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How to Choose the Right Size Greenhouse for Me

There are several things to consider when choosing the right size greenhouse, as they come in all shapes and sizes.

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So, you want to buy a greenhouse, but before you jump in and purchase one, take time to determine what size greenhouse is right for you and your garden.

There are several things to consider when choosing the right size greenhouse, as they come in all shapes and sizes. For example, what type of plants are you planning to grow? Do you need an all-year-round greenhouse? A key factor is how much room you’ve got for a greenhouse, including the choice between a freestanding one or a lean-to one.

6x4 Rhino Premium in paved garden area

If you’re just starting with greenhouse gardening, you might want to start a bit smaller and upgrade at a later date. Established greenhouse gardeners may want to get a bigger version or a second greenhouse. At Rhino Greenhouses Direct, we have a wide range of greenhouses from Elite, Swallow and our own Rhino, so let’s shop.


Width, length and height

When you know where you will locate your greenhouse and have measured out the plot, you will know how wide and long a greenhouse you can look at. Freestanding greenhouses start around 4ft and can go much bigger, like our Rhino Premium 12x16 greenhouse. Most come with pitched roofs with ventilation windows and sliding or opening doors.

If you’re a keen greenhouse gardener, the wider the greenhouse you opt for, the more space you’ll have inside for staging, shelving and even beds on either side for growing vegetables. The same principle applies to the length of the greenhouse, similar to the Rhino Premium 12x20 greenhouse.

The higher the apex of the greenhouse, the more light will flow in. Ideally, opt for a minimum of 5ft in height. However, if you intend to grow plants that will climb up the walls and apex of the greenhouse, you may want to source a taller greenhouse.


Greenhouse shape

Unless built to a bespoke design, most greenhouses are available in three shapes:

  • Apex. These are usually freestanding in a rectangular or square shape. Because of the apex roof, plenty of light enters the greenhouse on all sides. They are ideal for any gardener and can be located anywhere in the garden. If you don’t have a large garden, you can still get an apex greenhouse, like the Rhino Premium 6x4 greenhouse.
  • Octagonal. Also freestanding, this shape is often connected with Victorian gardens and can make an elegant, stylish addition to your garden. Although they take up more floor space than apex greenhouses, they provide a bigger growing area.
  • Lean-to. Although lean-to greenhouses use less space and are ideal for small or courtyard gardens, as they stand against a wall or fence, less light flows into them.

The size of your garden can determine the shape you opt for and the type of plants you want to grow. If you intend to grow more sensitive plants, fruit and vegetables or those that need lots of light, choose an apex or octagonal greenhouse that will allow plenty of light in.


Greenhouse material

Most greenhouses are made out of wood or aluminium. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Aluminium:
    • They are lightweight and strong.
    • A more slimline structure that creates fewer shadows.
    • Easy to maintain.
    • Available in different colours.
    • Last longer than wooden greenhouses.
  • Wood:
    • More natural appearance.
    • Can be painted in different colours.
    • Bulkier structure.
    • Need regular maintenance.

As well as the greenhouse frame, there is the glazing to consider and there are a variety of options.

  • Safety glass. This is toughened safety glass that is shatterproof and doesn’t degrade in the sun’s UV rays. Toughened glass is a popular choice and ideal if you have children or pets.
  • Polycarbonate is lighter, and can be a better insulator. To prevent it from degrading in sunlight it can be UV coated. However, there are drawbacks in that it can scratch easily and is expensive.


Greenhouse ventilation

All greenhouses come with a door; some are sliding doors; others are opening doors. But you also need to consider the windows. Larger greenhouses often come with side windows, which can be louvred, and roof windows. With the weather in the UK getting hotter, particularly during the summer months, the more ventilation the greenhouse has, the better.

There’s much more to choosing a greenhouse for your garden than buying the first one you see. So, as well as the above advice, here are our top tips:

Pick a site in your garden that offers sun and shelter throughout the day, and convenient access.

  • Select the shape and size of the greenhouse for your garden. If possible, opt for the largest greenhouse you can.
  • Choose the glazing that fits your budget and the plants you want to grow.
  • Make sure it has plenty of ventilation options.
  • Don’t forget your greenhouse accessories, like staging, shelves and seed racks, a potting bench, raised beds, heaters, window blinds and water collection butts.

Rhino Greenhouses Direct has a wide selection of greenhouses in all shapes and sizes. Choose from aluminium or wood structures, safety glass or polycarbonate, blinds and shades to keep out direct sunlight, greenhouse fans and rainwater collection solutions, and other accessories. Need more help? Contact our friendly team to guide you.

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