Swallow Greenhouses Base advice

Kingsfisher Greenhouses

Kingfisher Greenhouse Range

The last post was all about Swallow Greenhouses a great range of timber frame greenhouses to suit a wide range of garden styles, below is what they say on the back of their brochure some sound advice about greenhouse bases.

Greenhouse Base Advice

The idea base for the greenhouse would be;

  1. Paving slabs to encourage natural drainage
  2. Solid concrete base to the size of the greenhouse with a minimum 4″ thickness
  3. Concrete strip footing again with a minimum 4″ thickness
  4. Dwarf wall can be built – heights to be advised

The base can be larger than the greenhouse if required by the customer but it must not be any smaller.

Most importantly the base must be level

Lean to Base Advice

There are additional factors to be considered if a lean-to greenhouse is purchased. In addition to the advice above, the following must also apply;

  • The base must be 90 degrees to the wall and level
    Swallow Lean to Greenhouse

    Swallow Lean to Greenhouse

  • Swallow (GB) will ask if the wall is straight and will request photographs if necessary Swallow (GB) will ask the type and height of the wall upon receipt of the order.

Swallow(GB) will ask the type and height of the wall upon receipt of the order

Access Information

We require the following height clearances for access as all panels are pre-glazed in the factory;

  • Finch, Cygnet, Jay, Kingfisher – 6′ 6″
  • Heron, Mallard, Swan, Raven, Rook, Falcon, Eagle – 8′ 6″

Once the order is received, we will forward a base plan for the building. We then ask you to contact us when the base is ready to enable us to plan installation.


All Swallow (GB) Buildings have the following features as standard

  • All the redwood pine is thermally modified
  • All the boards are fixed with stainless steel nails
  • The inward-opening door has a mortice lock and lever handle
  • All the glass is toughened (tempered) safety glass (three times stronger than standard)
  • The glass is slid into a groove and sealed with quality silicone (this is very reliable and makes it resilient to adverse weather conditions)
  • The glass shapes are joined with a clear plastic ‘H-Section’ (clean looking and easy to wipe)
  • Each roof vent is fitted with a Bayliss automatic opener
  • There is a plastic section fixed around the bottom of the greenhouse. This keeps the timber off the ground, prolonging the life of the building.

So pay attention and follow the advice above from Swallow Greenhouses for the ideal base for your new Swallow Greenhouse.

Swallow (GB) Greenhouses Ltd

I love receiving new marketing information from our various suppliers and one that was dropped onto my desk last week was a great partner we have called Swallow (GB) Ltd we have been working with this company since our first introduction many moons ago.

Raven Greenhouse from Swallow

Swallow Raven Greenhouse

Swallow Greenhouse products are made from Thermowood which is manufactured from red wood pine. The process involves kiln drying the timber which is put into a special oven where a powerful compressor which removes the air, the temperature is raised to 215 degrees C which bakes the timber, the result seals the capillaries, destroys resins and proteins and stabilises the timber.

The benefits are;

  • It can be left untreated
  • All bacteria is killed, resulting in a sterile material
  • Paints excellently and lasts up to three times longer
  • The timber is totally natural and chemical free
  • Reduced thermal conductivity
  • Consistent colour throughout the wood
  • Improves durability against decay
  • Improved dimensional stability
  • Good choice for allergy sufferers

    Falcon Greenhouse

    Swallow Falcon Greenhouse

Some general advice from Swallow Greenhouses on how to keep your greenhouse in tip-top shape.

A greenhouse is an excellent addition to any garden, whether a novice or a time honoured gardener, it is always good to receive a few tips. Your new Swallow Greenhouse will give you the ability to extend the growing season, with the possibility to grow produce that would not usually grow in your area of the country.

All Swallow Greenhouses are fitted with automatic vents allowing ventilation and temperature control. These help to make the greenhouse efficient and with the inclusion of a regular cleaning routine will keep your greenhouse pest and disease free.


By far the biggest problem you might come across in your greenhouse is mould. However, with a few simple steps your greenhouse should be mould free all year round.

Grey mould is caused by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea, a common fungus with a wide host range. It produces are large amount of spores that move around the greenhouse via air currents. To help control the grey mould a control of the environment should be maintained, this will prevent the fungus growth and to sporulate. By keeping the humidity level below 85%, as well as ensuring good air circulation and adequate plant spacing.

Cygnet Greenhouse

Swallow Cygnet Greenhouse

Annual Greenhouse Cleaning

In the first instance its a good idea to find way suits you best. With the seasons in mind, a warm sunny day will put less stress on the plants when you move them outside. This will enable you to use cleaning solutions without the worry of damaging or spills on any of your plants. Working from the top to bottom, clean the windows thoroughly with soapy water, adding one part bleach for ten parts of water if you can see mould or moss growth.

Sweep off any growing tables or staging to clear out any dirt or weed remnants. Discard broken or unsuitable growing containers. Clean and sterilize any benches and tools. Sweep and disinfecting the floor, another step pertinent to maintaining a disease and pest free greenhouse.

This is also a good opportunity to clean the outside of the greenhouse, clearing gutters, opening vents to clean thoroughly, cleaning windows.

Daily Greenhouse Upkeep

Finch Greenhouse

Swallow Finch Greenhouse

To maintain a healthy and well balanced area for your plants to grow, a routine daily maintenance schedule is a good idea. Just simply sweeping, weeding, removal and disposal of infected and damaged plants. Areas kept clean and tidy as you become more familiar with your greenhouse you will be able to notice where any maintenance is required.

All these measures will add up to a healthy growing environment for your plants, with an abundance of growth.

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