If you plan to raise flowers, herbs, vegetables, or fruiting plants year round, I highly suggest you invest in a good greenhouse that will not only provide protection for your plants, but also protects you against the environment while you tend your plants.
Make sure the structure is safe and sturdy. There are greenhouses on the market that will do fine in calm days, or in areas where there is no heavy snow or harsh sun beating on them. Put the same structure in a decent Santa Ana wind and you will see them rattle, shake, and fall apart in a hurry. There are good DIY plans out there that will meet your needs, and your safety requirements.
Your structure should feel comfortable to work in. No matter how sturdy, safe, or beautiful your greenhouse is, if it is not comfortable you won’t want to spend much time in there. Make sure it provides plenty of room for you and your plants, and room to move around. You shouldn’t have to squeeze through plants or have to step over them to get to other areas of the greenhouse.
Your greenhouse should be ventilated. A permanent greenhouse will go through the coldest and hottest days of the year. If you can’t easily get rid of the heat build-up, you and your plants will be very miserable in there. There should be a window or vents that can be easily opened and closed.
Easy access to power and water is also important. I highly recommend you properly wire your greenhouse and ensure you have safe access to power where you need it. If you have to pull an extension cord from your house to the greenhouse, make sure it is kept off the floor and away from water, including potential spills.
Another thing to keep in mind is storage space. Set aside an area in your greenhouse where you can store tools, fertilizers, and anything else you might need while working on your plants. Speaking from experience, it’s no fun to have to go back and forth, trying to find the right tools you need while working on your plants.
Be sure to check with your city’s Building and Safety Department to find out if you need permits for your greenhouse. Some cities have minimum size required for building permits and if your greenhouse is below that size, you won’t need a permit. Most cities will require permits for any electrical work done in the greenhouses.
If you’re considering an aquaponic or hydroponic system in your greenhouse, give us a call before you purchase so you can be sure to buy the right size to to protect your new system.
Southern California Aquaponics