A greenhouse kit is essential for providing a stable, warm and healthy environment where you can grow plants year round, and not only when the weather is favorable.
Greenhouses can also be a great way to get a jump start on the growing season. You can plant peppers or tomatoes, for example early in the year and later move them out to the garden.
Depending on your reasons and needs, there are different types, styles, and costs for almost anyone who wants to start gardening under polycarbonate or glass.
Shopping for Your Best Greenhouse Kit
It’s crucial to consider what you intend to do in your greenhouse and then make sure you buy the kit with enough room and all the necessary features for your gardening activities.
Tips Before the Purchase
Greenhouse owners often end up wanting more square footage than they originally thought. Also, if you plan to grow vegetables, you’ll need maximum light and plenty of headroom, which is also good for hanging plants.
This is why the first thing to figure out when buying or building a greenhouse is how much growing space you will need. A greenhouse is a long-term investment so your selection should be large enough to provide more enough room for seasons to come.
Go big! More room usually pays for itself. Once you’ve figured out what you’ll be doing in your greenhouse, think about how much space you’ll need. Make sure you’ll have enough room for everything you intend to do.
You should draw a to-scale floor plan of your greenhouse space using graph paper and find a place for potting benches, grow shelves. You also need places for large permanent residents, whether directly in the ground or in pots.
Add a few more square feet because outgrowing a greenhouse after only a season or two is a common concern among gardeners. Starting with a little more room than you think you’ll need allows for your ambition to grow and come to life in full swing.
Consider which materials will be the best for your greenhouse’s frame and glazing. It’s necessary to consider the weight and durability of the materials and the properties of those materials in relation to your climate conditions and needs.
- Steel is the heaviest of greenhouse frame materials and is most frequently used for large, permanent, commercial structures. Because of its weight and difficulty to work with (including setting glazing), steel frames can be a bit of a challenge but their powder-coated anti-corrosion protection, strength, and durability make it worth the effort.
- Aluminum frames are durable, rust-proof, and relatively lightweight. The pieces are often grooved or channeled to allow for super easy placement of the glazing. Since aluminum frames conduct heat, they’ll be hotter in the summer and give up warmth more quickly in the winter. Because of their lightweight, some aluminum frame greenhouses are attached to a steel frame at ground level to make the whole structure more secure.
Cover (glazing) materials
- Polyethylene sheeting is the most popular and least expensive glazing for greenhouses. It works well for small backyard greenhouses constructed of steel or aluminum frames. It’s also used to cover large and long, steel-framed commercial greenhouses used to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and other heat-loving vegetables that need plenty of room and warmth. Polyethylene is prone to fading and yellowing and even under the best conditions must be replaced in three to five years. It’s also subject to tearing due to stretching caused by temperature extremes, winds, and snow loads. Polyethylene allows the least amount of usable light into the greenhouse.
- Glass, unless treated or covered with a special film, does not diffuse light to the plants beneath it. Tempered glass offers more resistance to the breakage problem, but it is still heavy and expensive to replace. Un-tempered glass will eventually show wear and discoloring while tempered glass will not. The thicker the glass, the more damage resistant it becomes. However, winter storms and freezes can take their toll with breaks and cracks of tempered glass as well.
- Polycarbonate often replaces glass in small backyard greenhouses. Despite its lightness, it’s strong and durable. Polycarbonate panels are translucent, not transparent which enables letting in soft, diffused light which is most effective in greenhouses. They come in double and even triple-walled types to increase heat retention. Triple-walled polycarbonate offers better insulation for greenhouses but doesn’t allow as much light in as double-walled types.
Before setting up a greenhouse, check federal and local laws and regulations. The Building Code does not provide any specifics for greenhouses uses. This leaves decisions to the discretion of the local Building Inspector.
However, pollution prevention opportunities by epa.gov for greenhouses include:
- Designing the greenhouse so that it can accommodate efficient drip irrigation systems.
- Locating well water sites on the highest elevation on the property and as far as possible from areas where fertilizer, pesticides, and petroleum products are stored or handled.
- Planning facilities that can separate and disinfect irrigation or wash water so that the water can be reused.
- Locating storage facilities for fuel, wood waste, fertilizer, or pesticides far away and contained from any watercourse.
- Selecting efficient watering systems.
- Installing closed systems that minimize or prevent leaching from irrigation systems.
- Constructing foundations and floors that permit recovery of leachates, such as lined soil zones and concrete floors.
- For outdoor areas, using well-drained gravel which keeps impervious pavement to a minimum.
As regards the use of water, some towns allow local exemptions for agricultural uses. The Department of Environmental Protection and the Watershed agencies are the ones who drive the limits placed on municipalities, but each community has its own cap that it must remain within. Local officials may feel they can accommodate the needs of agriculture, and so you must consult with the local water supplier.
