Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 1
   February 2012
   A Beginner's Guide to Greenhouses

Beginner's Guide to GreenhousesBeginner's Guide to Greenhouses
Who doesn't dream of having a beautiful greenhouse such as this one?

When it's cool outdoors, I love to walk through an old greenhouse and feel the warmth around me. Slatted wooden benches, a hard-packed dirt floor, rusty heating pipes and, of course, plants all add to the pleasure. Throw in an old chair and a cup of tea and I'm a child again, back in my uncle's greenhouse watching his tomatoes grow. It's the all-pervading earthiness, combined with nostalgia-inducing fragrances that evoke these feelings. To me, a greenhouse is such a comfortable place to be.

Around this time of year I begin to think, boy, it sure would be nice to have a greenhouse in my backyard. I do have a small one, but it's just something I knock together in April to hold seedlings prior to planting, little more than a glorified cold frame. So, why don't I have a real greenhouse in my back yard? I'm not sure. Just haven't got around to it, no space available, not cost effective. These are the usual excuses, but they aren't very strong ones.

Making the Commitment
I know I'll be looking closely at all the greenhouses on display at the spring garden shows. I'll also be asking all kinds of questions and carefully considering the pros and cons. After returning home, I might even venture into the garden with a tape measure to size up suitable locations. I do this every year, but somehow the commitment is lacking. Part of the problem is that it's a conundrum. If I use space in the garden for a greenhouse, where would I plant all the extra stuff that I'd be sure to grow in it? I barely have room now.

And so it goes. Maybe you aren't trouble by indecision and are happily planning for a new greenhouse. If so, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

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