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Grow Plants in a Little Greenhouse

Updated on March 22, 2018
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

Do you need a little greenhouse?

If you are thinking about growing your own herbs and vegetables but don't have space or a yard in which to do it, you might want to consider getting a little greenhouse. Little greenhouses are not only affordable, they are very easy to find and can be simple to set up too. More and more people are now beginning to grow their own food, making greenhouses a hot commodity.

Whether you have a large balcony or a yard that is not conducive to growing plants, there is probably a greenhouse available to suit your individual needs and budget. It is good to have a plan before making a purchase. Know what you want to grow and how much you want to grow.

My large yard with beautiful mature trees casts shade all over the entire area. There is not space where enough sunlight is cast for a garden to be successful. However, I do have a sizeable back deck that gets an ample amount of sunlight and is the perfect space for a little greenhouse. Tomatoes and herbs are my main interest, although at some point I would like to grow squash and eggplant too.

If you have visited a plant nursery, you have seen the results of growing plants in a greenhouse. They are healthy, large and more beautiful plants. Reduced Pest and animal exposure are a big plus when using the greenhouse to control this negative aspect of gardening. While I love the deer and rabbits visiting my property, I truly am upset when plants are ravaged by these visitors. Greenhouses remove this problem. Soil used in a greenhouse does not have the potential of carrying harmful diseases and pests. The humidity produced in a greenhouse is also beneficial and allows for an environment that encourages flowering and fruit growth.

A large greenhouse will be perfect for covering raised beds or existing gardens that need additional sunlight.

Smaller greenhouses are perfect for smaller decks and patios.

Things to Consider

When you begin searching for greenhouses online, you will no doubt be surprised by a large number of greenhouses available. Greenhouses are available in all shapes and sizes, and all cost ranges too. I believe growing your own herbs and vegetables is becoming a popular trend now and this is a product that more and more people are willing to invest in. Similar to the tiny home trend, greenhouses offer a money-saving opportunity, self-sustaining quality, not to mention a healthy lifestyle change.

With more and more information in the media about pesticides found in much store-bought produce, people begin to look for alternative means of attaining healthy food. According to Ewg.org, “Nearly three-fourths of the 6,953 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2014 contained pesticide residues - a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without synthetic chemicals,” and according to the 2016 findings, “This year's update of EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ reports that USDA tests found a total 146 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetable samples examined in 2014. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables tested by USDA - even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.”

Given the trends in store bought produce, consumers can only look into alternative means of attaining produce without pesticides. Besides purchasing organics produce, which can be very expensive, growing your own produce is the really the only other alternative.

When considering investing in a personal greenhouse, there are many things to consider. Because greenhouses differ greatly in size, shape, dimension, and assembly, it is important to make sure you get the one that fits your needs. I personally was looking for a small greenhouse specifically for growing herbs. I also did not want to spend a lot of money, but I wanted one that would last at least a few years and was easy to assemble.

A very large greenhouse would be appropriate for plants being produced for sale and for very large land parcels.

It Pays to Read the Comments

After reading several comments about different greenhouses, I learned some important things about many of these greenhouses. The most important were that most of these greenhouses are not built to last long nor do they withstand extreme heat or cold weather. Many of the greenhouses with metal frames often break apart and the plastic covering can become worn causing rips or tears. Also, the seams in the plastic may come apart over time. Customers complained of parts not fitting correctly during assembly and the greenhouse structure itself being unstable during ill weather. These types of complaints lead me to look for better-rated greenhouses and to my delight, I did find them.

The following characteristics are the ones I found most important in my search for a small greenhouse to put on my deck:

  • a durable frame that would last at least a few years
  • a durable plastic covering that would last for at least a few years
  • reasonable price
  • easy assembly
  • low shipping cost
  • positive comments

Reading the comments before purchasing a product is always a deal sealer or a deal breaker for me. The first thing to observe is how many high and low ratings there are. If there are only a few low ratings, I will continue to read the comments. If there are several low ratings, I usually move on to another product. When there are a few negative comments, I do like to read those. I have found that it is usually very easy to discard needless negative comments that are clearly disgruntled for reasons other than the product's quality itself. When there are all high ratings, I feel more confident in the product's quality. However, paid comments are sometimes posted, which may tend to be biased, so it is important to look at the quantity of positive comments as well.

Accessories for Your Greenhouse

The small greenhouse has shelves already attached to the structure. You will need pots or containers, soil and of course seeds or plants. Fortunately, there are planting containers that fit perfectly on the shelves, wasting no space. I have found that Miracle Gro potting soil is very reliable in consistently successful growth of plants.

With a larger greenhouse, hydroponic lights might be a suitable consideration. Many people have said that they are a game changer when growing plants from seeds. According to The Beehive, an Amazon product reviewer, "The Essential Choice LED Grow Light has been a lifesaver this year for getting my seeds started. I have only been using this for about a week but have already noticed a significant difference in the growth patterns of my seedlings versus previous years. They are growing faster and taller in a fraction of the time! In my area of south GA, our weather is erratic and having seeds outdoors is sometimes not possible, so I'm forced to start them indoors, but unfortunately my home has poor natural light. The grow light has literally changed the game for me in the best way." Larger greenhouses will also require raised beds or purchased shelving for multiple containers or pots.

Comments

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    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      2 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for stopping by caretakerray and Thelma Alberts! I am now trying yellow squash in my small greenhouse on my porch. I just can't find enough sun in my yard! I will post back with pictures after a while. On to more gardening ideas...

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      2 years ago from Germany

      I love gardening and this is sure one way of growing plants especially when the space is just small. Thanks for sharing the informations here. Very informative and inspiring for me. Maybe I will create a little green house in the future.

    • caretakerray profile image

      Ray Van Hoff 

      2 years ago from Michigan U.S.A.

      Nice! I love gardening!

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