Choosing hobby greenhouses
and kits for your backyard takes some planning and forethought. My first attempt at greenhouse gardening was to use PVC hoops and plastic sheeting as the cover over my raised beds in the open garden. That was certainly an improvement in that it protected my plants on those cool evenings.
But, I soon tired of clipping and un-clipping the plastic sheeting in order to water my plants and to ventilate them on those hot summer days. Unfortunately, I also used standard four-mil plastic sheeting that tore after a season and was cumbersome to clip and unclip every day for that watering and ventilation.
I decided to buy a "real" greenhouse to lower my garden maintenance efforts. For economy and as a test, I chose an inexpensive 6x8-polycarbonate greenhouse. It wasn't very difficult to put up. Although, it did take a little more time than what the sales page said.
It was a good buy. Well, that lasted about two seasons not because the green house was no good.
On the contrary, I soon discovered that I was running out of room for all my seed starts and tropical plants. My plants were doing great and I had extended my growing season by almost three months.
I live in the Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains; here our winters are relatively mild. So, I was able to have green vegetables well into the winter months and extend my growing season by almost three months. Buying a hobby greenhouse
is one of the best gardening investments I have ever made.
If you are considering buying a greenhouse, I would like to give you a few things to consider before you buy. If I had thought this through and asked myself these questions, I would not now be considering buying a much bigger green house. Maybe it will save you time and money.
First, how much can you afford? Not all greenhouses are created equal. There are some very good and inexpensive
greenhouses. But, of course, they are smaller.
This leads to another consideration. What size will you need? Are you planning to use it throughout the fall and into the winter to grow greens? In the spring, how much space will you need to start your seedlings?
In other words, is your garden so large that you will need a lot of space for starts? And, in the summer, do you have tropical plants you want to nurture? Answer these questions and you will have a much better idea of how big a greenhouse you will need and you can get a better idea of the cost.
Finally, how much space do you have available in your backyard? If you have a small fenced in backyard, you may consider a portable greenhouse. Some of them have Velcro flaps that allow easy access to the green house interior for electrical cords and water hoses.
Many of the portable green houses are collapsible allowing you to store the greenhouse in the cold winter months.
Green houses come in a wide price range from a few hundred dollars and into the thousands of dollars. Regardless of the price owning a backyard greenhouse
will take your gardening experience to a new level.
I am sure you can think of other questions you might ask yourself before you decide. The point is to ask yourself these questions sincerely before you make a purchase. It could save you some headaches later on.
If you are a handyman, you can find hundreds of plans and build it yourself. That is not for me. I would rather dig a hole than sling a hammer.
Photo by cod_gabriel@Flickr
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