Planning and Configuring Glasshouses and Greenhouses Before Purchase
Because glasshouses and greenhouses provide an exceptional investment over time, it is worthwhile to start planning ahead and get things right, so Nature can perform well on your behalf. People often wish they had chosen a larger model so go for your maximum!
The following topics are covered:
Most experts recommend pots!
Insect mesh curtains
Rain water harvesting
Choosing a site and wind protection
Click for feeding and watering options
Edenlite Ltd supports organic and sustainable principles. Please let us know about your own experiences.
Most experts recommend pots!
Growing directly into the ground-level soil inside a glasshouse or greenhouse is hard work. Soil management is much easier in pots and goes well with trickle feeding and/or drip irrigation. Whatever growing medium is used in your pots is usually renewed every 12 months.
Misting, sprinklers and hoses can cause mildew, mould, dampness and excessive humidity which all promote disease so are best avoided. Feeding and watering in pots is a good water conservation method.
The ultimate is the Autopot System. We recommend every gardener has one. The results are amazing and satisfying as you are working with Nature and allowing the plant to control its own uptake of mineral-rich nutrient.
Eden also has a range of dripper kits.
Plenty of air movement is very important for healthy plants. Eden glasshouses and Eden greenhouses come standard with the correct ventilation for cooler geographic areas.
In warmer areas allow two ceiling vents and two wall louvres for every 1.2 metres of length.
In hot areas, we recommend planning your glasshouse to have door both ends.
The guide for hot areas is 20% of the floor area for ceiling and 20% for wall aperture size total. Eden glasshouses come standard with manual louvre openers and auto-openers on the ceiling vents.
Eden greenhouses have manual opening louvre and ceiling vents which both have auto-openers as an optional extra. (Auto-openers are little cylinders that open with heat and close with cold).
You must protect your plants from getting too hot and too few doors/vents/louvres causes overheating and plant damage.
In warmer areas doors/vents/louvres can be left open day and night.
Air circulation is essential, and planning the correct location for ventilators and louvres can stop plants from overheating, while also encouraging growth.
The intensity of the midday midsummer sun can cause,
- Plants getting sunburnt
- Plants overheating
Our Eden Greenhouses from Israel all have twin opaque polycarbonate panes in the ceiling so they do not normally need exterior shade cloth. (contact us if you do want exterior shading on your greenhouse)
Our Eden Glasshouses have a time-honoured exterior shade cloth kit as an optional extra on all glasshouse models. The standard shade cloth is white. This kit can also give some frost protection over winter nights.
Interior Shade Net
Both glasshouses and greenhouses can utilize the white 1.8m x 1.2m shade net curtain TT90S which clips to the inside of the ceiling frame.
If possible have your glasshouse or greenhouse running East/West on longest length. This means that the long side will be facing North to catch maximum winter sun.
The more concrete flooring or pavers the better as these act as night store heating. If you are using pots, then this is ideal to have the whole floor in paving. When you have prepared the ground surface, always lay several layers of thick black plastic sheeting onto the ground to insulate the paving.
It is also a good idea to stack pavers in each corner as this is where the cold penetrates from two sides. In warmers areas you may wish to consider wooden flooring.
The following three options require power either from a solar panel with battery or a connection to your household electricity.
10 Watt propagator heat pads make a marvelous difference to seedlings germination and growth. Then the Autopot has a heated cap plus table, one metre by 700mm that holds 40 pots for auto-feeding.
Lastly you can install underfloor bathroom heat pads underneath the concrete or between two layers of pavers. Use 1000W per four square metres and set thermostat to 10 degrees over winter and this will keep the chill at bay.
The number one natural method is dishwashing detergent (not dishwasher) such as Ecowash. Spraying a solution of this once per week onto foliage is a good deterent. This is not a poison but kills insects and spiders by upsetting their breathing. If necessary spray more often.
If this is still not enough, there are good sprays such as Beat-A-Bug and also Yates have some natural options.
The next section is on insect mesh curtains, but these curtains do reduce the airflow/ventilation.
Insect mesh curtains
Insect mesh curtains are available for doorways, ceiling vents and wall louvre openings. You may also need to use our shade net interior cloth cut into strips to roll up and place inside bottom of eaves on greenhouses to insect-proof the gap. These curtains have self-adhesive velcro loop strips for you to apply to the four sides of each opening. Then the loose baggy ‘curtain’ has velcro hook strip around its edge. The doorway curtains have a velcro undo/do-up vertical strip in the middle for entry/exit.
The powder coating option does not apply to the polycarbonate greenhouses. On the aluminium glasshouses, the aluminium will never rust so powder coating is purely asthetic but it looks terrific. You can consider brilliant white, matt black, grey friars, Karaka dark green or there is a wide range of colours you can choose from. Please allow six to eight weeks for our Production Department to complete this.
