Starting Up My Own Greenhouse
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Loretta Martini
Posted on: April 29, 2004

I would like to start up my own SMALL greenhouse outside my kitchen sliding door. I’d like to grow just a few herbs - parsley, basil, rosemary, etc. and some lettuce all year round.

I would really appreciate some advice as to how to do this. I live in Nobleton, Ontario, 40km northwest of Toronto, Canada.

You should consider the exposure of your proposed greenhouse, if you wish to grow such high light plants in it as most herbs. Facing South would be best, but East and West are OK too as long as the structure is not shaded by evergreens or another building.

The next thing you have to consider is doing drawings for the project and getting a building permit. If you do not, you might end up with a stop work order in the middle of your construction! Do discuss and consider the input for the proposed addition with your neighbours and get them on side before you even begin. It will save you no end of time, money and the good will of your neighbours.

Also consider that energy costs are going to increase -maybe drastically. So plan with lots of energy savings in mind, such as double glazing, preferably with two layers of sandwich panels of polycarbonate as this material is hard to break and does not burn. A built- in protective acrylic layer applied in the factory on the outside layer of the polycarbonate will stop yellowing.

Try to have running water in the greenhouse and a drain. Otherwise the chore of watering will soon spoil all the fun. Heaters will have to be water resistant and will be harder to get than those suitable for dry indoor applications.

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