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Best Position for a Greenhouse – Where to Site a Greenhouse

One of the things people often forget is to give enough thought to where they are going to put their greenhouse. The correct situation of the greenhouse will make a huge difference to its utility for you.

Planning Permission & Security

Greenhouse Position

Not the ideal place to put a greenhouse; shaded by trees and bushes

A normal garden greenhouse will not usually require planning permission but a lean-to greenhouse on the house may possibly be counted as part of an extension or there may be rules on positioning a distance from the boundary. If in doubt, call your local council who will tell you exactly where you stand.

On the allotment, it will depend on your individual site’s rules. Again, just check with your site rep or manager, who will be able to give you guidance.

Both on the allotment and in some gardens, you need to consider security. Some kids just love the sound of breaking glass and throwing stones over the fence is an easy sport. So consider the position and if there is a real threat and you cannot site out of harm’s way, plastic glass may be the best answer for you.

Allow room to get around your greenhouse. Trying to fit a new pane of glass in a confined space is not easy and if your greenhouse is by a path, try to set it back to allow plenty of room to get past with a wheelbarrow.

Light and Shelter

You need as much light as possible so site the greenhouse away from buildings and trees or bushes. Apart from shading your greenhouse, leaves will get into the gutters and sticky honeydew dropping from insects in a tree above your house will foul the glass causing dirt and grime to stick causing more problems.

Avoid north facing slopes because the light will never be as good as your want.

Whilst you want to be some distance from trees, hedges, fences etc, these can also be useful if they are between the house and the prevailing winds. Reducing wind will really help keep the temperature up in the key times of spring and autumn and avoid the risk of your greenhouse being damaged in a storm.

Avoiding building at the base of a slope as these are often frost pockets where cold air collects in a layer. This will cause your greenhouse to be colder, defeating the object.

Level ground is best, avoiding water running into the house and making construction easier.


Ensure the land is well drained because this will enable you to cultivate the border soil at any time of year without it being too sticky.


The ideal greenhouse will have water and electricity laid on, even gas if you want central heating, which I have seen in some greenhouses. So do take the availability of services and how you will run them to your greenhouse into account,

Orientation of the Greenhouse

Some say North to South and some say East to West but for the average home greenhouse it doesn’t really matter, so don’t worry about it. The exception is, of course, a lean-to greenhouse where the ideal is to have the wall on the North side but even a North facing greenhouse is better than no greenhouse

Conclusion on Siting a Greenhouse

Often there’s no perfect place to put your greenhouse. It’s a compromise between conflicting factors. The thing is to avoid the worst pitfalls. Even a badly placed greenhouse is better than no greenhouse at all!

Greenhouse Growing, Coldframes etc. Further information

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