How to Position Your Greenhouse: Choosing the Best Spot

There’s so much to consider when putting up a greenhouse in the garden, and among these is the position. This isn’t just an “over here or right there” decision-making, though – it’s more than that. Think it through and let this guide help you where to site it.

Positioning Your Garden Greenhouse

BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Clear Wall Greenhouse with Roof Vent
BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Clear Wall Greenhouse with Roof Vent

Congratulations on your new garden companion! The eagerness to flex your green thumb is understandable. And yes, you wish nothing but success in your garden greenhouse journey. 

That victory, however, depends largely on its positioning. No matter what kind of greenhouse you’ve got – whether it’s a wooden greenhouse, metal, or even polycarbonate – where you put it makes a massive impact. Before you get your hands dirty, it’s important to get it right – otherwise, you may not get the best results.

The importance

The location itself affects factors such as temperature, light exposure, and humidity. Where you place your garden greenhouse, thus, can make all the difference.

The best spot is somewhere that gets maximum sunlight, especially during winter months. The greenhouse temperature should also be moderate and consistent day and night. Too much or too little moisture can lead to poor growth, so humidity levels should be controlled, to add. Moreover, the ideal placement must be:

  • away from frost pockets
  • sheltered from strong and cold winds
  • is slightly elevated (but on a levelled surface)
  • allows for convenience whenever you access it

Now it’s time to get into the factors to consider before you position your greenhouse:

1. Type of greenhouse structures

Not every garden greenhouse has the same structural design. But the type you have will play a big role in where it needs to go.

Those with two sloped roofs and a ridge are called freestanding greenhouses. They are completely independent and mostly portable but can also be permanent. As this type stands alone, you can place it wherever suitable on your property.

BillyOh Polycarbonate Lean-To Greenhouse
BillyOh Polycarbonate Lean-To Greenhouse

Another common design is the lean-to, appearing like it has been sliced in half. A lean-to greenhouse is attached or built against the wall of an existing building. Unlike a freestanding unit, it only has one slanted roof and shares a wall with another structure.

Hoop metal greenhouses, in contrast, are non-engineered structures and are often DIY made. Instead of glass, they are equipped with rigid plastic stretched over the top. Since they don’t require permanent foundations, they are easy to move around. Hoop houses can be small or large, with a bigger option usually referred to as a high tunnel.

2. What you’re growing

BillyOh Harvester Walk-In Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse
BillyOh Harvester Walk-In Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse

Different plants require different levels of sunlight, temperature, and humidity to thrive. Those that require full sun need to be positioned in areas with direct sunlight for several hours a day. While plants that prefer partial shade need cover during the hottest parts of the day. Selecting the right plant types and positioning them correctly is crucial for success.

3. North, east, south or west?

BillyOh Rosette Hobby Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse
BillyOh Rosette Hobby Aluminium Polycarbonate Greenhouse

The direction of the sun especially plays a big role. If you have a portable unit, you may configure it to get the optimum orientation as many times as you wish. If not, it’s worth giving it the best possible position, even if there may only be one site available.

  • South-facing. A south-facing side will receive the most sunlight throughout the day. This is particularly vital for plants that require a lot of light and warmth.
  • North-facing. A north-facing greenhouse may be better suited for cold-hardy greens like lettuce.
  • East-facing. Positioning it in the east will benefit your evergreens from the best morning sunlight.
  • West-facing. In the west, your beloved low-growing plants will soak up all the afternoon sunlight.

Top tip: During the darkest months, position it E-W to maximise light, ideally if the unit is portable. Go N-S if you only use your grow house in spring and summer for an equal amount of light. For lean-tos, the best location is south-facing – the supporting wall on the north side.

4. Your garden’s condition

If you’re a keen gardener, you already know gardens don’t share the same conditions. Each also has its own micro-climate, and it’s your job to assess yours before marking the spot.

Besides good sunlight and away from frost and harsh winds, level ground and good soil are vital. Avoid low-lying areas if you have issues with water. If it’s a sloped plot, you must build up the area to level off your greenhouse.

The unit should also be situated in an area that receives enough fresh air. This will help prevent stagnant air, which can cause plant diseases. Top tip: Make sure no tall trees can cast shadows, cooling the temperature.

With good light transmission, this will give whatever you grow a stable environment. Most importantly, allows for year-round cultivation and harvesting.

5. Allocate enough walking and breathing space

BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse
BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse

This is crucial for the functionality and productivity of your mini greenhouse growing. Ensure there is enough space for you to move around freely and tend to your plants both inside and outside.

For the interior, leave at least 2-3 feet of walking space between the rows of plants. Also, consider the height and make sure there’s enough clearance for you to stand comfortably.

For the outside perimeter, have at least one metre of space around the greenhouse. This will give you access to all sides, which is helpful in case a panel needs replacing. Don’t forget to leave room for falling snow so that you can shovel pathways too.

6. Near the house set up

Okay, there may already be a perfect spot at the bottom of your outdoor space. Although it checks out all the ‘good light levels’ rules, it may not be so practical if you need to be close to a water tap. What’s more, if you have to access the mains for your greenhouse heaters.

Siting it closer to the house may be worthwhile, making it more convenient. Alternatively, you can collect rainwater to fill water butts instead of water taps. Paraffin heaters are also a good substitute for electric ones. And a greenhouse with fleece should suffice for a low-cost insulation solution.


Besides what to grow, of course, think about where to place it. For a quick recap, you’ll want a location with the following:

  • the best sun-facing direction suitable for the greenhouse type and intended plants;
  • good ground level, healthy soil, and no hindering trees;
  • appropriate spacing both inside and outside space around the greenhouse;
  • adequate accessibility, such as water and electricity, when necessary.

Once you’ve determined the best way to position your greenhouse, you’ll be able to get the most out of your investment! If you’ve not yet got a greenhouse to position, then let us help you out – simply click the button below to explore our great range!

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