It’s inevitable. Eventually, every gardener will think about buying a greenhouse. With a greenhouse, you have the opportunity to enjoy your garden all year long. However, it’s important to remember that a greenhouse is also a huge commitment to space, money, and time.
Did you know that a greenhouse kit can help meet your budget as well as gardening needs? Varying in size and designs, you can easily find a kit that will give you the space and conditions you need to grow the plants you love. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best greenhouse kit for your gardening needs.
Top 6: Best Greenhouse Kit Reviews
With a design that can withstand the extremes of any season, the Boot Strap Farmer Greenhouse Kit is an all-metal greenhouse kit with everything you need to get started. Made in the United States, this greenhouse is worth the investment since you get a LEED-certified, heavy-duty steel. Equipped with an organic, clear Flo-Coat seal, this is a premium quality greenhouse with an all-steel frame that comes with end walls that offer multiple door configurations.
Featuring integrated wind bracing and overlapping joints, the Boot Strap Farmer Greenhouse Kit is easy to install and offers incredible strength. Available in several sizes, you can put any of the size options together within just a weekend. You can also customize the lengths if needed or add passive sidewall ventilation.
Included in every base kit is a 36-inch door frame, end walls, steel braces, pre-bent hoops, a post driver, ground posts, and galvanized hardware. The Boot Strap Farmer Greenhouse Kit also comes with four-year greenhouse plastic, an aluminum lock channel, and a spring wire with a PVC coating. You won’t have to worry about incomplete instructions or guessing what to put together next.
The Boot Strap Farmer Greenhouse Kit also offers added options like insect netting, ground cover, shade cloth, an inflation fan, a double layer of plastic, and a passive sidewall roll-up bundle. With some of the added options, you can create a greenhouse that is adaptable to any climate. Plus, you can also upgrade the doors if needed.
The optional insect netting is recommended for use as a bug screen on the open sidewall. To ensure a great fit, the plastic, two layers of wire, and the insect netting all fit into the same channel lock. The kit includes the first layer that covers the end walls, but a double layer will give you added insulation if you live in cold climates.
Offering a durable frame, the Palram Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse is a great choice for anyone that has a small backyard. Ideal for hobby gardeners, this greenhouse is a great balance of two advanced polycarbonates that allows you to easily manage the light and retains the heat well. This is a twin-walled polycarbonate greenhouse with a six-foot-wide frame that has the perfect design for a growing hobby gardener.
Blocking almost 100 percent of harmful UV rays, the Palram Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse has a twin-wall roof design that creates a system that can diffuse light and maximize the growth of the plant. It also helps to eliminate the possibility of plant burn. With its clear polycarbonate side panels, this greenhouse is durable and offers more than 90 percent light transmission.
Made with virgin materials, the Palram Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse will not become discolored or brittle over time. Using almost unbreakable polymers, this greenhouse features an aluminum frame that is rust-resistant along with a base made of galvanized, heavy-duty steel. It also features a single roof vent that allows moderate temperatures and airflow to improve growing conditions, a magnetic door catch, and integrated rain gutters that will channel water and provide sustainable irrigation.
The four-millimeter roof panels are made with almost unbreakable polycarbonate that can diffuse sunlight and eliminate shade areas. Maximizing space and encouraging a productive growing season, polycarbonate is a thermoplastic that is engineered to transmit light but is lighter and stronger than glass. Capable of withstanding extreme temperature and weather conditions, this material offers incredible light transmission along with impact resistant qualities.
The Palmar Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse allows you to display plants while also protecting them from harmful sunlight. You can choose from either powder coated green or silver aluminum frames and lengths that range from four to 14 feet. And it offers US-based customer service and a five-year limited warranty.
Featuring several options based on your personal preferences, this Palram Greenhouse offers a choice between opaque and clear walls with a single or double design. You can also choose between six and eight-foot widths as well as four to 20-foot lengths. Keep in mind that double-walled greenhouses will give you better insulation and allows 20 percent less light transmission, which can prevent plant scorching.
Designed to fit a variety of applications, Palram is an international manufacturer that offers products made mainly from PVC and Polycarbonate. Useful in fabrication, glazing, agricultural, architectural, construction, and DIY projects, Palram creates finished products, panel systems, and semi-finished extruded thermoplastic sheets that can be used in different markets.
