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Choosing & Preparing your Greenhouse Site

Selecting Your Greenhouse

How to Select & Prepare Your Greenhouse Site

The greenhouse should be easily accessible and careful planning will help map out the provision of your utilities including electricity, water, heating, ventilation and cooling. A southern exposure is preferred, and greenhouse experts recommend that the top ridge of the greenhouse run from east to west. During the winter months, this angle will provide the maximum sunlight exposure for your greenhouse.
For dormant or resting plants a minimum of six hours of light is required. Grow lights can be installed to supplement natural light in order to meet the requirements for your greenhouse.


Many greenhouse bases are optional. You can purchase a greenhouse base if available, or you can build your own using rot resistant or pressure treated wood.
PRESSURE TREATED WOOD NOW REQUIRES A 10MM POLYETHYLENE BARRIER BETWEEN WOOD AND ALUMINUM SILL TO PREVENT CORROSION OF ALUMINUM. (This requirement has resulted from a chemical change in the way pressure treated wood is processed.)
  • A hobby greenhouse under (100 sq. ft.) can be fastened to a 4" x 4" or 4" x 6" treated wood timber foundation.
  • For a larger greenhouse a 6" x 6" beam is recommended. Wooden timbers can be stacked to increase the height of the greenhouse.
  • For a more permanent site, concrete slabs or concrete footings may be installed.  Bricks or masonry blocks may also be used, but ensure the top bricks are closed off, so it a flat surface to fasten the greenhouse to.
  • All foundations must be level and square for easy installation of the greenhouse structure.
  • Check your local building codes regarding site requirements and to determine whether a building permit is required.
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