How to buy the best greenhouse

Greenhouses are a great investment for your garden and are not easy to move or replace once installed. That is why it is important to choose the one that suits your needs.

Whether you want a small greenhouse to protect trays or pots of young plants or prefer a larger, free-standing greenhouse with enough space to grow fruits and vegetables indoors, our expert guide will explain everything you need to know.

Read on to find the best greenhouse materials and cases for best features, accessories and heaters, as well as our top tips for building greenhouses.

Or go to our guides Growing vegetables.

Types of greenhouses

We will discuss the pros and cons of some of the most popular types of cashiers:

Detached greenhouse

Most people choose 6 x 8 foot or 8 x 3 foot free standing greenhouses. Usually square or rectangular with a brown roof. You can get them in different sizes and they let in light from all four sides.


  • Can be placed anywhere in your yard
  • Let’s shed light on all four sides
  • Lots to choose from
  • Can be spacious enough to work indoors

bad choice

  • Can lose heat much more easily as all four sides are visible
  • Unlike an attached greenhouse, you have to find a way to generate electricity

Tilt to greenhouses

Consider using a back or side wall for a built-in greenhouse. The initial cost is similar to a freestanding model but it takes up less space and you only need access from three sides. It is also cheaper and easier to maintain heat.


  • The building offers wind resistance
  • Maximizes unused space
  • More energy efficient

bad choice

  • Not much space to grow different plants
  • Fewer pages for light

Small greenhouse

A small greenhouse is like a glass showroom that stands on a patio or under a window, with a house wall or garage as protection – perfect when space is limited. It protects bowls or pots of young plants from spring-frozen and stimulates the development of frontier crops such as peppers. Ideally, a small greenhouse should face east or west. Plants facing south are overheated in spring or summer, except shady and north-facing plants are only suitable for shade lovers.


  • Ideal for those who have limited space
  • Cheaper than a large greenhouse
  • Most can be stored when not in use

bad choice

  • Plants can be difficult to care for if you have difficulty walking
  • Limited growing area

We tried many greenhouse tomatoes to grow them. Read everything you need to know how to grow tomatoes in our expert guidelines

Greenhouse frame made of wood or aluminum

Most greenhouse frames are made of aluminum, but wooden greenhouses are also available and many gardeners find them more attractive, although they require more maintenance than metal frames.

Aluminum greenhouse

Aluminum is the most common material used in greenhouses, which means you will be spoiled for choice. Here are some pros and cons that need to be avoided in different shapes and sizes and for all types of budgets.


  • Options with budget
  • A wide range of shapes and sizes
  • Sustainable
  • Choose from a range of powder coated colors, including green, brown, black and blue
  • Ordinary silver is maintenance-free
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble
  • Provides a small shade for maximum light to reach the plant

bad choice

  • You will need to purchase special mounts to attach bubble wrap or screen materials
  • It can be difficult to expand
  • Insulation can be bad
  • Usually you need to add your own strong and solid foundation

Timber greenhouse

Tree greenhouses are less common and usually cost more than their aluminum counterparts. By choosing the right type of wood, you prevent a greenhouse that is prone to decay. A soft like Deal (pine) is prone to decay even though the wood has been treated.

Naturally durable wood – usually western red cedar – can mature into a silvery brown color. The appearance is a western red cedar greenhouse hard to beat. Look for manufacturers who offer a guarantee against decay. Here are some pros and cons that need to be avoided.


  • Tends to be more in tune with the yard
  • Can be colored in any color
  • Ball plastic or sunscreen are easy to attach to the frame
  • Better insulation

bad choice

  • Can be expensive
  • Usually you need to add your own strong and solid bottom – especially to prevent the wooden frame from coming into contact with moist ground.
  • May be susceptible to rust
  • It needs regular maintenance

If the shed suits your needs better, our expert is here Instructions for buying a shed

Can I buy a plastic greenhouse?

Glass is the main glass material in greenhouses, hence the name “greenhouse”. Horticultural glass is cheap and easy to replace. However, if you are concerned about breakage or safety, you can go to a plastic greenhouse.

Plastic greenhouses have double-walled polycarbonate panels. Polycarbonate greenhouses initially let in enough light for plants to grow, but over the years they can become cloudy and not age well. Tempered glass is a better choice, especially if the greenhouse is visible.

Tempered glass or safety glass is stronger than horticultural glass and if it breaks, the pieces that form will not be as sharp. Choosing this option adds about £ 200 to the cost of a small cashier.

Another option is self-adhesive security film. This is a transparent film that is applied to horticultural glass. Then when the glass is broken, the film holds the fragments together. Because the film does not reduce breakage, it can be relatively expensive compared to being able to choose tempered glass to begin with.

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Cheap greenhouses

The cheapest greenhouses are almost always smaller smelters and cost around £ 200 or more.

Anything under 200 pounds is most likely a small greenhouse or refrigerator.

Larger wooden buildings and greenhouses with prefabricated floorboards and accessories can cost anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 4,000.

Case of greenhouses

The size of your greenhouse is limited to what you can fit in your garden. So for most of us, this will be rather humble, especially if you live in the city. Larger structures usually cost more. Even if size does not matter, budget can be too.

Your best advice is to choose the largest greenhouse you can. Width is an important measure as it defines the bench and the corridor.

