Greenhouse Buying Guide: Size, Location, Type

A Hartley Tradition Greenhouse
A Hartley Tradition Greenhouse

If you are considering choosing a new greenhouse then hopefully this information will be helpful to you, whether it is your first or an upgrade on your current structure.

Where will I site my greenhouse?

  • Ideally, one long side of your greenhouse should be south facing, so the sun will run along the length of it during the day.
  • Try to avoid a position in deep shade, surrounded by trees.
  • It is always useful to have electricity and/or a water supply into your greenhouse, so consider the distance to run electric cables or a water supply to the greenhouse site.
  • Your Hartley greenhouse is glazed from the outside so you will need access around the sides during the initial build.
  • You should also consider the direction of the prevailing wind onto your greenhouse to ensure good ventilation. You may find this article on ventilation by Jean Vernon useful.

What size of greenhouse should I consider?

‘I wish I had bought a bigger greenhouse’ is the refrain of the greenhouse gardener. Once you have identified your site, then install the largest model you can fit.

A typical small 6’ x 8’ will give scope for a good range of general greenhouse gardening. The Hartley 3 pane length Cottage 6 or Tradition 6 will be the models to consider if this is the size for you.

If your garden can take a bigger 8’ x 10’ model then consider the 4 pane length Wisley 8 or Tradition 8.

For the larger garden the 10’ x 12’ 5 pane length Highgrow 10 will give significant growing space.

All the Hartley models are sectional in length so can be provided in greater lengths, in which case you may then consider internal partitions to separate growing areas.

Please refer to our size chart below for the sizes of our smaller greenhouse range:

6 x 88 x 1010 x 12
3 Pane Cottage 64 Pane Wisley 85 Pane High Grow 10
3 Pane Tradition 64 Pane Tradition 85 Pane Tradition 10
3 Pane Tradition 6 Planthouse4 Pane Tradition 8 Planthouse5 Pane Tradition 10 Planthouse

What type of greenhouse should I consider?

A traditional vertical sided, pitched roof, glass to ground greenhouse like the Hartley ‘Tradition’ model affords lots of good growing light.

The semi-dodecagon shape of the Hartley Wisley and Highgrow models maximises the amount of growing light as the sun moves across the sky, and also affords generous internal height.

‘Planthouse’ models onto low dwarf walls are slightly warmer than glass-to-ground greenhouses, as the brick or stone wall retains heat.

The warmest greenhouses are lean-to models built against south facing walls.

What will I grow in my greenhouse?

A Hartley custom greenhouse
A Hartley greenhouse

The short answer is ‘almost anything’. Consider fitting your greenhouse with bench-height staging and higher level shelving to one side.

An 8’ x 10’ model fitted like this will give you surfaces for early season seed trays.

You will also have one side of your greenhouse to site up to half a dozen tomato plants, or cucumbers and peppers, grown at ground level in bags or pots, or in a soil border.

All our standard models can be adapted for specialist growing. Just ask.

Do I need to consider anything else?

Hartley can build bespoke greenhouses to meet your particular requirements, and can arrange to visit your site to talk over your project.

We can provide all our models with wider doors and adapted staging for wheelchair users.

Hartley offer a range of standard colours which will suit most situations, but can also provide ‘non- standard’ colours upon request. Please take a look at our Greenhouse Colours page for more information.

Finally, your Hartley greenhouse can be custom built to provide for your exact needs – not only for your growing requirements, but also for relaxing, and to provide an escape from our hectic world.

No other greenhouse can compare to a Hartley.

lA lean-to custom greenhouse
lA lean-to custom greenhouse