhurt dog. That's the advantage over horticultural glass and over polycarbon it has more weight making the greenhouse more stable in gale force winds. Of course the other two are cheaper and we all have budgets.

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    good point fishy, i also have a dog (i forgot about him) who likes to have a mental run around the garden once a day & the weight of the glass makes sense to make it more stable. thank you, all very helpful info

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