Veronica Lorson Fowler, a master gardener and author of several gardening books, highlights that greenhouses offer a great solution to extend the growing season or cultivate exotic plants that may not otherwise thrive in your local climate. However, she notes that the type of greenhouse required can vary based on individual needs. For instance, gardeners seeking an early start on cool-season vegetables like lettuces and greens may opt for a temporary hoop-type greenhouse or row cover, while serious orchid collectors may require a sturdier wood or metal-framed greenhouse with advanced climate control features such as venting systems, fans, and heating systems with alarms.
To assist in the search for the most suitable greenhouse for specific requirements and purposes, we have evaluated numerous options of all sizes, considering factors such as material, structural stability, and overall value.
Palram Snap & Grow Greenhouse
Modern snap-and-go greenhouse designs can now be assembled in just an afternoon. Although several options are available, we recommend a model featuring a SmartLock connector system as our top choice. This particular model is available in multiple sizes, making it easier to find one that fits your available space.
The greenhouse frame arrives in pieces and can be quickly and easily locked into place section by section. Additionally, the design includes a pre-assembled door and ventilation windows, allowing for easy installation. The frame is made from heavy-duty aluminum, while the panels are crafted from polycarbonate, ensuring that the glass won’t break or crack. All you need is a sunny location, and you can begin growing plants for years to come.
At the time of publishing, the price for the 98 x 100 inch base size is $1,570.
Exaco J-ORA 116 Square Foot Greenhouse
If aesthetics are an important consideration for you, this greenhouse is an excellent option as it features Victorian-inspired metal roof cresting. However, keep in mind that this greenhouse is larger and will take longer to assemble than other options on the list.
The Exaco Junior Orangerie Greenhouse kit is a top choice for those looking for a classic greenhouse with glass walls. The greenhouse, which is manufactured in Belgium, draws inspiration from Victorian architecture. Its aluminum structure holds tempered glass panels, which are four times stronger than regular glass, and are attached with rubber seals to enhance insulation.
This greenhouse kit includes a sturdy aluminum frame that is lightweight, easy to assemble, and won’t rust over time. Additionally, it features two roof vents with automatic openers that regulate temperature by opening and closing the vents. As glass allows more light penetration than other common greenhouse panel materials, ventilation helps prevent plants from overheating on sunny days.
The kit also comes with a sliding glass door to keep out unwanted critters. With a size of 116 square feet, this greenhouse is the largest on our list. Ensure that the sunniest area of your backyard can accommodate this size of structure.
Product Details: Size: 116 square feet, 123 x 150 x 98 inches | Panel material: Tempered glass | Frame material: Aluminum
MELLCOM 26’x10′ Greenhouse Tunnel
This greenhouse kit by Mellcom is a top pick for those seeking a large and sturdy growing environment. The dimensions of the softcover, large greenhouse are 10 feet in width, 26 feet in depth, and 6.6 feet in height, with a weight of 88 pounds. It features a powder-coated steel frame and rip-stop clear nylon material, ensuring resistance to wind and harsh weather conditions.
Designed for hydroponics, seed starting ventures, or those selling young plants, this greenhouse kit is versatile and multifunctional. It has built-in half-moon mesh vents on either end, facilitating proper ventilation and airflow, and roll-up doors on either end for easy access.
Overall, this massive greenhouse is an excellent choice for those setting up a larger-scale natural light grow tent on their property. With its strength and protective features, it is a reliable option for ensuring optimal growing conditions for your plants. Therefore, it is undoubtedly the best choice for the best large greenhouse.
Product Details: Type: Softcover, large Material: Powder-coated steel, rip-stop clear nylon Dimensions: 10’ wide x 26’ deep x 6.6’ tall Weight: 88 lbs Features: Built-in half-moon mesh vents on either end, roll-up doors on either end for easy access.
