Preparing and installing your greenhouse can be a cinch, or it can take lots of planning and preparation time. If you are planning on buying a portable greenhouse kit, like the Flowerhouse models, little or no preparation is needed. Portable models provide quick setup and take down after a rather short period of use. However, a larger, permanent greenhouse takes more planning, as it will be a permanent fixture in your yard. The instruction manual that comes with your new greenhouse, may not include all of the greenhouse installation instructions and tips you need during the planning stage before you buy.
A greenhouse that is anchored to the ground will almost certainly require a building permit from your town, before installation.
Portable models probably will not require a permit. We encourage you to talk with your local town building department before installing any greenhouse, to identify potential issues and local requirements.
Selecting the perfect site should be tops on your mind, before selecting and buying one. Here are some key things to consider:
Sunlight- You will want to position your greenhouse to allow as much sunlight as possible.
Protection from wind is important with smaller units and those with plastic windows. The ideal placement is a spot in full sunlight, yet on the leeward side of a house, garage, hedgerow, or other objects that can break, or slow, the full effect of high winds.
Proximity to trees- Broken branches could fall and cause damage. This is especially true of a plastic models.
Proximity to your house and/or gardens.
Proximity to power, if you are planning to use electricity inside of the greenhouse.
Levelness of ground.
Height of surrounding ground. The greenhouse should be slightly elevated above level ground for proper drainage.
We tell people that the most important thing about preparing the site is making it level. Raise and level the ground for all models. Appearance says a lot about you and your gardens. Being level will also make it easier to use. Doors and entryways will work better. Worktables and benches will fit better inside.
Cleanup brush, shrubs, and bushes around the site. It will make the whole area, including your new greenhouse, look great. You may also need to trim branches of nearby trees or shrubs to let in additional sunlight. Perform this task before installation…not afterward.
As described above, smaller and plastic walled models need some protection from the full force of high winds.
Always anchor your greenhouse securely to the ground. This prevents damage from high winds. Portable models are usually anchored with long spikes into the ground. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to the number of spikes. Usually, they are included with the kit.
Larger greenhouses should also be anchored to the ground or a foundation in some manner. Use anchor bolts with cement foundations. Large screws or bolts work well with landscaping timber. Many units, like Poly-Tex, Rion, and Juliana, greenhouses have bases. Some are included with the unit, while others are sold separately. So, be sure to check this important issue, before purchase. The bases are buried into the ground with the tops at ground level. Then, the greenhouse is attached to the base as it is assembled.
Important Greenhouse Tip: Never set greenhouses onto the ground without properly anchoring it securely. Or, during the next high wind, you may find it “Gone with the Wind”.
The floors can be grass, dirt, stone or gravel, brick, wood chips, sawdust, or a cement foundation. Select the floor that is best for you.
Regardless of the choice, we recommend that the floor level be slightly above the ground level around your greenhouse. A slightly elevated floor is less likely to get muddy, soggy, or experience water from excess rainfall or sudden snow melt.
Many growers want electricity in their new greenhouses for lighting and heating. The first step in this endeavor is to contact your town and identify the proper codes and requirements. It almost certainly will require an underground electrical cable. We recommend a certified, or licensed electrician to install the electrical work properly and safely.