My New Mini Greenhouse

April 3rd, 2010

One day I will have a nice big real temperature controlled greenhouse, I swear it. But for now, I don’t have one, nothing even close.

At Lowes the other day I saw something and made an impulse purchase, but I’m glad I did, because I really could use this product.

Basically it is a metal and plastic frame about 6 feet high with shelves on the inside and a thick clear plastic sleeve ont he outside that zips open. It cost me only $40.

I don’t have a single window in my house that faces south. I also have cats, and babies, and so I don’t have a lot of space for indoor seed starting, with window light or artificial light (and personally, artificial light never seems to produce good plants for me).

This box however has all the room I need to start seeds, more than enough really. The thick plastic really holds in heat, when I unzipped it after I had it in the sun it felt like opening a sauna door. I’m not sure how much freeze protection it’ll give, but it will at least give some protection, and I can always bring in the plants overnight if needed. Because it is mobile too I can always wheel it around to optimize sun protection and shelter. There are microclimates in my yard and putting it in one of my warmest microclimates should help compound the protection the plastic provides.

Only one problem, wind. After I set it up and planted my seeds a few hours later I go out and it was on it’s side. I knew this would be a problem, so I had set it up for a week without any plants to see if it’d tip, it didn’t, great. But after adding seeds I did move it to get more sun and that probably opened it up to more wind.

The solution is to relegate the bottom shelf to holding some concrete pavers. Now it is weighed down enough where I’m confider the wind will not hurt it.

All told, I’m pleased with the purchase, it is just what I needed. I can use it now for seed starting, and later for propagation when I need to control humidity, and it was only $40.

11 Responses to “My New Mini Greenhouse”

  1. bre  Says:

    I got one last year and used it to harden off my plants – it’s great. I am amazed you can use it to start seeds. Way to go!

  2. Mary Bailey  Says:

    Great idea to weigh the bottom shelf of greenhouse with pavers. I had tried fixing mine to the wall but this is much better. Many thanks

    Mary Bailey
    Wickford, Essex, U.K.

  3. CherShots  Says:

    I have the exact same mini greenhouse. My son surprised me with it as a Christmas gift. I love it! Set it up and just started my seeds a couple fo days ago.

  4. hardwood decking  Says:

    Lovely idea. Glad you sort the wind issue. I was about to suggest drilling into the wooden floor and fixing the bottom shelf permanently down, but that’s quite a big job 😉 hopefully it will stay up right…


  5. hazydaystudio  Says:

    Isn’t it the best little greenhouse for the price. I used mine through late winter and early spring to get a jump on my veggie garden. I love it!!

  6. Barry Fitzgerald  Says:

    I had one I used for two years and that was nice. After that however things just started falling apart on it. The zipper on the cover ripped out, corners and shelf supports started to crack. My guess is the pastic they use for these breaks down in the sun. Too expensive for my taste to get only two years out of it. I’m going to build one using pvc pipe, that should last longer. Just not sure how to cover it effectivley with something cheaper than the repalcement covers they sell.

  7. Chris Tankersley  Says:

    I also purchased this greenhouse a few years ago from online garden company. I used it heavily the first season, but things quickly began to deteriorate and break. I believe the item is made in China and is not as UV/weather resistant as it should be given where people would use it. It eventually found it’s way into the trash, which I really hate to do. Must be very careful with such purchases.

  8. Lysa  Says:

    I have built an indoor greenhouse. It’s still small; will be adding to it in the next month or so, before spring seeding begins. Currently have stawberries growing and kiwi seeds planted. Check out my blog.

  9. Administrator  Says:

    Mine too has deteriorated, it is the topic of my next blog post.

  10. marann  Says:

    I use plastic lattice to shade my mini greenhouse. It cuts down the sun that breaks down the plastic without shading the plants too much. It helps the plastic to last a little longer.

    I also use clothes pins to attach new plastic to the greenhouse. I live for clothes pins (the big ones which are a little more expensive but worth it)

    Anyway, the clothes pins will attach the plastic to the metal frames of those mini greenhouses nicely. Just make sure you get them nice and tight so the wind cannot get under the plastic.

    Folding the plastic over on the edge really helps. The heavier the plastic the better – at least 3mil

    Experiment around with it. It is well worth the effort because to order a new cover from the manufacturer is not worth it. You might as well buy a new greenhouse. Though, perhaps there are better deals out there for the covers. I am playing around with methods to attach the plastic to the zipper closing at the moment. That part of my mini greenhouse is the only place that has
    failed at the moment and that was my fault for treating it badly.

  11. marann  Says:

    Oh, and I use the rolls of velcro that you get wrapped around lettuce at the grocery store to hold the sections of lattice in place. It works like a charm. The lattice is easy to cut to the right size. I use a little saw to cut it.

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