Purchasing a greenhouse kit is an easy alternative to building one from scratch. From large to small, portable to permanent, here are some favorites.
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The effects of hotter, drier summers and snowier, stormier winters are making outdoor growing more challenging in all parts of the country. That, in turn, makes greenhouses more popular.
Even without changing weather patterns, the stable environment in a greenhouse extends the growing season and allows for a wider variety of food and flowers than would otherwise be possible.
A rudimentary greenhouse isn’t that difficult to build from scratch. I built mine from pressure-treated wood and recycled sliding glass door panels. But there are definite advantages to purchasing a ready-made kit:
Here are some things to consider as you shop for the best greenhouse kit for your situation:
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The Mellcom Hobby Greenhouse offers a 10- x 12-foot footprint and 10 feet of headroom, plenty of space for plants, tools and irrigation equipment. The aluminum structure features a sliding front door and an overhead ventilation panel.
The semi-transparent roof protects plants from harmful UV radiation. The unit requires assembly, but once in place it can remain year-round. It’s strong enough to support 150 pounds of snow cover.
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The 4- x 6-foot Eagle Peak Portable Walk-In Greenhouse is small enough for a patio but has plenty of room for flowers, sprouts and vegetables. Unlike most comparable greenhouses with multiple parts that require assembly, the collapsible frame can be set up in seconds.
The green polyethylene cover blocks harmful UV radiation, and the doors and windows roll up and down for ventilation and temperature control. The company provides a one-year warranty for the frame and the cover.
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The Quictent 20- x 10- x 7-foot Hoop-Style Greenhouse features a double-layer cover of transparent polyethylene and doors at both ends. It’s easy to assemble, and the 10 hook-and-loop fastener-sealed windows can be closed in winter to maintain indoor temperature.
The transparent polyethylene allows 85 percent of the sun’s energy to pass through while blocking ultraviolet rays that can burn plants. The rounded top sheds snow in winter, and three rows of crossbars support any snow that accumulates. The poles carry a one-year warranty with the cover guaranteed for six months.
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The Worth Garden Four-Tier Mini Greenhouse only has a 27- x 19-inch footprint, so it’s easy to tuck away in a corner of the kitchen or on a balcony or deck. At 63 inches, it’s tall enough to accommodate up to four shelves for plants, flowers and gardening supplies.
The easy-to-assemble frame is steel and the cover clear PVC. The front cover can be rolled down to create a temperature-controlled environment for all-season growing, and the unit is sturdy enough to withstand winter’s ravages.
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If you aren’t on a budget and prefer a greenhouse that upgrades the appearance of the garden, the GrowSpan Gothic Pro Greenhouse might be for you. Besides a classy look, the gothic style provides plenty of usable space inside.
The galvanized steel structure supports a twin-walled polycarbonate covering that provides diffuse light and extra insulation for winter climate control. In the summer, roll up the sides to provide extra ventilation. Purchase optional shade panels to protect sensitive plants from the hot sun. The frame carries a three-year warranty.
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The Arcadia Plus Mur lean-to greenhouse upgrades the south-facing wall of any home while providing plenty of space for year-round growing. The sturdy aluminum frame abuts the side of the house and can sit directly on the ground or on a brick or concrete footing.
The modular structure can be configured according to wall length and available yard space. The unit comes with a clear glass covering to provide maximum sunlight and warmth for starting seeds and winter growing. There’s one ventilation panel on the roof. If the wall has a door, this greenhouse can double as a sun room.
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Outdoor Living Today offers an 8- x 8-foot Cedar Garden Box with a Greenhouse Covering that makes all-season outdoor growing productive and satisfying. The U-shaped raised bed comes with a front gate to allow easy access. The kit includes all the easy-to-assemble parts.
The peaked greenhouse frame is made of powder-coated steel tubing, and the cover low-density polyethylene. This isn’t an all-weather setup, however. It mainly protects crops from pests and the hot sun during the growing season.
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Nothing brings you back to the future quite like a geodesic dome. The inexpensive Tierra Garden Haxnicks Greenhouse lacks the classic geodesic structure with modular triangular panels, but it has the dome shape. It’s easy to set up and take down so you can move it anywhere.
The frame is made from plastic and the cover, which unfolds to fit snugly over it, of semi-transparent PVC. With a maximum height of seven feet, three inches and a floor area of 415 square feet, there’s lots of room for all types of gardening activities.
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A cold-frame greenhouse is more of a box than it is a house. It’s perfect for planting seeds and seedlings early in the season for transplanting when the last frost has occurred.
The Cedar Cold Frame from GSC fits on top of a 2- x 8-foot elevated bed, but can also be placed on the ground. The sides feature rot-resistant cedar, and the top polycarbonate panels on hinged aluminum frames. The panels diffuse light to ensure that plants don’t “cook” in full sun.
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Sometimes you need instant protection for your prized plants against a late frost, birds or a pest infestation. The Porayhut Pop-Up Greenhouse sets up like a pop-up tent to provide a three-foot-square working area that’s four feet high. When growing season ends, it collapses into an 18- x 18- x 2.36-inch bundle that weighs about six pounds.
This greenhouse features a reinforced polyethylene mesh cover with a roll-up door and roll-up windows on either side. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s there when you need it.