The Palram Hybrid Lean Greenhouse offers a modern, but familiar design to a hobby greenhouse. This is a great choice for those with limited areas like patios or balconies or a small backyard and includes rain gutters that are integrated into the design to allow for water collection creating a sustainable irrigation system. Allowing you to easily grow vegetables and herbs, these greenhouse polycarbonate panels are virtually unbreakable and a rust-resistant aluminum frame.
This greenhouse is able to withstand bad weather while providing a growing environment that will help your plants thrive. The four-millimeter twin-wall roof panels will block up to 99.9% of UV rays while the clear and almost unbreakable panels offer 90 percent light transmission. The Palram Hybrid Lean Greenhouse also comes with a wall mounting kit and roof vents that are adjustable to provide airflow and regulation of humidity and heat levels.
With a commitment to provide customers with great products, Quictent offers a portable greenhouse made with a heavy-duty galvanized steel. Equipped with two easy to use doors, this is a functional greenhouse that is able to provide sufficient ventilation. Along with two doors, it also includes eight vents on the sides of the greenhouse and two vents in the doors.
Featuring two doors on each side, this upgraded greenhouse includes a mesh door that keeps small animals out while allowing you to still ventilate the building on a hot day. You also get a PE cover door that will keep the building warm. Both doors include independent zippers that make it easy to use each of the doors when you need to.
Equipped with a two-layer thick cover, this greenhouse is able to protect plants from the sun and rain thanks to its reinforced mesh mold design. Plus, the extended cover design gives you better closure with higher temperature and humidity for the plants.
This large, walk-in greenhouse uses seven crossbars along with a heavy-duty galvanized steel frame. With three rows of crossbars on the roof of the greenhouse, this completely round greenhouse stops water and snow from accumulating. And the ground frame uses U-type stakes that are effective at gripping the ground to lessen wind obstruction.
The windows feature Velcro on all sides allowing the greenhouse to remain airlocked while keeping the inner temperature steady throughout the winner. All of the windows feature a gauze mesh that is able to keep out animals when you vent the building. The included transparent cover allows 85 percent of sunlight through while also preventing UV rays from entering and burning plants.
Measuring 20 x 10 x 7 feet, this is a portable greenhouse that comes with four ropes and 20 stakes for easy installation. It is suggested not to face the greenhouse in the direction where the wind typically blows.
This is a sturdy greenhouse that uses ropes, stakes, and poles to secure it to the ground although additional stakes and roper are recommended to help reinforce the building. It also comes with free screw covers that protect the poles and screws while preventing water from entering into the poles.
This heavy-duty greenhouse is equipped with a reinforced galvanized steel frame, ground staples, and rope. The Ohuhu Walk-In Greenhouse includes six screen windows and two zippered screen doors. Using a smart design, this greenhouse is a sturdy and reliable solution that allows you to easily take care of all your plants at the same time.
With this intelligent design and large footprint, you can use roll-up windows and screened doors to improve ventilation while keeping pests and animals out. This is a weather-resistant greenhouse that can withstand severe weather including snow, sun, frost, wind, and rain. Its design also helps to insulate the building while the screens can manage the amount of light and heat that gets in providing both humidity and temperature management.
When you use the Ohuhu Greenhouse, you aren’t limited to plants that only grow in your climate zone or what season it is. You can easily create a warm and humid environment right in the dead of winter allowing any tropical plant to thrive. This is a stable and durable greenhouse that will allow your plants to live for a long time.
Made with rust-proof, high-grade tube frames, the Ohuhu Greenhouse also comes with an anti-aging, heavy-duty cover as well as stakes and ropes that add to its stability and allows it to stand up to strong winds. It features an easy to use screw assembly, so you can tighten or retighten as necessary. And with its easy to assemble design, you can take it with you anytime you move.
Featuring roll-up windows, this greenhouse allows you to optimize humidity, heat, and airflow using both screens and the included double zippered doors. Easily make adjustments by just zipping or unzipping as needed while preventing bugs and animals from getting in. The tunnel design of the greenhouse makes it simple to access your plants by providing an easy walk-through design for watering and inspection.
