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Greenhouses - how big is too big?

We moved house last year from a 200-year-old cottage with just a courtyard (no garden) to a townhouse with a 33' x 16' garden...not huge by any stretch of the imagination but a garden nonetheless!

I used to have a large allotment with a polytunnel, which I do miss but getting another allotment is not practical, so I want to include a greenhouse in the new garden but I am worried about what size to choose - too small and it will soon be outgrown but too large will overtake the garden.

Having scoured the internet for advice, all I seem to see is get the biggest you can afford -  if I choose a 6' x 8', I will soon be disappointed at the lack of space for growing so an 8' x 10' is a better size...but does this sound too big for my size garden?  

I have seen an 8' x 10' greenhouse that I really like image 

I mainly want to grow salads, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies and melons in the greenhouse and outside a mix of a few veggies in amongst some flowers...cottage garden style.

I would be very grateful for any advice



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551

    it'll never be too big for gardening. 

    Why not lay out some canes to the same size as the proposed greenhouse sizes and see how you feel about it?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551

    In the words of Alan Titchmarsh. 

    "Two things in the garden which can never be too big: your greenhouse and your compost bins"

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,638

    I agree.  8 x 10 sounds reasonable to me - experience of an 8 x 6 and feeling cramped - so stake it out and see.   You will still have plenty of space left for seating, eating, watching the birds and bees visiting all the luscious plants you will still have room for in what's left.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,420

    I think you answered your question 8 x 6 is to small I would agree. I had an 8 x 6 and upgraded to a 10 x 8 it feels twice the size allow it isn't. Maybe powder coat it Green or other, it won't draw the eye the same as a shiny aluminium greenhouse. 

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,462

    It's not far short of twice the size, and the usable space probably is twice the size.

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    I agree, if you can afford it go for as big as you can fit. Bear in mind that a lot of the total 'footprint' of a greenhouse is going to be in the space you need to leave around it - adding a few extra square feet can give you a good % increase in internal growing area with a relatively small increase in the amount of the garden devoted to it.

    Also consider roof & eaves height - smaller greenhouses can be low as well which really limits space for e.g. climbing tomatoes.

    A larger greenhouse also needs relatively less path space compared to a small one.

    Also think about staging - do you want built-in or moveable, and on both sides or just one.

  • donnag67donnag67 Posts: 2

    Thanks so much, that's all been really helpful image 8' x 10' it is...powder coated in Antique Ivory (probably...but silver sage is also very nice...decisions, decisions!!!). 

    I will have some integral staging...would it be best to have it along the longest side? It seems the logical thing to do

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462

    I have an 8'x12 'lean-to greenhouse and I chose to have the staging across the ends, with double doors in the middle of the long side.  That gives me 16' of staging, with a shelf above on one end, with the middle flagged and the back wall to grow things on - or it could be a greenhouse bed. Because the middle is a large square space there is plenty of room to stand growbags, or pots for overwintering or growing on, or decorative ones by the door, which you don't have with a narrow central pathway. Also room for a chair, which is niceimage

  • LoanaLoana Posts: 427

    My greenhouse was a freebie, it is 8'6' would have loved bigger but it does us well, I also have a 10' x 20' net poly tunnel, it has been up 10 years now, very good for growing salads etc in as the pigeons can't eat them, you will love your greenhouse, aym is right, i had two cucomber plants last year and they grew the whole length both sides, above the toms ? How exciting for you, keep us posted with your progress...

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