The Q&A Archives: Greenhouses for Northern gardeners

Question: I would like to get your recommendations for attached greenhouses or sunrooms that could be used year-round in zone 4. A mention of resources would be helpful, as well as a short list of absolute necessities such as a heater, misting, etc.

Answer: There are so many factors it's hard to answer your question. <br>We just built a sun porch last year, facing mostly west, and here in northern Vermont it's really too cold out there most mornings, even in mid-summer, and it cools down really fastonce the sun sets. We're thinking of insulating it....<br><br>You'll need to decide if you want to keep the greenhouse separate from the main house, with just a door, or have a whole wall removed and essentially extend the living space. <br><br>Whatever you decide, if you plan to grow year-round, you'll need to be able to keep it warm, but also to ventilate it when it gets too warm. If you aren't at home a lot, you might want an automatic vent that will open during the day as necessary. Afan will help increase air circulation, minimizing disease problems. You'll need a way to water--a watering can for just a few plants, perhaps a hose attachment for a larger indoor garden. You can buy misting wands for your hose.<br><br>There are some great greenhouse planning books available; I'm looking at one called "Greenhouse Gardener's Companion" by Shane Smith (Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO, 1992). You might consult with a specialist; I know a person locally that consults withand designs greenhouse add-ons; you <br>might have someone like that in your area. It's an expensive project, so I'm sure you want to do it right!

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