The Ohuhu Greenhouse offers lots of space for seedlings, flowers, and fresh vegetables. With its large size, you can easily walk around as well as hold a large plant collection. And, thanks to its tough insulation and sturdy construction, all your plants will be protected from sun, frost, snow, and wind.
This is a UV resistant and waterproof greenhouse made out of stable PE material and thick pipe diameters. The Ohuhu Greenhouse includes a pair of gloves for installation and is equipped with ground stables that improve the building's stability.
This 8 x 6-foot portable greenhouse is large enough to walk in and easily pops up offering a fast setup. Perfect for outdoor or indoor use, this portable greenhouse includes rear and front roll-up doors and two large side windows. Using innovative technology, this easy to set up greenhouse is ready to be assembled right out of the box.
This collapsible greenhouse is designed with multi-piece frames, which also makes it easy to move and transport. You also won’t need any tools for assembly thanks to its pre-assembled frame making it easy to move with the changing seasons. This will allow you to extend your plant’s growing period, so they can thrive all year long.
Providing plenty of space to move around, this walk-in greenhouse is spacious providing space to work and your plants to grow. Shelving will fit easily in the 8 x 6 foot of floor space, plus it offers three-height adjustable legs to give you more headroom when needed. It also features fabric walls made with mesh-reinforced fabric along with two zippered walls that give you access to each side.
Sturdy and stable, the greenhouse features a steel-frame and a steel-ceiling roof. Durable and rigid, this greenhouse is able to withstand most outdoor conditions while protecting all of your delicate plants. This greenhouse is able to provide the optimal environment for fruits, plants, and vegetables to thrive.
The included one-year exclusive limited warranty that covers both the tops and frames. Featuring a single person set up, the canopy opens with a push and collapses with a twist. Using a convection design, the two roll-up side windows include custom mesh that can keep bugs from getting to your seedlings and plants.
Both doors feature a protective PE cover offering maximum solar performance while protecting seedlings and plants from the weather. It also stays secure thanks to the anchoring system that keeps the greenhouse securely anchored to the ground with deep rooting stakes and strong ropes to keep it sturdy in bad weather.
Considerations When Choosing a Greenhouse Kit
Do you need a building permit required?
It’s important to check your local ordinances to find out the required setbacks from your property lines along with design requirements or any other requirements. All you need to do is contact the local zoning department to get the information. Keep in mind that many hobby greenhouses will not require a permit, but it’s always important to check anyway.
What size greenhouse should you choose?
The size of your greenhouse is typically determined by available space or the cost of construction versus your desire or need. When you choose a size, always think about how you will use the greenhouse and whether you will be using it seasonally, all year round, or just as sunspace. For those that want to use a greenhouse to hold a huge houseplant collection, then you will want to buy or build a greenhouse that is bigger than the space where you currently house your plants.
Typically, a hobby greenhouse owner will buy a bigger greenhouse than they originally had planned. Remember that it can be cheaper for you to buy a larger building right away then upgrade later.
Height is also an important consideration a lot of people forget about, so make sure the greenhouse you choose has plenty of headroom. Always consider both sidewall and peak height since taller houses are easier to ventilate and heat since the air has a larger buffer area.
Choosing a Site for a Greenhouse
Choosing the right pace for a greenhouse helps to determine how well it is going to work as a greenhouse as well as how much you will end up enjoying it. Here are a few things to think about as you choose the right place to house your greenhouse.
If you plan to use your greenhouse primarily for starting transplants and seeds or for plant propagation during the summer, you should place the greenhouse in an area with partial shade to help minimize heat buildup. Shade cloth can also be used to control how much sunlight gets inside the greenhouse if a shaded site is not available.
If you want to use the greenhouse for growing plants in winter or even late fall or grow plants to maturity, you will need to place it where it has the most exposure to the sun. At a minimum, the greenhouse needs to receive six hours of direct sunlight each day. Make sure that you place the greenhouse where it’s ends are facing west and east to allow it to gain more heat from the sun in the winter and get fewer shadows.
When you have restricted southern exposure, but it is open to the west, east, southeast, and southwest, you can turn your greenhouse to face the winter sun. Remember the difference in sun angles from the summer to the winter since the sun is a lot lower in the winter.
