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A woman pots flowers in her greenhouse, illuminated by mellow sunshine

Greenhouse Gardening: Benefits and Downsides

If you’re considering taking your garden hobby to the next level by investing in a greenhouse, read this first. While there are many benefits to owning a greenhouse, there are a few drawbacks too. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Pro: Different Types of Greenhouses for Every Need and Budget

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing the perfect greenhouse. They range in size, design and even temperature, allowing you to find the right style to meet your needs.

  • Cold houses offer the bare minimum of protection against the elements, but allow you to start growing earlier in the spring.
  • Cool houses have basic heaters that prevent the interior from dipping below freezing.
  • Warm houses are a good choice for growing a variety of plants over winter.
  • Hot houses are specialty greenhouses that allow you to grow tropical plants.

A greenhouse can be as simple as some plastic sheeting over a flexible frame or as complicated as a purpose-built glass and wood structure.

Con: Finding the Right Space

You can’t just plunk down a greenhouse anywhere in your yard. The greenhouse needs level ground and a certain amount of square feet–not always easy in small or uneven yards. You also need to consider water and power access.

The biggest thing amateur gardeners forget to consider when placing a greenhouse is light. Your brand-new greenhouse should get full sun, particularly in winter when the days are shorter. However, if you build it during the winter when the trees are bare, you might underestimate the amount of leaf cover you’ll get in the warmer months.

Pro: Year-Round Growing

Obviously, the big draw of a greenhouse is getting to grow seasonal produce all year round. If you do a lot of food gardening, a greenhouse could pay for itself by providing fresh fruits and veggies for your family.

You can also turn your greenhouse into a money maker by growing cash crops, such as cut flowers. In addition, you’ll be able to extend your growing season by starting plants much earlier in the year and then transplanting them to garden beds.

Con: They’re Not Cheap

The main reason people hesitate to build a greenhouse is cost. Not only can the setup costs be steep, but maintenance isn’t cheap, either. You’ll need to repair and maintain the greenhouse structure. In addition, the juice to run heaters and lights will likely cause your electrical bill to go up. You’ll be paying for extra water, too.

Is it worth it? Only you can decide if a greenhouse should be part of your garden design.

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

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