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Advice on buying a greenhouse or potting shed?

(18 Posts)
walkingtheplank Sun 10-Jan-16 21:27:49

I am thinking of getting a greenhouse or potting shed but am not sure which would be best or what I specifically need to look out for. If I explain my situation can someone give me some tips?

- I am not a massive gardener but suspect this is in part because of the faff of our current arrangement.

- we have no back garden storage – everything is in the garage that we can only access from front of house. Having said that, I don’t want to use greenhouse/potting shed to store all of our garden equipment or I fear I won’t use it as I won’t be able to get into it (need to ensure DH understands this).

- at the moment I can’t grow anything from seed as there as is nowhere to do this. I’d like something for seed trays.

- I’d have more patio pots if I had somewhere for more tender plants to go over winter.

- I’m going to put the building at bottom of garden. There isn’t much space so it will have to be small so not sure what layout is best inside.

Any pointers for me please?

walkingtheplank Sun 10-Jan-16 21:34:18

And I have a football mad son so I'm guessing plastic rather than glass windows.

TheNoodlesIncident Sun 10-Jan-16 23:03:15

Are you thinking of something like this? There are single sided ones or double sided available. You can raise seeds and store all your trowels and potting compost. I wouldn't recommend greenhouses and football together tbh, potting shed at least has less glassed area to worry about, or you could ask for perspex glazing if that's preferable.

walkingtheplank Sun 10-Jan-16 23:13:08

Yes, that's a possibility. I have just been watching a video that indicated that toughened glass would be better than plastic.

Ditsy4 Sun 10-Jan-16 23:16:49

Some places make a shed one side and a greenhouse the other end. I wish I had got this instead of just a shed.

walkingtheplank Mon 11-Jan-16 13:00:14

Oh yes, I saw a lovely hybrid one but it was rather large for the spot and rather expensive. Having said that, I think you can go too cheap and it be a false economy.

shovetheholly Mon 11-Jan-16 14:29:38

This is a really obvious point, but think about the practicalities of a hybrid in terms of the direction your site faces, as this will make a huge difference.

In terms of shed planning, I think the practicality of a hybrid depends to a very great extent on how much stuff you have and how disciplined you can be about not acquiring more. If you can't move around windows, they aren't much use for potting. Width might be as important as length here.

walkingtheplank Mon 11-Jan-16 14:40:59

Yes, this is a dilemma. Facing towards the house makes the front side south facing so not sure if I want the door to be at the front or the side. However, I like the idea of a wide space with space for potting on both sides. No idea how disciplined we can be. I think DH will try to add equipment. He did say how nice it would be to not have to lug stuff round. However, this is MY shed, not his!

shovetheholly Mon 11-Jan-16 17:30:32

Honestly, I would plan it like you would plan a kitchen (but I am ever so slightly obsessive about my greenhouse and shed! grin).

Work out a list of the stuff you have to go in there, and draw out a plan on graph paper with them sized roughly. Things like wheelbarrows, lawnmowers take up more space than you might think. You'll be able to hang some tools etc on the walls (and Ikea do some amazing, robust shelving and boxes) but you may find a foot extra on either dimension makes the difference between somewhere cluttered and rubbish and somewhere you can actually use. It's the size of the path between the potting bit and the storage side that might be quite critical.

Have a think about dampness as well. One of the things I don't really understand about these hybrid sheds is how this is dealt with. My greenhouse gets really wet. Even over the last few weeks, when it's been relatively cold, the windows have been running with water. Plants respire, and that makes dampness - and you will be using this over the winter if you're housing tender things in there to get them through the cold. I am not sure I would want to keep stuff like power tools or electrical gear, or indeed anything that would rust, in that kind of environment. I'm not sure even how pressure treated timber would stand up in the longer term against it, either. (As I say, I've never had one of these sheds so maybe someone else who has can answer these questions!).

Since you do already have a garage for storage, I think in your shoes I might be tempted to look at a back garden store for tools you immediately need and a separate greenhouse. Alternatively, is there any way you could punch a hole through the walls of the garage to get access from the back?

walkingtheplank Mon 11-Jan-16 18:10:12

Unfortunately can't knock through from garage - there is a room (that I'm sat in now) between garage and garden.

Doing a plan is a great idea!

funnyperson Tue 12-Jan-16 00:22:44

Stable doors are good.
Some companies do free installation
this has a shed and a potting area

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 12-Jan-16 00:29:19

I need want a greenhouse but DP (who never even goes in the ruddy garden) insists on keeping the stupid rickety glorified shed 'summer house' which currently only houses the lawnmower (which he never uses because I do it all) and we haven't got room for both.

I hate him


shovetheholly Tue 12-Jan-16 07:21:40

I think I would be tempted to give said summer house a shove. With an axe. And then say, all innocent, 'Oh look what the wind did'.

walkingtheplank Tue 12-Jan-16 18:14:52

I love that first one funnyperson. Not right for us but I do love it.

walkingtheplank Thu 14-Jan-16 11:30:24

As I'm typing there is a man in the garden measuring up for doing work to the garden, including constructing the potting shed. As we're using it as a green house, he suggests not having a floor so that we can grow plants straight in the ground. This is normal isn't it? How does that work in practice? Am a bit worried about that aspect. Can't imagine actually doing that.

walkingtheplank Thu 14-Jan-16 11:36:29

He's also mentioned having a raised bed nearby as our soil is so rubbish (thick clay).

seventhgonickname Sat 16-Jan-16 23:50:43

If you're going to plant into the ground then you need a greenhouse ,with a shed you will not get enough light but you can start crops earlier as the soil will be warm.Also get the largest greenhouse that you can fit on your site as you always need more space than you think.A willow hurdle or fencing panel will protect from footballs and need only be used when needed.We have raised beds and clay you could make bricks from but manure,grubby play sand from when dd was younger have improvedit no end and they look nice!Also keep an eye for cheap coldframes also great for starting plants in pots.

shovetheholly Mon 18-Jan-16 08:29:47

YY to what seventh says above about needing a greenhouse to plant into soil. I would add that you will almost certainly want a floor and more dryness in anything that you use to store tools!

I am cautious about growing into the ground inside a greenhouse. I know lots of people do this, successfully, year in and year out. My reservation (and I say this as someone new to greenhouse growing and therefore inexperienced) is that your structure is going to be there very permanently, but using the same soil to grow the same crop over and over again is likely to build up problems with disease. You'll need to keep refreshing the soil to avoid this, which may be a tricky job where space is a bit tight. I opted to use pots or growbags instead. It just seemed easier.

For your raised bed: clay is a great soil for growing veg. Just add loads and loads of manure and compost, and perhaps a bit of horticultural grit if it's really bad and it'll be perfect. I used to garden about a mile from a clayworks - and the soil lifted out in massive chunks that you could virtually throw straight onto a potter's wheel. It was fine after a couple of years of heavy mulching in this way.

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