Remember that a shade tree can sometimes be an advantage by providing some shade for your greenhouse in the hot summer months and allowing the sun in after it has lost of its leaves in autumn. An overhanging tree can be an issue if one of the branches falls and damages your greenhouse.
It’s important that your greenhouse is easy to use, so you need to find a site that is sheltered from the wind and easy to access from your garden and home. You will need to move fertilizer, plants, and soil as well as yourself in and out of the greenhouse. You also want easy access to utilities like water and electricity, which are important requirements to keep in mind when choosing an appropriate greenhouse site.
Different regions have consistent weather problems like strong winds as well as heavy snow and rain. With heavy rains, you can have issues with drainage around and in your greenhouse. It is important to avoid standing water, so it's important to find a spot on a high spot that is well-drained ground, or, before you erect the greenhouse, you should install a drainage system.
Snow is not typically an issue as long as you adequate heating and insulation. A strong wind, though, can be a huge problem, especially in cold weather when the wind that is blowing over your greenhouse may drain it of interior heat and escalate its energy costs. With a windbreak, you will have an effective weapon.
Creating an obstacle like a windbreak helps to break up the wind’s force, so it's important to use fences, shrubs, trees, and other structures as an effective windbreak. Also, keep in mind that windbreaks can also obstruct light, so try to locate your greenhouse when the light is blocked the least.
Ease of maintenance and set up
If you have a well-drained and level site, you will have an easier time to maintain and work with in comparison to a sloped and swampy low area. You will also want to make sure to keep your greenhouse location away from any play areas.
What Is the Best Material to Use in a Greenhouse?
When considering a greenhouse, there isn’t really a best material to use. There are a lot of different materials that you can choose from including polyethylene, polycarbonate, fiberglass, glass, PVC, wood, galvanized steel, and aluminum. All of these materials have their advantages when it comes to greenhouse construction, so your budget and needs will help to determine which of the materials are really best for you.
The covering is one of the more important considerations that you will have since it determines the type and amount of light that reaches your plants. It will also determine the longevity, ease of maintenance, safety, and overall appearance of the greenhouse.
A traditional covering for a greenhouse that is loved for its beauty and permanence. However, glass is not very efficient when it comes to retaining heat since it will transmit cold and heat quickly, plus it doesn’t have a high insulating value. If you use glass in a greenhouse, you want to double or triple it to improve its heating efficiency and it decreases the breakage since it can be dangerous in a completed greenhouse.
Heavier than other types of coverings, glass requires a more substantial frame. Other disadvantages of glass include the risk of burning plants, easy breakage, difficulty diffusing light, and small deviations in vertical and horizontal frame alignment and foundation settling that may crack it. Typically, glass greenhouses are made with either laminated wood, aluminum, or steel frames with a full foundation.
You also don’t want to install glass on a windy day. And, since you need several small glass segments that overlap in a greenhouse, it's important to consider wind speeds. Heat leakage is also higher in a glass greenhouse since you need so many glass panes.
If you aren’t really sure about your building expertise, you should avoid glass for a frame since it should be completely rigid and square. If you do decide on glass, think about choosing a contractor to do the installation.
With a plastic covering, you get a shatterproof covering, which is a huge advantage over glass. Plastic coverings can include polyethylene film, acrylic sheets, polycarbonate, and fiberglass. All of these types of plastic are able to resist damage from hailstones.
Plus, rigid plastic can be stiff, but not brittle. So, you can flex them to fit a curved surface and buy them in a large sheet. They also reduce the number of air leaks by lessening the number of joints needed in a covering.
A newer covering option, UV treated polycarbonate is able to provide the clarity of glass as well as more strength and impact-resistant than other types of coverings. It is also is stronger and impact-resistant in comparison to other coverings. Plus, polycarbonate is more fire-resistant than other types of plastics.
Available in several thicknesses, polycarbonate is usually sold in single, double, and triple walled sheets that use several structural walls to separate the two flat sides. A single wall polycarbonate sheet is the least expensive, plus has a more attractive appearance although it lacks the heat retentions, strength, and light-diffusing properties that you get from either a double or triple walled polycarbonate sheet. With its multiwall structure, you get more strength and better insulation value with built-in air space.
