Updated: Sep 25, 2019
In 2017 we decided to buy and build a greenhouse. In a series of follow-up posts I will detail the steps we took to prepare the site, purchase, build, and begin growing with our greenhouse. Here you can find a few simple suggestions to get started!
Here in Boulder, CO we have approximately 144 frost free, or growing, days a year. For plants with shorter days to maturity, like calendula, which takes just 65 days to produce flowers, this season is adequate. For slower growing plants like dahlia (which can take up to 120 days to begin producing flowers), it can seem like the moment the flowers start to bloom, a frost kills all your hard work and anticipation. A greenhouse serves to extend the growing season on both ends. I begin growing in my greenhouse the 1st of March and won't stop growing until the 1st of November. Essentially, this gives me an additional 120 days of growing season, almost doubling what I would have naturally!
In follow-up posts I will go into much greater detail on how we use our greenhouse and what we actually grown in it. For now, let me recommend a few good places to start:
A Must Read: I highly recommend the book Greenhouse Gardener's Companion for a detailed overview of gardening with a greenhouse, including designing your greenhouse, heating and cooling options, and what and how to grow in your greenhouse.
Where to buy: Believe it or not, we bought our greenhouse on Amazon! Seriously, one night, after about a month of drooling over greenhouse pictures on Pinterest and with the help of about three glasses of wine, we bought our greenhouse with one click! I will detail how we chose our specific greenhouse in a following post but here are a few links to options similar to ours: This one is the same layout but a bit smaller than our 120 sq. ft. green house: 80 sq. ft. Victorian Greenhouse, and this one is closer in size at 116 sq. ft. but comes with a portico. Both are imported by a company called Exaco. Located in Texas the company's owner is from Belgium, where the greenhouses are imported from. I know this because they will personally call you to schedule delivery and when I simply could not figure out how to mount the door, the lovely Belgian-Texan face-timed me through it! I found that given the free shipping with Amazon Prime, it is significantly cheaper to buy them on Amazon rather than directly through the company but please, shop around for the best option for you.
If you have unlimited funds at your disposal, seriously consider buying a greenhouse from Hartley Botanic. They are amazing, and they come out to your site and build the greenhouse for you. In a future life I will have one of these, but for now, the one my husband and I bought on Amazon and built ourselves is a dream come true! Even if you don't have the funds, I highly recommend you request a catalogue, it is seriously gorgeous. Happy planning!