If you’ve gone deep into the temptations of gardening, then the thought of building a greenhouse has probably already crossed your mind. Such a construction will allow you to eat fresh fruits or vegetables straight from the plot – no matter if you’re in mid-winter.
However, with gardening slowly (but surely) coming to power, it’s becoming more and more difficult to make a good choice.
This guide is here, however, to help you make that choice – because the best greenhouse is the one that meets your needs and the ones of your wallet.
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Why Should You Choose Your Greenhouse Carefully
Wouldn’t it be awkward if you just bought a greenhouse only to find out that at the first snowfall, your crops have already died? Now that’s a waste of time and money, isn’t it?
You need to be careful about everything when buying a greenhouse. Is the covering thick enough to provide proper insulation? What about the framing; is it sturdy enough, or will it break after just a season of use?
Furthermore, choosing your greenhouse carefully is of great importance if you want to take gardening to a professional level. Say you want to grow some potatoes; that won’t take too much work, as long as the greenhouse is properly insulated.
But if you want to build, say, an orangery, you may want to pay closer attention to the climate system. Such tropical plants won’t work with a plastic sheet thrown over some wood frames.
Plus, what if the greenhouse that you chose is not suitable for the space that you have? You will have wasted money and have no way of bringing it up. At this point, your only hope will be for the manufacturer to take returns.
The life of your crops, as well as the life of your pockets, depends on the greenhouse that you buy. As a result, you need to pay the utmost attention to that.
On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Greenhouse
There are several things that you might want to consider when looking for the best greenhouse to buy. The most important things will, however, boil down to the following:
As always, size really matters. What vision do you have? Do you want a greenhouse that will spread over your whole backyard, or do you want something that will only occupy a corner of it?
If you’re not all that into gardening, you may want to go for a starter greenhouse. These will allow you to “start” your plants so that you can move them outside once they have grown. They represent the best greenhouse option if you are tight on space.
Yes, there is more than just one type of greenhouse. These are differentiated based on the temperature level, and you purchase it according to the outdoor temperature and the ideal one that you need for your plants. Here are your main choices.
Hot greenhouse: These greenhouses usually have a temperature that goes up to 70 degrees or even higher. They are usually used for growing tropical and exotic plants and are generally packed with grow lights and heaters to preserve the heat.
Warm greenhouse: This type of greenhouse usually has a stable temperature of 50-55 degrees, which is the standard for pretty much every outdoor fruit and vegetable. If you want to grow tomatoes, this is your greenhouse of choice.
Cool greenhouses: Also called a frost-free greenhouse, this type of greenhouse usually has a stable temperature of 40 to 45 degrees. It’s the best temperature if you need a “nursery greenhouse” for growing sprouts. These greenhouses are the only ones that will not need grow lights.
Most plants go through failure simply because there is too much heat in the greenhouse. The role of the best greenhouse is to hang on to the warm air when the temperature outside is cold, but also to release said warm air when it’s hot outside.
You may want to make sure that your greenhouse has enough vents that you can open. Exhaust fans are also a nice extra when it comes to greenhouses.
The type of weather that you live in will determine exactly what type of insulation you need. For instance, if you live in a colder region, you will need thicker insulation that will keep the natural warmth in, therefore saving on artificial heating.
The type of covering that you choose will also determine the level of insulation that you get. A twin-wall polyethylene, for instance, will offer more insulation than a single-layered polyethylene film.
Similarly, polycarbonate fiber will provide more insulation than glass. The latter will keep the heat in only if it’s at least double-layered.
Some people want their greenhouses to be completely see-through. Others want to keep the element of “mystery.” You may want to think closely about how you want your panels to be.
A clear panel will enable more light to get into the greenhouse, allowing for a better photosynthesis. These are great for tall plants that try to “reach towards the light.”
Diffused light offers the same kind of light necessary for photosynthesis; only the plants won’t be fighting over “who can get leggy faster.” The light they receive will be more balanced and compact, coming in from every angle.
If the covering that you choose does not have UV protection, you can expect that the greenhouse won’t last long. Sun can be very harmful to plastic, which is why it requires a protective coating.
For instance, while a regular plastic panel would last one year without protection, the best greenhouse that has received a protective layer can last up to ten years.
The frame of your greenhouse will also determine its durability. You may choose from wood, plastic resin, steel or aluminum – each with its own advantages or disadvantages.