A multiwall polycarbonate sheet gives you evenly diffused light while minimizing shadows. It is also optimal when growing plants and offers an over 15-year lifespan. With a double-walled or triple walled polycarbonate, you will see reducing heating costs in colder climates although you will spend more on the initial purchase.
Because of its ease of maintenance, polyethylene film is popular among commercial growers. It can be used for up to three to five years, depending on its thickness and UV treatment before covering it with a new layer of polyethylene. When used in a single thickness, polyethylene film can be a good choice for simple cold frames or for a greenhouse that is used to start seeds and any other seasonal needs.
When you use two layers, the space in between will be inflated with a fan that creates air space that is insulated. The polyethylene film is able to retain heat more efficiently than a glass greenhouse, which can save around 40 percent in your heating costs.
There are a couple of drawbacks to using polyethylene film including a pretty short lifespan in comparison to other coverings. It is also possible to rip and tear easier. But its advantages include a lost cost, easy replacement, a high amount of light transmission, and great heat retention, which makes it popular among commercial growers and nurserymen.
You will find a few differences in polyethylene film. The thin and chap film that is sold at home centers and hardware store isn’t appropriate for use in a greenhouse. That type of film is made for use as a vapor barrier in home construction or other types of interior use.
A greenhouse polyethylene film is coated especially for protection from UV rays that can shorten the lifespan of an unprotected film. Remember that there is very little cost difference when you consider the performance in your greenhouse.
Typically, a greenhouse frame is made out of PVC, galvanized steel, aluminum, or wood. Which material is better depends on how you will use your greenhouse and where you will be placing it.
Most greenhouses that are used for commercial use are equipped with galvanized steel frames due to their low cost, durability, and less need for a framework, which cuts down on shadowing. The best part of steel is its natural strength that allows you to use thinner beams and fewer of them in the greenhouse’s construction. Thinner beams also mean more light is being allowed into the greenhouse.
You will find that a steel greenhouse is typically covered with a polyethylene film since most greenhouse frames were not created to hold rigid panels without the use of additional hardware. Any steel tube greenhouse should be made with heavy-duty stainless or galvanized tubing that is made specifically for outdoor construction and is protected by a greenhouse's usual corrosive and humid atmosphere.
A galvanized metal usually wears off its protective finish and ends up rusting from the high humidity levels found in a greenhouse. In comparison, steel is heavier than aluminum and requires more hardware to mount rigid coverings to it.
Primarily used for hobby greenhouses and polycarbonate or glass architectural sunspaces, aluminum doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and can be anodized in a range of colors. It does have a high initial cost, so you mostly see it used with rigid plastic and glass coverings. Of all the framing materials, aluminum lasts the longest since it will never break down from UV ray exposure, rust, or rot.
Since aluminum doesn’t have steel’s strength, it is necessary to use more beams or they need to be larger. It is possible to find engineered shapes in aluminum, which are designed to improve the strength of the frame. This can help reduce shadowing while increasing the frame’s integrity.
Used mostly in homemade greenhouses and sunrooms, wood is a more attractive choice that is also easy to add to. And, when compared to metal frames in similar sizes, they produce a low quantity of heat loss. Usually, a wood frame is covered with glass or rigid plastic.
In a sunspace, wood is an attractive choice, but it has a limited lifetime in an atmosphere that will start to deteriorate in a damp environment like a greenhouse. Cedar and redwood are usually recommended thanks to their natural resistance to insects and the weather. If you apply a stain or sealant to it, you can increase the lifespan of the wood.
Heavier and larger than metal frames, a wood frame can increase the number of shadows it creates in your greenhouse. However, a wood hobby house is typically a smaller scale building than commercial greenhouses, and they usually have limited expansion opportunities.
Plastic has the main benefit of being a low-cost material. When used in a greenhouse, it is typically used to build small structures since it isn’t as durable and rigid as wood and metal.
Plastic’s main disadvantage is the UV rays can eventually make it deteriorate, even if it has a UV protected coating. A UV protected PVC material will typically last at least 20 years or more. A plastic frame normally is larger than a similar metal frame and can increase the number of shadows that appear in your greenhouse.