Where is the best place to put the greenhouse?

Considerations for determining optimum location for growing,
air flow, snow shedding and ground moisture

The first bit of advice we share when asked that question is “Do not put a greenhouse in a place that is not good for anything else”.

You need to pick the best spot to accomplish the goals for your greenhouse. Any of the reasons why this spot would be less than desirable, will come back to haunt you.

This is particularly true when it comes to ground water. If a particular piece of land is always moist or has a very high water table, moisture will be an ongoing problem. A greenhouse will trap and exaggerate excess moisture and become a very unhealthy spot for plants.

If the soil is sub-standard or undesirable where you put the greenhouse, you will be putting extra effort into bringing the soil up to standard.

Proper consideration needs to given to shading on the property. Plants grow in direct proportion to the amount of daily light they receive. Really analyze where and when shade happens. Vegetables and flowers need sun.

A greenhouse needs to be level from side to side so shed snow uniformly. With uneven snow load on a building, it will surprise you how little snow can be a problem. 

Excavation to level a site is usually expensive and messes with the make up of the soil. There are ways to build up the low side if that becomes necessary for the location of your choice.  Some end to end slope is not a problem structurally.

It is generally acknowledged that a north/south orientation will pick up the sunlight better but this is not a serious consideration unless you are into production crops.

If your prevailing winds are constantly hitting the side of the structure, there will be a sideways push which is good to avoid. This orientation will also encourage uneven snow loading. Ventilation is typically easier if the prevailing wind hits the end of the building.

Since the chances of having the “perfect” location, is not likely, it is important to evaluate all of the angles.  Some of the undesirable points can be worked around better than others.

By doing a thorough assessment and then prioritizing, you will be able to come up with the closest to perfect that is practical. You will also have an idea beforehand on what needs to be done sooner than later.

Here is to happy planning and planting.

Properly Venting a Building

Properly venting a building is a critical consideration when planning your building.

Getting rid of the initial ground moisture, quickly, when you have erected your new shelter is something many people do not think of. Quality air changes for plants or animals is something that automatically comes to mind. Getting rid of moisture is equally as important for storing your valuables.

Vent4Since warm air holds moisture and warm air rises, it is important to have venting capacity as high as is possible.

Venting through the roof, with individual turbines or a continuous roof vent, is the most effective but also the most costly.

This is only really necessary when you are in a very protected spot and there is a real need to keep the temperature down in a long building.

vent3Most medium length buildings that have the ends facing into the prevailing winds, can be adequately vented with gable end peak vents.

  • Make sure that these openings are as big as possible and as high as possible.
  • It is also important to make sure your “windows” can withstand the winds in your area.

Our centre pivoting gable vent has filled this requirement very effectively.

  • With part of the window going in and part of it going out, the wind can never get hold of it.
  • With the top and bottom rope through a double pully on the ridge, it is easy to maintain precise control over the opening area

As with all the other considerations, please do not hesitate to contact us with your specific set of circumstances and challenges