Buy a mini-greenhouse online
Sometimes we just don't have space for a greenhouse, so in this article I am going to look at the next best thing.
There are a multitude of affordable mini-greenhouses available, which will do the same job as a full szed greenhouse in terms of sheltering and protecting plants, as well as boosting growth through`the higher temperatures attained, than if the plants were simply left uncovered in a sheltered spot in your garden.
Your mini-greenhouse can be great for starting off seedlings early, and should be big enough to easily insert several seed trays where, if placed in a sunny position, they will be warm and cosy and sheltered from the prevailing early spring winds that can kill your tender plants.
With a mini-greenhouse, you should be able to plant your seeds up to 8 weeks earlier than if you were to simply place them in a sheltered spot in your garden, or terrace, which in turn of course means that by the time you would normally plant your seeds, your plants will have had a head start and should be just as big as the commercially-grown greenhouse plantlets that start appearing in the shops at aound this time, thus saving you having to buy any.
You can also use your mini-greenhouse as a garden cold frame to harden off shop bought plants ready for transplanting in your garden.
The advantages of a mini-greenhouse are
- COST. They are so much more affordable
- POSITIONING. The mini-greenhouse can be easily repositioned to catch the best light.
- HEATING Should you want to add heat, a simple lightbulb should generate enough.
The disadvantages of a mini-greenhouse are
- FRAGILITY. Can be easily blown down in a wind.
- LIMITED SPACE. Not much room for plants.
- EXPOSURE. For you, when working with the plants.
The Rion MLT3 Mini Lean-to greenhouse is by far the best and most sturdily constructed of the mini-greenhouses available today. If fastened to the wall, it looks like being a pretty permanent construction, ideal for the small grower. Comes complete with shelving units and safety polycarbonate glass.
Other types of mini-greenhouse
These little seedhouse or flowerhouses shown here seem to act like glorified cloches as they can be placed over early crops to protect them from frost, or they can be placed over frost-tender bushes, as well as being used as actual mini-greenhouses for seeds and plants in pots. They have a removable bottom cover and so can be set on a firm surface (and offer full protection to the plants you place inside), or can be set directly onto the earth.
This little plastic construction can be used to extend the growing season of lots of smaller plants, or, by removing the bottom plastic can be placed over a plant or tree that needs that little bit extra warmth in or out of season. The Springhouse comes with air vents to release moisture and increase airflow while the Gro-tech outer plastic covering contains UV protection for a longer lasting product.
The OrchidHouse Greenhouse does exactly the same as the Springhouse above, but I've included it in this collection to let you see how both can be used with the addition of shelving units as free-standing mini-greenhouses. While a bit pricier that those above, you can perhaps see that there is room for at least three slimline shelving units inside.
I've included a list of shelving unitsavailable that can all be used inside any plastic mini-greenhouse, a couple of which come with a plastic covering provided.
Of course, if you already have a full-sized greenhouse, placing one of these mini-greenhouses inside will provide a superb growing environment for many tender plants and seeds, without the need for additional heating, even in the depth of winter.
The mini-greenhouse will offer double support as they will not be affected by freezing air entering the greenhouse when you enter as they will be snug inside the enclosed plastic of the mini-greenhouse.