If someone were to ask you what greenhouses are for, what would your answer be?
Chances are, you’d tell them that greenhouses are used to keep plants warm and safe regardless of the weather. Because of this, you’d probably assume that greenhouses need as much sunlight as possible.
But is that actually the case? Does your greenhouse need direct sunlight, or is there such a thing as too much sunlight?
Our objective in this post is to help you understand the role of sunlight and placement in greenhouses. Keep on reading to find the answers to the above mentioned questions.
Quick Answer: Do Greenhouses Need Direct Sunlight?
As frustrating as it is to hear, the most accurate answer to this question is it depends. So what does it depend on, exactly?
Well, it depends on the plants you are growing inside the greenhouse. Plants have their own needs, and that includes the amount of sunlight individuals may need.
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You’ll want your greenhouse to be able to get access to direct sunlight, but for how long each day varies.
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How Much Sunlight does a Greenhouse Need?
Different plants require different amounts of sunlight, so it’s impossible to give a blanket statement saying your greenhouse needs to get a specific amount of sunlight.
Generally, though, most plants need anywhere from six to eight daily hours of sunlight. However, you’ll want to actually research what your chosen plants need specifically and make sure your greenhouse can accommodate those requirements.
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If you are growing plants with a need for a lot of sunlight, you’ll want your greenhouse positioned somewhere it can get that sunlight. This means avoiding shady spots and putting it somewhere it’s exposed to prolonged, direct sunlight.
On the other hand, if it often gets too hot where you’re located, or you’re growing particularly delicate plants, you may want to consider using blinds or shade cloths in your greenhouse.
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Choosing the Best Position for your Greenhouse
Discussing how much sunlight your greenhouse needs begs another question: how do you know exactly where to place your greenhouse?
A lot of this has to do with your location. We’ll start with the easy part.
As you look at your available space, try to find an area with the most level land. Bumps, dips, and hills can all make building a greenhouse that much more difficult, especially since you’ll need to establish a foundation beneath it.
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Next, you’ll want to put the greenhouse somewhere that makes it easier to maintain the ideal temperatures inside. This includes, of course, factoring in available sunlight.
If you live in a Northern climate, putting your greenhouse on the southern side of your property can help ensure it gets ample light.
Alternatively, if you’re located in a hot climate with high temperatures, you might benefit from putting your greenhouse in a shadier location. Otherwise, consider using shade cloths.
The north side of your property is where you’ll want to put any greenhouses if you’re situated in the southern hemisphere.
You may also want to pay attention to trees that are nearby, ensuring you don’t place your greenhouse where roots might go underneath the foundation.
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Sunlight is a necessary part to gardening – that’s just a fact. However, the exact amount of sunlight is what can be questioned.
In conclusion, you’ll want to make sure your greenhouse gets several hours of sunlight a day. You won’t want it to be somewhere it falls under constant shade, and you’ll want to make sure there isn’t a possibility of roots breaking up the foundation in the future.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your greenhouse, you’ll have completed one of the hardest steps to greenhouse gardening.