For instance, while a wood frame would be the “classy” option, it can attract moisture and break down faster – especially if it wasn’t reinforced with a protective coat. Steel frames are the strongest, but are fairly difficult to handle – and will usually need an extra hand.
The materials used for covering – or “glazing” can also greatly impact the way in which your plants grow – and not only in terms of insulation.
Each type of glazing has its own durability, way to pass light, and purpose. Before starting to build the best greenhouse for winter, here is what you need to consider:
Panels made out of tempered glass are highly resistant to shock and very strong, and will be able to handle the contractions and expansions of the frame during seasonal change. The thicker the glass, the more insulation it will provide.
For instance, a 3mm tempered glass panel will be great for sun houses or gardening in a warm area, but a 4mm one will provide more insulation for locations on the colder side.
It may be more expensive than the other materials, but it’s also scratch-resistant and durable, making it the ideal material for the best greenhouse.
This is a lightweight and fairly durable option – a more affordable version of tempered glass. It has the clarity of glass, but it’s not as durable and scratch-resistant. However, if maintained properly, polycarbonate glazing might last up to 15 years or more.
This is another alternative to glass – a semi-transparent one that produces well-diffused lighting. This material has been made to be rigid and durable in terms of strength, but it may become yellowed by the sun after five years due to the gel coating.
Polyethylene: Polyethylene film – or plastic – is very common when it comes to industrial-sized greenhouses since they are easily maintained and relatively inexpensive. Like fiberglass, this one is translucent and provides a diffused light.
It also retains heat well, making it a very good option for those living in cold areas. Since it’s inexpensive, however, this one will not be as long lasting as glass, for example.
In terms of looks, acrylic and polycarbonate are not that different. The only difference is that, unlike polycarbonate, acrylic is not that resistant to scratches. It is, however, fairly insulating and very inexpensive; therefore, if it’s thick enough, you can construct the best greenhouse from it.
Vinyl is the perfect option for those wanting to get that clear, fancy look you see in showrooms. However, since it’s highly sensitive to sunrays, you may not want to use it on the roof; just stick to side glazing, and it will last longer.
The glazing that you choose will be the actual anchor of your greenhouse. If you choose the wrong one, you will be putting your construction at risk.
As we may have mentioned, people go out of their way to purchase greenhouses for their crops. They have purchased and tested various kinds, leaving us countless reviews for us to determine: “Is it actually worth it?”
Let’s find out which is the best greenhouse of them all.
King Canopy GH1010 Greenhouse
This fully enclosed unit is considered the best greenhouse for a variety of reasons. Having a clear cover, this is a fairly elegant choice to have around if you have flowers to grow and want to show them off.
It is made out of a very durable polyethylene that has been reinforced to withstand the harshness of the weather. So, this greenhouse will most likely last a couple of years before you need to make an update.
The steel frame is very sturdy, and since there aren’t any complicated sections within the structure, it is also simple to install. Cleaning is also done effortlessly because it does not have any unnecessary nooks and crannies.
- The steel frame makes the greenhouse very sturdy
- It can resist strong winds and heavy rainfall
- It’s perfect for areas with moderately warm weather
- The zipper is fragile and might break if you aren’t careful enough
- It might not be a good option during winters if you live in a very cold area
Its width is also noteworthy. Measuring a total of ten feet, you’ll have enough space to move around in the greenhouse – and plant to your heart’s content.
Plus, it’s tall enough so that you will not have to bend awkwardly each time you enter the greenhouse. It goes up eight feet high!
The cover is fire retardant, so in case of an unhappy accident, you have no reason to worry that the fire will spread. It’s also water and pressure-resistant, so if you’re hit by heavy rainfall and hail, your plants will remain safe from the wrath of nature – including that of the sun.
Its UV inhibitors will make sure that the structure will last a couple of years. It’s most definitely the best King Canopy greenhouse.
Quictent Portable Greenhouse
This greenhouse is another option that promises durability in extreme conditions. With its sturdy steel frame, you should not worry that your plants will be blown off by the wind – especially if you root it deeply in the ground.
Assembly is easy, to the point where every man can do it; there is no need for complicated instructions.
The transparent PVC cover has received UV protection to resist yellowing from the sun but has also been reinforced to handle stress factors such as heavy rain and hailstorms.
It’s also thick enough to ensure that your plants will stay warm even after harvesting season, but also keep them cool enough when the temperatures get too high. You won’t have to worry that your plants will get cooked before their due date.
- It features a sturdy frame construction that will withstand strong winds
- The considerable dimensions will let you plant generous amounts of seedlings
- Easy assembly
- It can keep the heat and moisture in properly to ensure the well-being of your plants.