Gardman R08768 Walk-in Greenhouse with Round Roof
This spacious walk-in greenhouse comes with sturdy shelves that provide abundant stable space for your plants throughout the year. Whether you want to grow seasonal vegetables or exotic plants, this greenhouse is an ideal choice for gardening enthusiasts who want to cultivate their plants all year round. The greenhouse features a round roof made of enhanced PVC material that provides full sunlight coverage and is waterproof, ensuring that your plants stay dry even during rainy weather. With its zippered side-rolling door, the greenhouse allows for easy access to your plants while also maintaining the right humidity levels and fresh air for optimal plant growth. The strong tubular steel frame of this greenhouse makes it suitable for use even during the cold season when harsh elements can damage your plants. This means that you can grow your favorite plants in summer and winter without worrying about them being affected by the elements. Pros:
- Large walk-in greenhouse with ample shelving space
- Reinforced PVC roof providing full sunlight coverage for plants
- Rust and corrosion-resistant steel frame
- Zippered door for easy access and humidity control
- Easy to assemble without the need for special tools Cons:
- The PVC cover may not be as durable as a polycarbonate cover.
Lacewing 6x6Ft Crystal Clear Polycarbonate Greenhouse in Silver with Base
This 6x6ft greenhouse is equipped with transparent, shatterproof polycarbonate panes that not only allow enough light for plant growth but also block 90% of harmful UV rays. With the flexibility to choose the sliding direction of the door, this greenhouse can fit into a variety of spaces. It also comes with two window vents to promote proper ventilation. The galvanized steel base is included with the greenhouse, making it an excellent value for its price.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Greenhouse
Setting up a greenhouse requires careful consideration to provide your plants with the optimal growing environment. While experts at garden centers can offer advice on plant selection, we have put together some tips to help you choose the best greenhouse for your backyard or deck.
Frame Material You can opt for either a wooden or metal frame for your greenhouse. Aluminum is a cheaper and durable option that requires low maintenance and comes in a variety of powder-coated colors. Timber is a popular choice for those seeking an attractive greenhouse and its ability to retain heat longer. However, it requires more upkeep and can be relatively expensive. You can also glaze it to the ground or construct a lean-on greenhouse using wooden frames.
Size Greenhouses come in various sizes, with widths and lengths in 2ft increments. An ideal size is a 6ft wide and 8ft tall greenhouse that allows for shelves on both sides. The eaves of the greenhouse should be at least 5ft tall to let in plenty of light for the plants. The size also depends on the type and number of plants you plan to grow.
Shape The shape of your greenhouse is crucial in determining its movability options. There are three main shapes: lean-on, traditional, and octagonal. You can also consider dome-shaped greenhouses. Octagonal or dome-shaped greenhouses are ideal for those without ideal square spaces. Lean-on greenhouses lean against existing walls and use the house bricks to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year.
Ventilation Ventilation is essential for your greenhouse, particularly during summer. A mesh door is perfect for letting fresh air in while keeping out bugs and small animals. Most greenhouses have hinged roof vents, side vents, windows, and doors for ventilation purposes. Sufficient vent openings around the perimeter of the greenhouse are crucial to facilitate cross ventilation and allow natural gas to escape.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Build A Greenhouse?
Depending on the materials you choose to use, building your greenhouse may be cheaper than buying a kit. But the amount of time and work you will have to put in will be considerably more. With that in mind, most greenhouse kits are more than worth their price.
Is Glass Or Plastic Better For A Greenhouse?
Both thick glass and double or triple-walled polycarbonate plastic have great insulative properties in a greenhouse.
Glass does tend to be heavier but will last forever assuming it is not broken by large hail, flying objects, or during the installation process. Polycarbonate plastic is lightweight and does not break easily, but is more prone to wind damage.
Can I Grow Year-Round In A Greenhouse?
Yes. Well-insulated greenhouses allow you to grow plants year-round in most climates.
Cold season plants like kale and spinach will grow throughout the winter even in northern regions. If you want to grow warm-season plants like tomatoes and peppers throughout the year, you will need to use a heater and lighting over the winter.
Do Plants Grow Faster In A Greenhouse?
Yes, plants do grow faster in a greenhouse.
Greenhouse plants experience less variation in temperature and aren’t exposed to damaging winds and weather. They’re also less affected by pests and pathogens. Additionally, greenhouses have higher CO2 concentrations inside than the air outside which leads to more sustained growth.