Gardening is one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America, as homeowners, wanting organic fruit and vegetables, seek to grow their own. Home greenhouses are an integral part of this gardening explosion, extending growing seasons and allowing those without large gardens to grow food and decorative plants. From the large, backyard greenhouses for dedicated gardeners, to portable greenhouses for apartment dwellers, the range of options is huge. What type of backyard greenhouse is best for your home?
Portable Home Greenhouses
Portable home greenhouses are available in a range of sizes, from tabletop greenhouses to freestanding units for the back yard. The tabletop greenhouses are a great choice where space is an issue, and easily fit onto a balcony or windowsill. These greenhouses, made from Perspex, are cheap and provide excellent insulation for delicate plants. Apart from the small size, the major disadvantage is that the Perspex will become brittle and discolored, over time, so they will need replacing regularly.
Backyard Portable Greenhouses
The larger cousin of this tabletop greenhouse is a freestanding unit, designed for small backyards and gardens. They are made from a tubular frame draped with a flexible, transparent plastic sheet, and adjustable shelves allow some flexibility of use. They are perfect for growing delicate flowers and herbs, untouched by cold and frost, and are a great way to give seedlings an early start before spring planting. These greenhouses are cheap and easy to construct, but they can have problems with stability, especially in high winds, so they must be securely fastened to a wall.
Walk In Home Greenhouses
The walk-in home greenhouse is a larger version of the portable greenhouse, and is large enough for gardeners to work inside. They have a decent amount of room, with racking on three sides, and are more stable than the simpler, portable type. They are cheap and a good option where space or budget are tight, giving plenty of space but offering portability, which is great in shaded gardens where they can be moved around to maximize sun hours.
The downside, as with the portable home greenhouse, is that they can have stability issues in high winds, and the plastic covering can easily rip and tear, as well as degrade and discolor over time, so it will need to be replaced every 2 or 3 years.
Home Improvement Guide – Backyard Home Greenhouses
For dedicated gardeners, a backyard home greenhouse is a great investment, combining plenty of space to work with a sturdy construction. Most backyard hobby greenhouses are semi-permanent, and many gardeners fix them onto a concrete base, for added durability and cleanliness. Backyard home greenhouses come in a huge variety of styles, types and sizes, and the choice is limited only by space and budget.
The traditional hobby greenhouse is constructed from a metal frame, with glass panels, and they combine structural strength with excellent insulation. These greenhouses provide plenty of space for the keen gardener to work inside, and movable tables and shelves allow a variety of plants to be grown, from large, sub-tropical plants, to trays of seedlings.
Many hobby greenhouses have windows, for ventilation, and screens and shutters to protect delicate plants from the fierce summer sun. Hardened gardeners can even install irrigation and drainage systems, cutting down the daily workload.
The main disadvantages are the price and the installation. Most backyard greenhouses are within the ability of a competent DIY fanatic but, for those who have to rely on others, installation is expensive, especially if a concrete base is needed. The other main issue is the glass, which is expensive and far from ideal if children and pets like to play in the garden.
In this case, greenhouses with PVC frames and polycarbonate panels can remove this risk. These are a little cheaper, but the plastic will degrade in bright sunlight, and they are prone to damage by strong winds, so they will need replacing every few years.
Home and Garden Guide – Home Greenhouses
Whether you want a small backyard greenhouse for a few herbs and seedlings, or you want a large hobby greenhouse to prepare for planting your vegetable patch, there is a range of options available. Whatever your budget, you can find home greenhouses that will allow you to join the gardening revolution.
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