A sturdy, well-constructed greenhouse will allow a gardener of any skill level to grow delicious fruits and vegetables year-round, no matter how limited the growing season may be. An aluminium greenhouse kit will provide strength and durability that is unmatched by any other material. With the availability of ready-made aluminium greenhouse kits, anyone with the proper tools and materials can erect a greenhouse and begin growing fresh produce right away.
Clear the area of the garden where the greenhouse will be located. Make the ground free of any stumps, branches or rocks. Level out the ground to the best of your ability. A heavy metal rake will allow you to break up any hills or lumps in the ground and redistribute the earth to be smooth and level.
Prepare the base for the greenhouse. Some greenhouse kits come with a base, but if your kit does not come with a base you will need to build one. Dig a trench 15 cm (6 inches) deep matching the perimeter of the greenhouse. Lay a 5 cm (2 inch) base of gravel and set 10 by 15 cm (4 by 6 inch) timbers in the trench. Secure the timbers together at each corner with screws or bolts.
Open the greenhouse kit and lay out the pieces for the sides and gables. Follow the kit instructions to assemble the gables and the side walls. Lift the first side wall into place on the frame and check that it is level. Secure the wall frame to the wood base with screws every 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches), and repeat for the other wall and the two gable assemblies. Most kits will come with pre-drilled holes, but you may have to drill your own holes in the aluminium pieces.
Be sure each side wall is connected to the end walls according to the manufacturer's directions. Some walls are simply bolted together, and others are fabricated with a channel that allows the end pieces of the walls to slide in and lock together securely. Raise the roof ridge into place, running from front to back between the two gable ends. Most kits are designed to allow the roof ridge to slide into place after loosening the bolts on the gable. Tighten the bolts to secure the roof ridge, and bolt the roof struts into place along the ridge.
Install the windows and doors according to the kit directions. Some prefabricated windows slide right into place. Others need to be bolted in or secured with metal clips. Kits vary, and some greenhouses may come with glass or polycarbonate panels or plastic sheeting.
Choose a clear day without strong winds to assemble the greenhouse safely.
Things you need
- Greenhouse kit
- Power drill
- Ratchet wrench
- Nuts, bolts and clips
- 10 cm x 15 cm (4 inch x 6 inch) timbers