Greenhouses originated in Great-Britain and especially in England. Due to the cold weather, the Brits have been using greenhouses for many decades to be able to grow vegetables all year long. Have you heard of ‘growing under glass’? While most greenhouses are currently made in polycarbonate, the original greenhouses were always made out of glass and the expression never changed. The classic and majestic radiance of glass greenhouses is the most important reason why people buy them. The reference to the Victorian designs and the atmosphere breathing British class offers a true pièce de resistance in your garden.
A nostalgic feeling about England and the view on a beautiful greenhouse from your kitchen window, aren’t the only reasons to invest in a glasshouse. As we will discuss in detail below, the durability and transmission of glass exceed any kind of polyester by far, guaranteeing you a vegetable garden full of lovely greens.
There are many different kinds, as you will see below. If you want to invest in a true showpiece, be sure to take a look at our Victorian greenhouse article!
The pros of a glass greenhouse
The most important job of the cover of your greenhouse is transmitting light. Single-layer glazings generally transmit 90 percent and double-layer glazings about 80 percent of light, no matter whether it is plastic or glass. So far, not a big difference between the both of them… But other factors play an important role in the transmittance of light too, for example, the location of the greenhouse and the orientation to the sun.
As discussed in the intro, the main reason to choose glass is that it’s more beautiful than any kind of polycarbonate greenhouse. A majestic greenhouse in the middle of your garden, built in a beautiful Victorian style will be the eye-catcher at any barbecue or pool party.
- Durability – maintenance
While both plastic and glass are strong materials, there is a difference between the two of them. Glass is in general a more durable material than plastic and it will last longer without any signs of aging. The higher cost of glass results in a longer lifetime of your greenhouse.
The glass used in greenhouses is safety glass and is almost as strong as polyester for greenhouses. Don’t worry about your kid playing soccer in the yard or a thunderstorm passing, greenhouse materials (glass or plastic) are built to survive outside.
The main argument for people not to choose glass is the price. The majestic and beautiful look of this type of greenhouse comes with a price tag and is in general more expensive than a plastic greenhouse.
What type of glass is used in a greenhouse?
There are basically two types of greenhouse glass. Toughened glass is the strongest and has a thickness of 3 or 4 mm (about 0,11 inches). This type of glass will granulate if broken instead of break into sharp pieces, therefore being the safer and stronger option.
The other and more economical option is horticultural glass. This type of glass is less strong and weather resistant and will break into large, sharp shapes when broken.
We know this type of greenhouse is a sizeable investment. That’s why we recommend toughened glass for the roof and panels, to go for the best possible protection for your greenhouse and crops!
What greenhouse suits your needs?
The most important question of all is which greenhouse is right for you and only you can answer that one. If you are a first-time greenhouser, maybe you’d like to start with a polycarbonate model to limit your investment. If you want your greenhouse to double as a lawn ornament, glass will be your pick. Take all the factors that we have discussed above into account and decide which one is right for you. If you don’t want to invest in a major greenhouse to start with, you can always start with a mini greenhouse to grow some small veggies and see if you really love it (and I’m pretty sure you will).
If you decide you want to go with glass, take a look underneath, we’ll help you make the right decision.
Best mini glass greenhouse kits
Best small glass greenhouse kits
Best large glass greenhouse kits
Are these greenhouses outside of your budget? We totally understand! Definitely have a look at our best greenhouse for your budget buying guide to get the best value for money.