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Lukas Leonte

Where to Build Your Greenhouse

A greenhouse is an easy choice for anyone looking to take their gardening to the next level. They bring in tons of benefits, such as protecting your plants from the elements and extending growing seasons.

Today, it has never been easier to build your own one in your backyard. But, where to build your greenhouse is a reasonable initial question to ask.

Where to Build Your Greenhouse
Photo by Kaja Reichardt on Unsplash

So, we’ll walk you through 12 things to consider when choosing your greenhouse location. If you want to learn more about greenhouses before diving in, then check out our full guide to greenhouses.

12 Tips for Choosing Your Greenhouse Location

Solar Pathfinder

You’re certain that you’re straight on permits and licenses for your greenhouse, right? If you’re at the point of breaking ground on your greenhouse but don’t know where to do it, then these tips will provide some clarity.

1. Availability of the Sun

As a rule of thumb, exposure to sunlight should be your primary concern while choosing a spot for your greenhouse.

Low light means less photosynthesis process, which means low food reserves for the plants, causing them to slow down the growth and prevent blooming. If you can’t find enough natural sunlight anywhere in your proposed greenhouse location, you might resort to artificial lighting or consider an alternate greenhouse site. Pro tip – choose the second option.

2. The Garden’s Microclimate

greenhouse microclimate
Mother Earth News

Every garden has its own small-scale climate with unique conditions. While picking a site, keep the fact that hot air rises and cold air sinks in mind. Also, if you have a relatively damp area with poor drainage, avoid placing the greenhouse there.

Not only will it cause plants to rot and suffer from mold, but it can also damage the structural integrity of the greenhouse frame itself. If you have no choice but to build your greenhouse in a less than desirable location, then consider a humidifier or dehumidifier to get your moisture levels right.

3. The Ground Level

While a perfectly level ground isn’t critical for the plants, it’s essential for insulation against weather and pests.

When picking a good spot to build a greenhouse, make sure that the area is level and flat. Doing this eliminates bad water drainage and structural damage. Additionally you won’t have to deal with the hassle of leveling the ground under your greenhouse before setting it up.

4. Orientation: North or South

greenhouse orientation
Arcadia GlassHouse

If you’re planning to grow plants throughout winter and all year round, the best orientation for the greenhouse maximizes sunlight during darker months. To do this, keep the greenhouse’s roof ridge in an east-west orientation with the sides facing to north and south.

However, if you’re planting winter plants in summer, the opposite orientation for the spot might be better. A nifty possibility would be building in an L-shape that allowed for both types of adequate sun and shade.

5. The Surrounding Area

The the area surrounding your greenhouse is always an important factor to consider. Make sure that there aren’t any tall trees around the greenhouse that can block the exposure to the sun. 

Of course, surrounding plants are necessary for breaking the wind and providing the plant with some shade, but too much shade is never a good thing for plants.

6. Air Flow and Circulation

greenhouse fan circulation
Advance Greenhouses

Although the greenhouse is meant to protect the plants from the elements of weather, such as strong wind, it’s fairly crucial that it still provides decent circulation for both the plants and anyone inside.

Make sure that the greenhouse spot has at least 3 to 4 feet of space to allow the air to pass easily through the vent and protect the plants inside from circulation.

7. Safety and Security

A greenhouse with a broken glass panel is rendered obsolete. If a possible area for the greenhouse construction is also a spot where young family members go out to play, chances are you’ll end up with a broken panel. Breaks like this can be dangerous to everyone – plants included.

Unless the panels of the greenhouse are shatterproof, always make sure that the spot you choose is away from the regular outdoor spot. Do note that certain plastics avoid this issue to an extent as they’re less prone to breakage.

8. Closeness to Sources of Contamination (Pest Pressure)

Pest Pressure greenhouses
Produce Grower

If you have an area that is highly suitable for a greenhouse but has been noticeably attracting a lot of pests, it might cause you a lot of trouble to build your greenhouse there. 

Also, if you or your neighbor is growing other plants near the site, make sure that you create a buffer zone between them and the greenhouse to prevent pest infestations.

9. Room for Expansion

One of the things that can impact the choice of the spot is the room for expansion. Is this the only greenhouse you’ll need in your garden, or are you planning to expand after some success?

If that’s case, you have to make sure that you have immediate enough space around the greenhouse that’s adequate for your addition. 

10. Utilities

greenhouse utilities
California Lightworks

A greenhouse might operate without the need for any utilities. However, modern and automated gardening may require various commodities, such as heat and water supply. 

Always make sure that the ideal spot also has access to your water system and electric coverage.

11. Accessibility & Priorities

Accessibility means a lot of things at the same time. To explain, there might be a very suitable spot in your garden in terms of sunlight availability, air circulation, and north-south orientation, however, this spot is out of reach from both water and electricity.

In this case, always prioritize the good spot for light. After all, you can supply the greenhouse with water manually or extend your utility coverage to that spot – natural light is tougher to replace.

12. Type of Plants You’re Going to Grow

greenhouse plants
Nature and Garden Nature and Garden

Some people think that the point of a greenhouse is to grow whatever you want, however, you still need to keep the plant type and growing conditions in mind while choosing a spot in your garden.

In fact, this aspect might have an impact on some of the other ones, such as the sunlight availability. 

Some plants don’t need as much exposure to the sun or prefer shady areas in the summer, so they have to place their greenhouse within a deciduous area. 

Build My Greenhouse Where?

That concludes our list of all the factors and aspects you need to keep in mind while choosing the ideal site for your greenhouse.

As you can see, before knowing where to build your greenhouse, you need to consider the purpose of having one in your garden or farm as well as the surrounding conditions.