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Portable Geenhouses

Updated on January 16, 2012
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Greenhouses have been around for a very long time. There was an orangery greenhouse at the palace of Versailles in France. There are records of greenhouses built in Rome by the Emperor Tiberius. Colonial Americans even used them to grow fruit in them as early as the 17th century.

They work by letting the farmer manipulate climates, allowing for growing during conditions that may not be otherwise favorable. For instance, a farmer might want to grow tropical fruit, but lives in a northern climate. He could build a greenhouse and keep his fruit trees warm even during the winter, making his favorite food available year round.

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Modern Greenhouses Are Simple

Though early greenhouses were complicated structures, some even including removable roofs, modern technology has evened the playing field with new, portable greenhouses. They can be found at home improvement stores and online varying in size and price. For the more industrious gardener, there are even free instructions available online for making your own greenhouse with some pvc pipes and plastic.

Portable greenhouses come in many different varieties and shapes. The most popular greenhouses are the ones that look like traditional greenhouses with metal framing. They are, however, also available in small sizes that fit just a few racks of plants.

These structures are often used by farmers because they are easy to put up and take down, and are easily moved. They are used for a wide variety of jobs, from protecting perennial plants to growing things like tomatoes in winter months.

Choosing a Portable Greenhouse

When choosing a portable greenhouse, there are a few things to consider.

Size

Obviously, the first of these considerations is size.Portable greenhouses can take up as little space as a bookshelf or be as large as a small storage shed.

You should make sure that you have plenty of room to do your growing. Make sure to carefully measure the area where you choose to place your greenhouse, allowing for walking room and breathing space.

Quality

Pay attention to the quality of the portable greenhouses available to you. Always choose an option with tear resistant plastic and make sure that the plastic is treated with a UV inhibitor to prevent your greenhouse from deteriorating due to sunlight.

Needs

You should also consider your needs. Do you want a greenhouse to be a more permanent or temporary fixture? If you want to be able to move your greenhouse, make sure that you choose sturdy yet lightweight material. It wouldn’t do for the structure to be too heavy or weak to move. Also, always check your warranty and be aware of the terms.

If you are going to move your greenhouse often you will want to use some type of shelving that has wheels or is otherwise easy to relocate.

Placement of Your Greenhouse

Also, there are a few things you need to think about as far as greenhouse placement. Make sure that you place your greenhouse where it will receive the most sunlight possible. If it is possible, and if you have a longer angle on the roof of your greenhouse, make sure it aligns to face south. This will ensure that you get the most available light with the least amount of reflection.

Other Considerations

Once your greenhouse is put together and ready to go, there are a few more things to think about. Most experts agree that commercial potting soil is fine to use in greenhouses. Make sure that your irrigation system is easy to use, even if it is something as simple as running a garden hose inside the structure.

Also, cleaning the walls and surfaces of your greenhouse with white vinegar once a month or so will be instrumental in reducing the amount of insects as well as mold that can grow in damp, warm areas.

A greenhouse allows you to extend your growing season and may, in many cases, mean that you can grow vegetables and flowers all year. By having the option of moving it from one place to another you can make the most of sunlight and shade during every season.

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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Voted Up and Useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • dariashakti profile image

      dariashakti 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      After three serious storms in the last week, there are few panels still clipped inside my greenshouse, but the frame held. I had to scan the neighborhood for the panels. However, finding replacement clips, which also got blown away isn't easy.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 

      7 years ago from Utah

      We tried a portable greenhouse and the wind blew it down. I was very discouraged. Maybe we should have followed this hub before we built it.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      They are very practical but too expensive for what you can grow in it.

    • profile image

      tirelesstraveler 

      7 years ago

      Mary, perfectly timed article. California is so cold our tomatoes are growing beautiful bushy plants, but no fruit. Sadly the only tomatoes at the farmers market are green house grown. My beautiful plants are asking for a green houses.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Well written and informative article. Rated up and useful...

    • dariashakti profile image

      dariashakti 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have a small six by six greenhouse that was a kit of poles and plastic sheets put in place with clips. It was great for a year, and then the sheets loosened with the wind. And then began to blow away during storms...I have spent a lot of time chasing after the sheets...but the plants grow beautifully in the greenhouse....

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