Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

   
Planttalk Colorado™ is sponsored by Colorado State University Extension, Denver Botanic gardens, and the Green Industries of Colorado. For additional information on gardening, see Plant Select® and Extension Publications.

1310 – Hobby Greenhouses: Construction & Foundations   Arrow divider image - marks separation between nested pages that are listed as breadcrumbs.

Greenhouses can be prefabricated or erected from raw materials, and the variety of shapes, sizes, and construction details offer endless possibilities. Before you start construction, thoroughly investigate the local building codes in your city and county to learn about any possible constraints. Also, if you live in a covenanted community, check with the local homeowners association before you begin construction.

Hobby greenhouse

Siting the greenhouse is important for optimal plant growth. Some lots may not allow the flexibility to angle the greenhouse for maximum light-gain in the winter. A southeast orientation or an angle that provides a minimum of three hours of winter sunlight daily is good. Your greenhouse needs protection from the northerly and westerly winds that frequent the Front Range, which may require a windbreak made of plant materials. In addition, greenhouses require utilities, such as electricity and running water. Finally, the greenhouse should be easily accessible from your home.

Greenhouses can be erected directly on the ground with footers placed below the frost line, which is generally three feet along Colorado’s Front Range. Other types of greenhouses may have a portable base plate of concrete, wood or metal. A solid permanent foundation may resist settling better than a portable one.

For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).

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