Keeping greenhouse structure neat and tidy is easy if you chose the right foundation and flooring option. Deciding what foundation option is best for your greenhouse is on top of the priorities list when choosing a greenhouse. Many people think that by building a foundation, you don’t need to install flooring.
To some extent it is true, especially if you decided to lay a concrete slab. However, if you are an owner of a small hobby greenhouse, just building a perimeter base is not enough. You need a good floor not only to walk inside the structure but also to keep pests and weeds away.
So, in this post we are going to talk about different greenhouse flooring options out there. Also, we will discuss the pros and cons of each flooring option to make it easier for you to identify which one suits your needs. Ok, enough rambling, let’s dive in!
Does my greenhouse need a floor?
You can sit a small or a hobby greenhouse directly on the soil if you are planning to grow directly from the ground. You will have a good natural drainage. That is only applicable for the sites where you have a good loam soil. If your soil is too muddy, then you need to build a foundation and flooring because watering will quickly turn soil into dirt.
So, start by testing the soil in your garden and prepare the site to ensure the best medium for growing plants. Then, consider the pros and cons of growing plants in pots or ground. Also, if you build a raised bed in a greenhouse, you don’t need a floor. Just cover the central path with gravel for you to walk on and build a raised bed on each side of the base.
Can you put a greenhouse on gravel?
Although there are many flooring solutions, putting a greenhouse on gravel is one of the best options. Use gravel to fill in the wooden or brick perimeter base because it provides a good drainage. Pour 3 to 4 inches of gravel on the ground cover to completely cover it.
Can you put a greenhouse on grass?
You should not put a greenhouse on grass, the area for greenhouse should be level and vegetation free. You need to dig out all weeds and grass with garden hoe or shovel. You don’t want weeds to interfere with plants that you are going to grow. Moreover, a good greenhouse flooring should provide a weed barrier.
Greenhouse Flooring Options:
1. Concrete Slab
Yes, if you poured a concrete slab as a base, it also serves as a floor for your greenhouse. Just keep in mind that initial installation costs as quite high because you need to pay for raw materials and hire a contractor. However, in a long term concrete slab serves as an excellent floor.
It is easy to clean and maintain. One of the main advantages of the concrete floor is that you can place the benches on and it is going to withstand their weight. Although one of the drawbacks can be drainage, if you pour the concrete slab with slope, the excess water will drain away. Click here to find out more about pros and cons of greenhouse foundation.
2. Landscape Rocks and Pebbles
If you are after aesthetically pleasing flooring, laying landscape rocks and pebbles can be a good very good option for your greenhouse. Apart from looking attractive, it is quite easy to install. However, purchasing landscape rocks and pebbles can be expensive.
To lay pebbles for greenhouse flooring, you need to ensure adequate drainage. That is because precipitation can build up between the rocks. Also, weeds can grow through pebbles. To avoid that, you need to prepare the site to be pebbled by tearing out weeds and plants in this space.
Make sure to remove roots of these plants and weeds to prevent them from growing underneath pebbles. Moreover, you need to put down a weed mat to prevent vegetation from growing. Then, lay pebbles and rocks on top of the mat.
3. Gravel over a ground cover
If you are looking for inexpensive greenhouse foundation and flooring option, look no more! We have a perfect solution for you – build a wooden or brick perimeter base, install plastic ground cover and lay gravel on top of it. That way you have a cheap and sturdy foundation and the best floor for a greenhouse.
Gravel is cheap and very easy to install. Lay it on top of the polypropylene ground cover that is going to block weed growth. Moreover, gravel improves drainage and porous ground cover allows moisture to soak through.
The combination of ground cover and gravel also serves as rodent barrier that prevents erosion and is easy to maintain. Although gravel has a tendency to travel underfoot, as long as it is contained with edging material like lumber or bricks, that is not an issue.
You can build a perimeter base with bricks or make a brick floor. For a small structure it is enough to lay single-skin brick flooring. However, for larger greenhouses you need to set up a double-thickness floor to stability. If you choose to lay bricks, you can save money because you are going to build a foundation which serves as floor as well.
Apart from looking attractive, bricks absorb water and can increase humidity inside the greenhouse. Install brick floor on a layer of sand to ensure good drainage. Brick floor will last for many years giving your greenhouse a semi-walled effect.
5. Commercial Vinyl Flooring
You can also buy a commercial flooring designed specifically for greenhouses and grow rooms. The most common materials for commercial flooring are polyvinyl or polypropylene. It is very durable and easy to maintain.
This flooring is porous and drains well. Also, you can order a product according to the size of your greenhouse. You can find black polypropylene flooring at the Greenhouse Catalog for only 35$. This floor easy to install, easy to clean and will drain excess water from your structure.
For large greenhouse I can recommend purchasing GrowFloor which is a durable white high gloss flooring made of 100% Polyvinyl. GrowFloor is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial flooring that is not going to be affected by either mold, moisture or UV light.
What NOT to use as greenhouse flooring options:
Although you can use lumber to build wooden perimeter base for a greenhouse, do not cover the floor with lumber. Due to the regular watering wood will get moldy quickly and will rot away completely. It will make the floor impossible to walk on and, eventually, the whole structure can collapse.
Moreover, wooded greenhouse floor can harbor all sorts of diseases and pest that can damage your plants. However, you can get pressure treated wood or a naturally resistant wood like cedar, it is honestly not worth it and will still get damaged at the end.
Although mulch is very cheap, helps to keep weeds away and enriches soil, it is not a good option for greenhouse flooring. It is quite hard to clean and you would need to replace it every other year. In addition, in a humid environment created by greenhouse, mulch will quickly decompose.
Furthermore, the real problem with covering greenhouse floor with mulch is that it can introduce mold spores and insects into the structure. On the other hand, if you can get a hold of a good mulch that suppresses weeds, conserve moisture and prevent diseases, you can go ahead and use it as a greenhouse floor.
Although it is not necessary, installing greenhouse flooring will help to keep the structure sturdy and tidy. For someone who wants a structure to blend nicely in the garden, choose landscape rock or brick floor. It will not only look attractive, but also allow you to keep potted plants on benches.
If you are after a cheap and durable greenhouse flooring option, a combination of ground cover and gravel is a perfect solution for you. It will create a barrier for rodents and weeds, ensure good drainage and will be super easy to maintain.
What flooring do you have in your greenhouse? Let us know in the comments section down below!