Most people choose 6 x 8 foot or 8 x 3 foot free standing greenhouses. This is wide enough for the middle path, with shelves for nursery trays and potted plants on one side and a greenhouse edge on the other, so that tall plants such as cordon tomatoes and cucumbers can be planted directly into the ground. .

12 feet wide is a semi-professional width and everything above is typical of business use.

One thing to remember is to make sure that it is easy to get in and out of the vehicle and that you feel comfortable inside (low greenhouses can feel monastic phobia).

If space is very limited, you can opt for a small greenhouse that can be placed under a window or on the wall.

Reviews of garden tools – Discover all the garden products we try.

Greenhouse police and accessories

  • Greenhouse gases For good airflow, you need at least two ventilation ducts in the roof and one on the side. The number of vents depends on the size of the greenhouse. However, you should pay additional fees for additional windows.
  • Automatic ventilation opener – Contains a wax cylinder that expands in the heat and opens and closes when it cools, so you do not have to rely on the ventilator to open and close when the temperature changes.
  • S.To help or stage Greenhouse shelves, also called staging, show plants and provide you with a surface to sow seeds, take cuttings, and so on. Both wood and aluminum shelves are available so you can get the same type as the greenhouse frame. Easy-to-remove staging can be useful if you want to use the floor space later in the season to grow potted plants or to grow bags.
  • Staging with slats – Good for letting light into the lower shelves and promoting good air circulation, which can reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Reliable staging – is required when placing pots on capillary mats to facilitate hydration.
  • shadow – Shadow is important to keep things cooler. Shutters or nets can be placed outside or in the greenhouse or painted over white laundry that looks a bit ugly in the summer but washes off quickly.
  • Heated culture tank or heated pad – Many seeds and cuttings benefit from additional warmth. Look for a model with a thermostat as this allows you to set the temperature you want. Whichever you choose, you will need an external power connector with a grounding device (RCD) to provide the power needed to operate.
  • Low / maximum thermometer By monitoring the greenhouse temperature, you ensure that your plants are not chilled or boiled. You can choose between traditional greenhouse models or electric remote control sensors, which you can conveniently view from home.
  • Modular trays – have individual compartments for a number of plants in the same container and avoid disturbing the roots when removing the plants.
  • Recycled pots – If you are worried about using plastic, look for recycled pots (many garden centers offer these) or use a mold press that is used to create compost for your plants to grow.
  • Clear label – are invaluable in determining what you are cultivating. These can be cleaned with wire or sandpaper at the end of the season so they can be reused. Pencil is the easiest way to mark them.
  • Ceramics – is a handy accessory where you can put barrels and pots in them while you fill them with compost and then just throw the excess compost back into the bag so it does not go to waste.
  • Irrigation system – watering the plants while you are away. You can control this with the help of a barrel pump from the mains or from a rain barrel to move the water.
  • Water time / computer – allows you to turn the water on and off without being there.
  • Self-moving pots – With water tank.
  • Capillary rugs – absorbs water when you soak it and gradually releases it into plants so that the plants can stay moist. However, you need a solid foundation underneath.

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Where should I put a greenhouse?

In fact, there are probably only one or two suitable spots in your garden, so the size of the greenhouse you choose will be limited – that’s why most people get small. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect place for your greenhouse:

  • The greenhouse should be where there is plenty of light but not exposed to strong winds.
  • A sheltered place is fine but do not put it under a tree.
  • There should be access to the greenhouse around the greenhouse for cleaning, as well as space to adapt to outdoor plants grown in the greenhouse (eg space for a cooling frame).
  • Heated greenhouses provide more space to grow more diverse seeds and cuttings at the beginning of the season. The closer the greenhouse is to the house, the more economical it is to connect electricity to it. You must hire a legal electrician to do this.

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Greenhouse heaters

You need an electric heater with a minimum rating of 2kW to maintain a standard 6 x 8 foot greenhouse freezer in most parts of the UK. If you choose gas or kerosene heating, it should be about 20 percent stronger to make up for the heat lost through the open greenhouse gases to let in toxic gases, as well as water vapor and oxygen.

Covering the jar with ball insulation will also keep you warm and keep your greenhouse warm at the end of winter.

Types of greenhouse heaters

Electric heating of greenhouses

If your greenhouse has an external outlet with a ground fault nearby, a thermostatic fan heater is ideal. They are inexpensive to operate and the fan not only helps in dissipating heat but also stimulates air movement which in turn reduces the risk of fungal diseases that prefer calm and moist air.

Greenhouse heating in a gas bottle

If you do not have an electrical outlet on the outside, temperature heating on gas cylinders is a good option. Remember that they are heavier and more bulky than electric heaters. It is also more difficult to turn them on and not have a fan, which can create cold in the greenhouse, especially on the ground floor.

Gas guitars produce water vapor, so you must leave the vents open to release. Otherwise, problems with fungal diseases can occur. Good ventilation also ensures that the stove does not run out of oxygen and toxic gases such as carbon dioxide are released.

Paraffin greenhouse heater

These heaters need to be refilled very often and for safety reasons not much is recommended as they can be easily penetrated and are fire hazardous.

Now compare the price of gas and electricity Which? against, our independent energy comparison website.