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So Excited.... First Ever Greenhouse!

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by Irmemac, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Irmemac

    Irmemac Gardener

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    I'm getting my first ever greenhouse for my birthday next month! It will have to be small, as our upper limit will be around £250, but after careful thought I think it will be polycarbonate. The neighbours all around have toddler boys, and I'm going to need something that will (hopefully) endure repeated accidental football assaults without hitting them or me in the wallet.

    I don't have the faintest idea yet what to start with, but I have grown tomatoes previously on a window ledge so am hoping to try them next year.

    Any ideas, tips or suggestions would be very gratefully received. I am ridiculously excited!
     
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    • Spacemunkey

      Spacemunkey Gardener

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      I had my first ever greenhouse this year it's an 8 x 6(wish I'd ordered a 10x6 lol) I've grown tomatoes and cucumbers and a variety of chilli's. The best advice I was given was to grow directly into the soil rather than using grow bags or pots
       
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      • Zigs

        Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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        Nice one :)

        You'll need to open the doors/vents when the sun is out at this time of year :phew:
         
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        • Spacemunkey

          Spacemunkey Gardener

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          I've just been watering my plants and my two thermometers are showing it's 32c already and it's only 08:00 am
           
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          • Irmemac

            Irmemac Gardener

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            Thank you! Advice gratefully received.

            I was considering 6x4 or 6x6. 6x8 would be my preference but is likely cost prohibitive. It's great to hear what you have enjoyed growing in your greenhouse Spacemunkey.

            Never thought about growing directly into soil.... that will be very useful to know when prepping the base for it.

            Beginner's question: would I keep the doors and vents open all night too? I have a dreadful slug and snail problem here.

            32c? Perhaps I could offer tropical holidays to my greenhouse as a nice little earner!:ideaIPB:
             
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            • Spacemunkey

              Spacemunkey Gardener

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              I leave my vents and door open at night and I've had no problems with slugs or snails. I think this is due to the extreme temperatures we are experiencing at the moment
               
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              • Spacemunkey

                Spacemunkey Gardener

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              • Spacemunkey

                Spacemunkey Gardener

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                This is how I built my greenhouse, I done a concrete foundation for two courses of breeze blocks. The foundations are slightly wider than the blocks which allowed me to dig the soil within the foundations to plant stuff
                 
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                  Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
                • ricky101

                  ricky101 Gardener

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                  I was going to say that with a budget of £250 you will be looking at the second hand market, but its seems you can buy New polycab 8x6 greenhouses for under £250 on Ebay etc though no idea what the quality is like ?
                  8x6FT Clear Polycarbonate Garden Greenhouse Aluminium With Slide Door Grow Plant | eBay

                  Think I would try and find someone who has one of them and how they stand up to the weather.
                  The thin polycab sheets are known for blowing out as they can be very flexible.
                  Are you in a sheltered location, if there is such a thing in the west of Scotland ?

                  Consider also that the more common , better make (?) of greenhouses normally charge a £160 premium for polycarb glazing.

                  Perhaps a secondhand stronger model might be a better option, though finding one with polycarb might be a challenge.

                  Agree that you should go for as large as you can get, plus the 8x6 is the most popular size and therefore usually best value.

                  Two top vents in a 8x6 is best and auto openers really worth every penny, a bottom louver with auto opener also very good.

                  Growing in the soil boarder, always a debatable point, you have to replace / refresh the soil every few years as pest and diseases can build up; six of one /half a dozen of the other :smile:

                  What to grow, anything you like ! toms ,cucs, aub, peppers, early and late salad, and then all manner of hobby flowers... just tune in to Beechgrove every week for more ideas :)
                   
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                  • Pop Alexandra

                    Pop Alexandra Apprentice Gardener

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                    So cool! Looking great... may more follow.
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      Great news Irmemac, I can feel your excitement.

                      Definitely worth setting up a search on ebay and look for something bigger and local ones with toughened glass, you'll be surprised how cheap they go for. I have just bought one myself for a quarter of the new price, the ebayers had moved into a new house and were not gardeners, it was practically new. I have been searching for a few months waiting for one that matched my requirements and was withing easy driving distance, but it was a super bargain. It did cost me £80 to hire a van though.

                      I also have a smaller greenhouse I got for free from non-gardening friends when they moved house. That is an 8 X 6, it fitted in our family car so no additional van hire cost but needed a couple of trips.

                      It's also worth looking on freecycle/freegle but I know they go very quickly when advertised.

                      It will be good to take your time, as with my new one it is too late now to erect it and get much benefit for this season. Mine won't be going up till the Autumn so plenty of time to plan for all the things that need doing: choosing the site, orientation, base preparation and if important to you: water and electrics. I have an old hose coming in from a water butt to drippers inside so it waters automatically when I'm on holiday.

                      As ricky says get at least two top vents with auto openers. Keep the door open in weather like this, I do close mine at night and during the day put a fly screen across purely to keep out unwanted pests (neighbours cats and squirrels!). Mine has reached 40C this week even with shading on.

                      Yes slugs and snails are an issue but you'll find inside a greenhouse you can reduce their population to a manageable level. You can never eliminate them fully. They find their way in smuggled under pots brought in from the outside rather than crawling through the open door.
                       
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                        Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
                      • CanadianLori

                        CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                        Try for one of these. Palramapplications.com look at polycarbonate units

                        The 6x4 would fit your budget and I can guarantee these are not like the twinwall jobs where panels can blow out. I had to take mine apart to add louvers and had a tough time doing it. You can hit it with a rake and it won't break. I've had 1 for 5 years, one for 4 and the last is only a few monthes old. All have the same quality and stand up. I added accessories after the fact because I purchased them as my piggy bank allowed.

                        Whatever you choose, you will have lots of fun :)
                         
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                        • Redwing

                          Redwing Wild Gardener

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                          Get the biggest you can afford. Whatever size you decide on it won't be big enough. I would agree with the advice above about planting directly into the greenhouse soil. When I had one (don't have one now as we've moved) Mr Redwing made a level concrete base for it to rest on and kept the whole centre clear. You could use bricks. Then we made a brick path down the centre. For awhile I had some staging but decided ground level was better.

                          I don't know how durable the polycarbonate ones are. I would worry that it could blow away.
                           
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                          • CanadianLori

                            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                            @Redwing the polycarbonate greenhouses need to be anchored so they won't shift with strong winds. I didn't realize that glass ones don't need any mèans of securing to the ground. Interesting :scratch:
                             
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                            • ricky101

                              ricky101 Gardener

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                              Think you misread things :rolleyespink: all greenhouses need to be secured down :)

                              Glass might be heavier, but a good gust of wind can still easily move it.

                              If using long sheets of polycarb etc I find it better to install a support piece every 2ft just under the sheet so it cannot bow heavily and pop out during a storm.

                              Irmemac - if you have a suitable wall, also consider a lean to greenhouse; they are taller and offer a much easier space to work and grow things in for the same footprint; my toms are against the warm wall and already 8ft tall !
                               
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