Rain water harvesting
Tap water may have chlorine added which you can filter out if you wish. We can do a kit on any of our glasshouses and greenhouses for you to collect rainwater, but we find not very much water is collected. You are normally better to redirect some downpipes from your house to fill up plastic drums (and then overflow to your normal drain). Ideally keep the drums on a plinth so you can gravity feed from the tank with a hose.
The ultimate water conservation system to be kind to the Planet is the Autopot System.
Planning your aluminium glasshouse foundation
Eden Aluminium glasshouses come standard with a strong base kit which comprises a 100mm high aluminium sill plate complete with anchor brackets which are normally sunk into the ground with concrete. This kit keeps everything level and square for fitting the glass and includes correct door size to avoid a doorstep.
Consider 100×100 wooden beams to make very low planter boxes outside the glasshouse base which look terrific with low growing plants and flowers. The anchor legs can also be used to flush mount the frame to a concrete pad.
The last option is to have the whole glasshouse higher on a feature wall made of brick, stone, schist rock or wood.
Contact us if you are planning to incorporate a feature wall as we will design the door to fit.
Please also review the chapter on protection from winds before concluding final landscape plan.
The assembly instructions include all final details you will need,
Planning your polycarbonate greenhouse foundation
All Eco Grow and Grand Gardener greenhouses come with an integrated base frame. This base frame then needs to be held to the ground.
Our recommendation of the best method is laying down wooden posts 100 x 100 or 120 x 120. Particularly the Eco Grow benefits in height if a 3 post high base is constructed. These will make a step over at the door but they look really good and give protection against mowers/trimmers etc.
The other option is concrete either a complete concrete pad or in-ground concrete piles approximately 300 x 300 x 300 deep. Concrete piles go in each corner and on larger models with sides three metres and longer, a side wall pile every 1.5 metres.
The assembly instructions include the final details you will need.
Eden has a good range of plant benches for inside your glasshouse or greenhouse. The 2 tier green polycarbonate benches are compact and useful. The aluminium benches are available in 1200 and 1800 sizes. These are also made from the highest quality Comalco aluminium, that will not break down over the course of the warranty. Make sure that, when planning your purchase, to include at least one of these, as they are an essential part of any garden.
The Autopot System needs a raised position for the tanks to gravity feed the plants.
Hanging baskets can be very effective so Eden hanging clips are available.
Start small and basic on your accessories and then branch out later as your own Garden of Eden evolves.
Choosing a site and wind protection
Planning the location of your glasshouse or greenhouse carefully is essential to avoid any high-wind areas. Usually there will be some obvious locations on your property that would suit glasshouse and greenhouse placement. Full winter sun is useful but not essential. Some salad vegetables will still grow well in lesser light. Gale force winds may not come very often but strong gusts must be reduced by a wind break to slow the buffeting force down. Some shrubs such as feijoa bushes are ideal situated one metre away from glasshouse wall and kept trimmed to the same height as the glasshouse wall. For starters a wind cloth fence can be erected to give the shelter plants a good start. This can also look really nice and help set the greenhouse as a feature plus reduce cold winter winds chilling the glasshouse. If you are constructing a wind break fence with wooden palings, please ensure there is a 15mm gap between each paling.
Make sure your insurance policy covers tornadoes etc.
Put thought into surrounding landscaping options and areas of interest. There are excellent landscape architects available to give advice.
Consider having a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ where more than one glasshouse and greenhouse are enjoyed. Maybe three.. a Herb Haven, a tomato and cucumber factory, and one to have table and chairs, potting bench, flowers plus interesting plants and unusual vegetables.
Keep in mind this purchase will give you many years of satisfaction if planning is done carefully and thoughtfully.
30 years full warranty on Eden Glasshouses.
10 years full warranty on Eden Greenhouses.
Eden always treats our customers generously if some misfortune strikes. One customer had a goat that managed to get their goat house rolling down a hill which eventually got stopped by the glasshouse.
All parts are held in stock and anything defective is replaced free of charge.
All parts for glasshouses and greenhouses are maintained at reasonable prices.
We keep our customers going on this very enjoyable journey of growing pleasure.
There may seem a lot of detail to consider but it evolves easier than it may sound, however, planning your purchase carefully is essential when buying a glasshouse or greenhouse.
It is worth it to get things how you want them as this is a year after year of on-going harvest and achievement!
As to whether to choose a glass and aluminium glasshouse or a polycarbonate greenhouse, simply go by your own preference as they are both high quality options that will add value to any garden.
All the best.
Visit us on Facebook here.