A greenhouse is a very beneficial gardening solution and it can create an environment for a variety of plants to thrive in. Greenhouses can be as small or as big as you want them to, so let’s go over some of the information one must possess before buying a greenhouse, but also take a look at some of the greenhouses we came across during our research.
Benefits of Having a Greenhouse
You might wonder if you would truly benefit from having a greenhouse, so let’s look at some objective advantages that one might have when owning such a product:
- It provides a longer growing season. Because your vegetables or other plants grow in a very controlled environment, you basically have a say in terms of the climate they’re exposed to. They can literally stay out in the sun and enjoy the perks, but also be shielded from wind and cold temperatures at the same time. This inevitably prolongs the growth season so you can enjoy a bountiful harvest multiple times throughout the year.
- It offers weather protection. Extreme temperatures aren’t beneficial for a lot of plants, so when you own a greenhouse, you can have your plants protected from excessive heat or frost. Greenhouses that come with translucent covers will diffuse sunlight and offer ventilation for your plants.
- It helps keep pests away. Considering the fact that a greenhouse is basically an enclosed structure, you are limiting the access to a lot of animals and pests that might damage your plants. This brings forth yet another benefit of greenhouses: you don’t have to invest too much money in pesticides.
- They increase the pool of plant options. It is a well-known fact that not all plants grow in all climates, but having a greenhouse can increase your plant options. Because a greenhouse provides a consistent amount of heat, you can now plant vegetables that thrive in warmer seasons.
Things You Can Grow in a Greenhouse
This is honestly a topic that we could expand upon across thousands of words, but we’re going to summarize what types of plants you can grow in the greenhouse, just to show you how owning one opens up a word of possibilities in terms of what you can plant inside:
- Green onions – usually grown in colder climates but can easily be grown in a climate-controlled greenhouse as well.
- Spinach – can be grown all-year round.
- Egg-plants – require warm conditions, thrive when planted in raised beds.
- Zucchini – good vegetable for beginner gardeners, grows fast.
- Grapes – usually planted on the opposite side of the door, with stems trained on the side of the greenhouse.
- Lemons – need at least 8h of sunlight each day to thrive.
- Chilies – bountiful harvest when planted and grown inside a greenhouse.
Of course, this is just a handful of examples. Inside a greenhouse, you can grow anything from tomatoes to mint.
How to Choose the Right One for You
In the end, it all comes down to knowing how to choose a greenhouse that’s right for you, so we’ve put together this list of tips that will help paint a clearer picture on what greenhouse suits you best.
- Choose the right size. If you want to grow a few tomatoes, there’s really no point in buying a large greenhouse, which will occupy way more yard/garden space that could be used for something else. You will come across greenhouses that are available in a bunch of different sizes. Look for those with eaver that are at least 5-feet tall and allow plenty of sunlight to get in.
- Ventilation is super important in a greenhouse. A common mistake in not providing plants with enough ventilation, which causes them to wither because of excessive heat. The best greenhouse is the one that retains heat in the colder months and releases hot air during the summer. The vents of a greenhouse should be located near the top and bottom.
- Insulation is another key factor to keep in mind. The proper amount of insulation strongly depends on the climate in the region where you live. Check for the greenhouse’s degree of insulation, including the insulating ability and the measurement of heat loss.
- Greenhouse panels can be either clear or opaque, with the first category being capable of delivering direct light and the latter category being more suited for those who need diffused light.
- UV protection is something else to look out for, since you want to avoid plastic greenhouses from breaking down due to prolonged sunlight exposure. This protection will help prolong the lifespan of the greenhouse, so look for products that are UV-certified.
- Some greenhouses allow customization, and that’s something you want to look into if you need a certain number of shelves or if you plan to divide the space inside the greenhouse in a specific way.
The Best Small Greenhouse Kits
Coming in strong at 57 x 57 x 77 inches, this mini walk-in greenhouse is as practical as it is adorable. It was created using a strong metal frame with powder coating for added durability, and net shelves on each side, promising to hold a considerable pot weight for most of your flowers. The clear PE cover has a waterproof construction and keeps your plants shielded from frost but doesn’t block sunlight and doesn’t get in the way of photosynthesis. The design comes with anchors and ropes to make sure the greenhouse is secured to the ground, so you can safely use it even in windy areas.
If you’re looking for a smaller version of the aforementioned greenhouse, here is another one by Nova Microdermabrasion. Compared to the previous one, this one measures 55.9 L x 28.3 W x 75.59 H inches and comes with 6 shelves (instead of 8). In terms of construction, it shares a lot of similarities with its larger sibling: it has a powder-coated metal frame, heavy-duty bearing net on each layer, plus a polyethylene cover that keeps frost out but allows sunlight in.
