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posted: 1/6/2013 5:00 AM

Things to consider before adding a greenhouse

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Many men and women with a passion for gardening hope to one day have a greenhouse they can call their own. Though greenhouses are a great place for gardeners to hone their crafts, they can also be quite expensive, and there are some things gardeners should consider before building a greenhouse.

• Size: A greenhouse can be grandiose or small in stature. The size of a greenhouse depends on the gardener and the amount of property available. Larger greenhouses can be breathtaking, but the homeowner in you might not want a greenhouse to dominate your entire property. In addition, if your planting plans are relatively modest, a bigger greenhouse probably doesn't make much sense.

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• Cost: Greenhouses can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Price should not dictate which greenhouse you buy, so if you want a large one but can only afford a small one, then it might be best to keep saving money until you can afford one that meets your needs.

• Use: If you plan to use the greenhouse just during the standard gardening seasons, then you won't need to heat it. However, most greenhouse owners want to use the greenhouse year-round, in which case you will need to heat the interior. In addition, those want to keep gardening during the dog days of summer will have to ventilate the greenhouse. Consider the use and the potential cost of a year-round greenhouse before making your decision.

• Location: The greenhouse will need to be in a place on the property that gets lots of sun. Before buying or building a greenhouse, choose an area on the property where plants will thrive. If that area is currently used for something else, ask yourself and those who share the home with you if converting that part of the property to a greenhouse is something they can all live with. You don't want the greenhouse to be a burden or negatively impact your family's quality of life.

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