- It doesn’t come with any shelves
- The zipper is fragile, so it might break if you pull too much on it
The greenhouse is airtight and secured thanks to the extra cover material at the base. All you will have to do is bury it in the ground, and it will keep the air from going in at the bottom area. This will also help to maintain the ground warm.
This unit is very large (71”W x 36”D x 36”H), which means you will have enough space to move around and do some proper gardening. It’s most likely the best greenhouse for the money.
The item is equipped with zippered windows so that you can naturally ventilate your plants without needlessly consuming energy. The zippers are waterproof as well, so no water will leak into your tent – at least, no water that you don’t intentionally leave there.
Overall, this Quictent greenhouse is a product with a very sturdy design that will protect your plants from the harsh weather for a long time and at a very convenient price.
Flower House FHPH155 Greenhouse
This model from Flower House is very practical if you move around a lot, due to its portability. You can easily set it on any kind of surface, no matter if it’s hard ground or soft soil.
The frame is made of plastic, but it has been reinforced to withstand the pressure brought by harsh weather, and you can easily install it since it’s lightweight.
This is the best greenhouse to have around if you want to extend your growing season. It can keep the warmth and moist inside, so you won’t have to worry that your plants will be compromised.
- The open floor allows you to install the greenhouse on every kind of surface, including trees and bushes
- The Go-Tec fabric is rip-proof, so it’s a good option if you are in an area with frequent hailstorms
- It’s waterproof and properly insulated so that no rainfall will get in and the moisture will be properly maintained.
- Since the frame is made of plastic, it is not as sturdy as steel
- The front zipper is sturdy but somewhat hard to open
The surface of the tent is waterproof so that no water will get in from the outside. However, keep in mind that while no water will leak through the surface, the greenhouse in itself does not have a floor. Therefore, the soil can get wet – but you’ll still have to water the plants yourself daily.
The cover is very durable, so you won’t have to worry that it will rip under pressure. Plus, it’s been reinforced with a UV protective coat that ensures a longer life, regardless of the harshness of the sun.
Gardman R687 Mini Greenhouse
This is the best greenhouse if you live in a house with a small backyard. It may not be very wide, but it’s very tall and can fit a lot of pots where you can grow your seedlings. This one is what you’d call a “starter greenhouse,” since you can plant and then move them to your outdoor garden once they have grown.
The Gardman greenhouse can be easily placed on a patio, balcony, or deck, and its transparency will allow just enough light to go in so that your plants can grow nice and healthy. It is also highly waterproof, so no water will get in if you don’t want it to.
- The shelves are durable and can hold quite a bit of weight
- It can be used indoors due to its reduced size
- It can hold on to warmth and moisture if used as a combo with ventilators and heaters
- It can only hold a limited amount of plants
- The frame can be pretty wobbly depending on the surface that you place it on.
The steel frame of this greenhouse is very sturdy, with a tubular system that ensures durability and easy installation. You won’t need any tools to bring the greenhouse up, and you can get the job done in less than 510 minutes.
The cover is made from polyethylene, which is closed up at the front by a heavy duty zipper. The “door” is rolled up and tied, so you will not be bothered by a fluttering part each time you want to water your plants.
Giantex Portable Greenhouse
A Giantex greenhouse is also a good option for those people who are tight on space but still want their own greenhouse.
Constructed with a solid wood frame, this greenhouse was made to be sturdy and heavily insulated. It has been coated with a protective layer as well to protect it from external factors.
- The wood frame is very sturdy
- Since it’s fully enclosed, it provides superior protection from wind
- It’s very easy to assemble
- Since the frame is made of wood, it can easily attract moisture and rot
- You have limited space for plants
The polycarbonate panels are thick, offering extra insulating properties even after the planting season is over. Furthermore, while the “house” in itself may not be very large, it has shelves that allow you to stack one plant over the other.
The double locking system of the door will also ensure that no air will get in or out. Once equipped with a ventilator and a heater, you can create any type of environment that you want for your plants. It’s definitely the best greenhouse for some people.
As you can see, picking out the best greenhouse is definitely not easy. You have many things to consider: the wood frame, the covering, ventilation, the outdoor temperature – even the ground that you place it on is of utmost importance.
This guide should make things much easier for you. If you follow our pieces of advice regarding the things to look for and you consider our recommendations, then your plants will definitely have a long and healthy life, even after their season is over.