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Thread: What type of floor for my new greenhouse

  1. #1
    Babru is offline Sprouter
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    Default What type of floor for my new greenhouse

    Hi, I've looked through the undercover posts and haven't found anything to answer my question - sorry if it's been asked before.

    I will be building a 6x8 greenhouse in the coming months (well, really I'm the labourer, other half is the main man). I plan to grow tomatoes, peppers, chillies at least initially, being new to greenhouses I want to start with mainstream things to see how it works.

    I'm not sure what to make the base from. We've lots of slabs going spare and at no cost, or OH says he could do a concrete base. Alternatively slabs up the middle, with gravel at the sides to sit my quadgrow pots on.

    I suppose I'm concerned with a couple of things: firstly pests and diseases and how easy it will be to keep clean and tidy, and secondly drainage. A concrete base, for example, how does the water drain away.

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    I'd go with slabs down the center and leave earth beds at the sides if it was me - you can always add gravel later, but the ability to plant directly into borders or let plants root through bottomless pots is not to be sneezed at.

    I would use either bricks or a cast concrete sill round the edges so I had something strong and level to set the sides on. I like a bit of extra headroom than what you get with most small GH's, so raising up the sides by 8" or so always appeals to me.

    PS I also like to run a water pipe in through the floor from outside to in, before starting on much else even if it sosn't connected to anything - you will need water inside and odds on the supply will mainly be outside whether its a butt or whatever. worst case scenario you just have a useless bit of pipe in the ground not doing any harm
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  3. #3
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    Four of my GHs have solid floors - concrete or slabs - just because there was no option of putting them on soil. I "build" edged beds around 3 sides, about 2' wide, which are filled with old compost. I grow in bottomless pots resting on the compost or shallow rooted veg are grown in the bed itself.
    There are small gaps between the slabs for drainage.

    Photos at https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ml#post1572735
    burnie likes this.
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    I have my greenhouse on a concrete base that covers the whole area more or less, but it's only there because it was housing an old shed when I moved in to this house.

    I agree with Nick that in an ideal world I would have 'beds' along each side where I could grow things. However, early on in the year I have shelving that can hold all my hundreds of seed trays and tiny pots that then gradually gets moved out in the garden as the plants that remain in the greenhouse shove them out.
    So right now, I have tomatoes up to the rafters in the greenhouse, and two wooden shelves out in the garden lol
    I will definitely combine Nick's advice to raise the greenhouse up by building a base for it to rest on, and I absolutely love VC's idea of building raised beds inside the greenhouse as part of that - thank you both! You've inspired me!
    veggiechicken and nickdub like this.

  5. #5
    Bren In Pots's Avatar
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    I've got a couple of slabs as a path with soil borders, I leave the racking in place and use wooden shelves early in the season after that I grow my toms through them.

    What type of floor for my new greenhouse-cleangh.jpg
    Bren

  6. #6
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bren In Pots View Post
    I've got a couple of slabs as a path with soil borders, I leave the racking in place and use wooden shelves early in the season after that I grow my toms through them.

    Attachment 82324
    Thanks for posting your photo Bren - more or less exactly what I was trying to describe, but much easier to see from a picture.

    PS for anyone siting a new greenhouse, don't forget the orientation and any shade from trees or buildings can also be factors.

  7. #7
    Babru is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bren In Pots View Post
    I've got a couple of slabs as a path with soil borders, I leave the racking in place and use wooden shelves early in the season after that I grow my toms through them.

    Attachment 82324
    I like the idea of using the staging as supports. Obvious really, why didn't I think of it! Thanks very much.
    Last edited by Babru; 04-08-2018 at 05:43 PM.
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  8. #8
    Babru is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdub View Post
    I'd go with slabs down the center and leave earth beds at the sides if it was me - you can always add gravel later, but the ability to plant directly into borders or let plants root through bottomless pots is not to be sneezed at.

    I would use either bricks or a cast concrete sill round the edges so I had something strong and level to set the sides on. I like a bit of extra headroom than what you get with most small GH's, so raising up the sides by 8" or so always appeals to me.

    PS I also like to run a water pipe in through the floor from outside to in, before starting on much else even if it sosn't connected to anything - you will need water inside and odds on the supply will mainly be outside whether its a butt or whatever. worst case scenario you just have a useless bit of pipe in the ground not doing any harm
    Do you take the soil out every spring and replace it?

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