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What with the price of fresh fruit and vegetables these days I for one am trying my hardest to grow as much of my own fresh food as possible, in fact, I’ve been trying to grow my own food for a few years now. I have my hand in an allotment, shared with a friend, which I grow potatoes, onions, cauliflowers, turnips and cabbage, although it did take a few attempts to get the hang of growing my own food. So, after growing what I consider to be rather tasty vegetables I decided to try my hand at other foodstuff, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and maybe even dabble in some herbs as well. To do this I needed to get myself a greenhouse of some kind, but I didn’t want to get something that was going to overwhelm the bottom of my garden. So, after a good look around, I came across one which I thought would be ideal for a ‘beginner’ grower like myself, and, for me and my garden, could be the ideal size. The one I opted for was the 6ft by 8ft Edan Acorn greenhouse with the option of a base and toughened glass. Although I chose not to get the base and stuck with the standard glass due to the fact that it would be stuck at the bottom of my garden and out of stone throwing reach.
When this was delivered to my doorstep, or more to the roadside as this was as far as the delivery people would take it, I set about dragging it through into the depths of my garden, together with the help of a friend, (thanks mate). When we got it down to where we were going to erect it I checked that everything was there and read through the instruction booklet, which seemed a little daunting at first but became clear as I began to construct the glass beast.
I won’t go into detail about the parts that come in the pack as the instruction booklet gives a list of those parts, but, suffice to say, it is best to check that all the components are there before beginning the project.
As I said, the instruction booklet looks a little complicated at first glance but once I got going I was amazed at how simple it actually was to erect using just a few simple tools, these being a hammer, spanners, ratchet or wrench and a cross headed screwdriver, plus a good pair of thick gloves for when I was putting the glass panels into position.
** WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE THEN..?
It looks just like any other green house, being a frame of sturdy metal with around several glass panels, 21 rectangular ones, 6 triangular ones, a roof opening panel and a sliding door, which all join quite neatly together to make a green house to help grow your fruit and veg. The interior has many little ‘slots’ in and around the metal frame work which is for slotting in shelves, creating more space from the floor.
It is quite a good size, although there are bigger ones if needed, but this one is 6ft, (1800mm), wide by 8ft long, (2400mm), others are all 6ft (1800mm), wide by either 6ft, 10ft, (3000mm) and even bigger I think. The height at the apex is 7ft, (2140mm), whilst the height to the eaves is approximately 4ft 4inch, (1310mm), with the door itself approximately 5ft 9inch by nearly 2ft wide, (1777mm x 605mm)
The door slides open and closed and has a nice little handle on it which is easy to grip, even whilst wearing gardening gloves. The roof is braced, (apparently) and comes with a single roof vented section, although, for a price, more vents can be added when ordering, (see EXTRAS below).
** MY OPINION…
For a green house this is quite a good one and I’m actually glad I bought it, even if it did set me back a few quid. To be honest setting it up was a lot easier than I anticipated, but I did get a second pair of hands, in the form of the brother-in-law, to help, which made it a lot less hassle. Then once it was up I was quite surprised at how much room there was inside, although having glass walls and a glass ceiling probably makes it less claustrophobic. The glass panels are well embedded inside the frame and have a cross section of metal going from the top to the bottom of the frame, this seems to help the glass remain more sturdier in strong winds. With the standard glass supplied being good enough for my needs, so as far as I can see there is no need to spend extra on the other glass offers, but it’s a personal choice.
The opening panel on the roof lifts up and down with ease, opening a gap of about 6 inches, allowing the excess heat and humidity that has built up inside the green house to escape, and this is helped if the door is left open at the same time.
Although the instruction booklet recommends placing this on the steal base, which will cost you more money, I have mine resting upon paving stones and is securely bolted to them using some simple brackets I bought from the local DIY shop. When you see the aluminium frame you’ll understand exactly which brackets you’ll need. Then I simply placed some wooden frame work along the edges of the bottom, leaving a walkway in the centre, this is where I have placed a few ‘grow bags’ for growing some vegetables underneath the shelving I have constructed inside. I may, in the future, decide to purchase the base if I ever feel that the anchorage is failing me at any point.
So know I have my tomatoes growing in bags on the stone floor, with a few shelves either side of the door ‘runway’ holding other plants I am attempting to grow. I was going to buy the base for this but once I found the brackets to anchor it down I’m now in no rush to do so, but if you want to spend another £65.00 then get yourself the base. Although I have to ask myself why the company that sell this find it appropriate to sell the base separately just to make a few extra quid. I mean, it’s one thing charging for better quality glass, like the toughened type, but to charge £65.00 extra for a base section is a bit of an insult to the consumer considering that we have just spent a bit of a wedge on the green house itself.
One of the good things I like about this is the lovely little guttering sections that come with it, this helps take any rainwater that falls, (and in Britain that is quite a bit), and direct it, via the short down pipes, which can be extended, into a water storage unit you may have, like a water butt or even an old dustbin. Thus, giving you a good supply of rain water, even on those rare dry days.
** HOW MUCH DOES IT COST THEN..?
The price for this 8ft by 6ft greenhouse isn’t cheap, selling for around the £375 region, but, once erected correctly, it should last quite a few years and aid in you growing of that fresh, non polluted fruit and vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.
** EXTRAS YOU CAN GET FOR THIS GREENHOUSE…
As I mentioned before, this doesn’t come with a base but you can get a steel one if you fork out an extra £65.00, the base will add an extra 120mm to the full height of the greenhouse.
As for the glass, well it came with standard horticultural glass but for more money you can choose different type of glass, such as Polycarbonate glass which will cost an extra £450, or go for the toughened glass for an extra £550. Both these glass panels are 3mm thick.
You can also get another roof vent added for around £20.00, plus, you can get other venting methods added for between £19.00 and £30.00, or really go posh and get a louvre window added for a mere £55.00. All these must be asked for when initially ordering the green house as adding them at a later date may not be possible.