The 13.66 x 13.66 x 0.79 inches tent by Mini LOP deserves a spot in our list because it’s so adorable and useful for small gardens or for those of you that want a greenhouse for a limited number of small plants. With a total weight of 2 pounds, this small greenhouse kit is one of the most portable options out there, so you can easily move it from one corner of the yard to another. It comes with ground stakes and a user manual, all wrapped up in a nifty packing bag.
The Exaco Junior Victorian J-VIC 24 greenhouse is a tad fancier than the others we’ve seen before. It measures 150 x 93 x 100 inches and it offers plenty of space for all your plant-growing needs. The foundation frame is extremely solid and equipped with two roof windows and a sliding door. The safety glass measures 4 mm in thickness, offering you a solid and qualitative construction that will last for decades.
Measuring 180 x 84 x 84 inches, this is another large greenhouse option that’s worth taking into consideration. It has a tunnel design that will help you take advantage of the space inside it, but also make it easy for you to move from one plant to the other. It has a zippered door and eight roll-up windows to ensure proper ventilation for your plants. The plastic cover is double-threaded and the frame is made from steel and covered in powder coat, for extra rust-resistance.
The Palram Snap & Grow Greenhouse is available in four different size options, with the smaller one being 100 x 98 x 102.4 inches. It’s a walk-in greenhouse that offers a variety of features and specifications for those interested in quality over price: double wide doors, UV protection for the polycarbonate roof and wall panels, rain gutters, adjustable roof vent, and even a lockable door handle.
Those of you looking for a larger greenhouse to grow even more veggies will surely appreciate the generous 240 x 120 x 79.2 inches size of the MELLCOM. This tunnel-shaped greenhouse is designed from polyethylene and comes with 8 roll-up windows, 4 on each side. The “skeleton” of the greenhouse consists of 8 slant bracing tubes, middle reinforced tubes, and a front crossbar. The zippered door grants easy access inside the greenhouse and can also be attached to the top side to stay open whenever you want to get in and out with ease.
When you’re setting up your greenhouse, having planter shelves might come in handy, especially for organizing purposes. This particular one has a wooden construction made from heavy-duty fir, so you know that it’s going to last. It is mostly designed to hold seed trays and potted plants. It is made with a translucent PC panel to allow light to get to the contents inside it.
The Erommy portable greenhouse kit is as practical as it is cute, even though it comes with a very limited storage capacity. It is designed with three zippered roll-up doors to grant you easy access to the contents of the greenhouse. All of these doors can be attached on the top side to stay open and provide suitable ventilation and direct sunlight for your potted plants. The alloy steel frame is covered by PE material with UV protection. This small greenhouse kit measures 95″ W × 32″ D × 32″ H.
This Palram greenhouse is the kind of structure that would impress anyone in terms of design. It measures 97.3 x 83.9 x 105 inches, but there is also a larger version for those of you who feel they need more space for their plants. It is built with twin wall roof panels that are capable of blocking about 99.9 percent of the UV rays attempting to pass through. The panels are made from durable polycarbonate, while the frame is made from rust-resistant aluminum. The design includes a gutter system for better and more efficient water drainage.
Here we have one more example of a portable greenhouse kit that offers you 94.49 x 70.87 x 91.73 inches of space for your plants to thrive in. It is designed in such a way as to eliminate the need for any tools for its assembly, so you can set it up in a matter of minutes after unboxing it. The adjustable legs can provide you with extra headroom, while the reinforced mesh fabric wall promises to protect your plants from pests and the weather elements, making sure that the conditions for proper growth are met inside the structure.
Our last suggestion is a walk-in greenhouse available in four different size options and bringing together features that are worthy of every penny that you spend on this product. The greenhouse is constructed using 0.25” PC plastic panels that allow sunlight to pass through without exposing the plants to any extreme temperatures. The roof is designed to allow you to adjust the angles and offer your plants the ventilation they need. The construction has its own gutter system, while the aluminum frame will prevent corrosion in the long term.
Is it worth getting a greenhouse?
In order to answer this question, take a look at our “Benefits of Having a Greenhouse” section. If at least one of those benefits is something you’d like to enjoy yourself, then buying a greenhouse is totally worth it.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a greenhouse?
A greenhouse can be a nice DIY project if that’s something you’re passionate about, but it’s not always the cheapest solution. There are plenty of greenhouse kits available on the market that are sold at really good price and, if you don’t want to make any further modifications, they are much more worth it price-wise.
How do you keep plants from freezing in a greenhouse?
There are a few tips and tricks that you can turn to avoid freezing temperatures inside the greenhouse. Make sure that you build or install the greenhouse over rocks that absorb heat, make raised beds filler with dark soil, put an active hot compost bin in the center of the greenhouse, and consider installing a heater in the greenhouse, especially if it’s a larger one.
If you are passionate about growing your own fruits, herbs, and vegetables, having a greenhouse is something that could only help you in the process. Make sure that you choose one that’s appropriate for your yard/garden and take into account the construction and materials, but also the ease of setup.