Wood you believe it? The complete guide to wooden greenhouses
Whether you’re keen to grow fruits and vegetables (check out our veg growing blog) at home or propagate your own plants, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your crops flourish. But how can you make sure they thrive?
One of the best ways to create and maintain an optimal growing space is with a greenhouse - and for style, durability and performance combined, there's nothing quite like a wooden greenhouse, which is why we're helping you pick the perfect one!
What are the benefits of wooden greenhouses?
Wooden greenhouses tend to benefit from a more traditional style of greenhouse architecture. Whether they’re made from traditional timber or a Victorian wooden-style material, they can certainly help to create an attractive focal point in your garden.
Wooden models can be treated to ensure they’re fully weather-resistant, meaning they can be left outside all year round (without fear of damage or rot). There are a variety of different wood treatments to choose from, from wood oil and stain to varnish and paint, depending on the style and finish you’re after.
Much like tunnel greenhouses, wooden alternatives also benefit from an element of portability, as they can be easily dismantled and relocated to a different area of the garden. Because of this, if your wooden greenhouse becomes damaged or breaks over time, it’s relatively simple to fix, as panels can quickly be replaced (even if the original model is discontinued).
How long do wooden greenhouses last?
Wooden greenhouses can last for up to 60 years, depending on the construction material, how it’s cared for, and the climate in which it’s located. It’s no secret that they’ll need regular upkeep, which may involve treatment with a good-quality oil or varnish (typically annually), though this does give you an excuse to freshen it up each year - bonus!
That being said, more and more wooden greenhouses are being crafted from pressure-treated, ThermoWood timber every year, which carries a longer guarantee against weathering and decay (without the need to treat it manually). These are often much hardier than aluminium walk-in alternatives, and are far less likely to warp or crack. Plus, though they’re generally a lot heavier, they’re also a lot sturdier in windy weather conditions.
Additionally, wood has better insulative properties compared to aluminium, making it cheaper to keep warm in the winter. As a material, it tends to blend better with organic surroundings, thanks to its distinctive smell and appealing, natural aesthetic.
What are the different types of wooden greenhouse available?
There are six main wooden greenhouse types to choose from. These are:
- Mini: If you want to grow under glass but don’t have space in your garden to accommodate a full-size model, a mini wooden greenhouse is the perfect solution. They often come with internal shelves, which are perfect for storing compost bags, plant pots, or gardening tools, and also benefit from lockable doors, which help to keep pests at bay.
- Small: Choosing a small wooden greenhouse makes perfect sense if you have limited space in your garden. Their narrow structures mean that smaller gardens won’t be overwhelmed.
- Large: These can be truly spectacular features, making wonderful centrepieces for your outdoor space. Helping to cultivate a large number of crops over the year, they can also be personalised with various paint colours, to fit with your garden’s theme.
- Traditional: With tall eaves and wide window panes, these Victorian-style models look particularly impressive as garden accessories. They’re also capable of letting light in from all sides, making ideal growing conditions for a range of crops.
- Lean-to: Super space-saving, lean-to wooden greenhouses only feature three walls, with an external wall making up the missing support. The cost of heating these models is often reduced in winter, too, because they utilise heat from the building or structure they’re attached to, saving you money in the long run.
- Potting shed: For those who can’t decide between the practicality of a shed and the functionality of a greenhouse, wooden potting shed greenhouses provide the perfect middle ground. Featuring one fully boarded side, which is great for storing extra garden tools, and one fully glazed side (like a traditional glass greenhouse), they receive an abundance of natural sunlight.
Where’s the best place to set up a wooden greenhouse?
The answer to this question often depends on the garden space you have available, and the type of wooden greenhouse you choose. Freestanding models can be placed pretty much anywhere, providing there’s a firm, hard standing area beneath them.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s worth considering the following factors when deciding on a suitable location for your wooden greenhouse:
- Amount of sunlight: If you can, try to position your greenhouse so the longest side is facing south.
- Wind: Look for nearby fences or hedges, as these will provide a natural barrier from the wind.
- Distance to water source: Particularly important if you intend to install a hydroponic system, it's a good idea to position your greenhouse near a water source.
- Trees: Avoid trees that create too much shade, or could damage panelling with falling branches.
- Ground condition: Steer clear of soft ground and areas that are prone to flooding.
Greenhouses for every garden
Check out our full range of greenhouses now to discover the perfect addition to your garden or discover the top types in our greenhouse buying guide.