As for taxation, if the greenhouse is a typical glass or rigid plastic house on a foundation, it is taxed as a commercial building.
A poly house may be unique and may be subject to the discretion of the local Building Inspector. The standard tax category of a poly greenhouse, if it meets all of the following, is that it should be taxed as personal property and not real estate.
- The poly house is completely enveloped in plastic film.
- The poly house has no sonotubes, foundation or footings.
- The poly house has no walls or attachments of plywood, doors, or other rigid building materials.
- The poly house does not have any rigid poly (even a few feet at the beginning of the greenhouse disqualifies it).
- Poly houses can only be used to grow plants – not to store parts, supplies or equipment.
- Poly houses cannot be used to raise chickens or animals.
If your poly house fits the criteria above, it would most likely be taxed as personal property and not real estate. If your poly house fails on one of the above or if you have any question at all, we advise consulting your local Building Inspector.
Poly houses MUST abide by building setbacks as required locally. Certain winter uses of poly houses may cause concern for some Building Inspectors, so the issues those uses may raise should also be checked locally.
Here are some of the reputable vendors and/or manufacturers of greenhouses.
Abba Patio products are designed to stand the test of time. This vendor believes in providing great value, quality, and service to their customers as well as outstanding after-sales customer experience.
Apart from greenhouses, Abba Patio sells patio umbrellas, canopies, awnings and furniture sets of great quality and value for money.
Best Choice Products
Best Choice Products, also known as Sky Billiards Inc., was founded in 2002. The company has since come a long way from selling pool tables. Soon they expanded to patio furniture as well as various pet products, everyday household items, and greenhouses.
Best Choice Products prides in its dedicated staff, and the hard work they put forth every day. It is a family oriented company that places worth in every employee. By having devoted and highly motivated staff, Best Choice Products has been able to guarantee the satisfaction of their products through quality service, low prices, and fast and safe shipping.
Since 1940, King Canopy has grown from a small family business to be a leader in the supply of Shade and Shelter products worldwide. They too have dedicated staff and operate with traditional values and respect for the quality and integrity of each of their products.
King Canopy consumers expect the same level of quality and dependability so the vendor strives to always remember that their customers are our number one priority.
Using progressive approaches in product design, packaging, and distribution, King Canopy proudly and efficiently meets the needs of the market in ways that set them apart from the competition.
For over 30 years now, Poly-Tex has grown and changed along with the green industry while still holding true to their roots. They believe in the quality and value of their products (greenhouses, hobby greenhouses, and display systems) and continually search for ways to meet the needs of their loyal customers.
It is that spirit of innovation that continues to expand their product line today. They pride themselves in listening to our customers' needs and finding solutions to their most pressing concerns and needs.
Poly-Tex Inc. manufactures commercial greenhouses, retail greenhouses, high tunnels, shade structures, retail plant displays, and benches. Their full line of greenhouse ventilation and heating accessories are available to customize your greenhouse needs.
Aosom Direct offers a wide range of quality, cost-effective products from categories such as Backyard Products, Pet Products, Home Goods, Biking, Fitness, Massage Equipment, and more! Aosom was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, with warehouses in Oregon and Tennessee. They serve customers in the lower 48 states providing high-quality products at really good prices.
Their state of the art warehouse allows them to ship you the best products quickly and safely. They are constantly expanding their product selection to better serve your needs.
Pros, Cons, and Reviews of Greenhouse Kits
10 x 20-Feet Large Walk-in Greenhouse with Windows by Abba Patios is a high quality and portable greenhouse which will help you grow a beautiful indoor garden. The elegant and simple design, as well as the quality of materials and the affordable price, make this greenhouse a great deal overall.
This greenhouse comes with 180g/m2 transparent PE cover and it is easy to set up. You can easily access the structure through the large zippered roll-up front door. The roll-up windows allow for cross ventilation and climate control. The windows are conveniently equipped with insect netting to keep the pests away. The extra flap at the bottom will keep critters and rain from entering underneath.
The strong and durable reinforced transparent PE cover is manufactured from heavy-duty material. The gray, powder-coated steel frame is used for additional stability against the strong wind. If you buy a small oscillating heater to use inside, you'll get through the coldest nights.
The bottom rails are designed to provide exceptional stability against the elements, too.
As with all structures of similar design, it would be wise to properly anchor it securely to the ground.
Abba Patio greenhouse is ready to set up right out of the box. Each piece has been rigorously tested for durability, and assembly instructions have been standardized for simplicity from start to finish.
The instructions are graphic only, however, which could be improved with a few sentences about setting the greenhouse up. The design, however, makes a lot of sense and the wing-nut bolts which hand-tighten are a great solution. Stretching the cover over the frame goes smooth and two tall people will set it up without any hassle.
This classic style and reliable craftsmanship will keep up with the greenhouse gardening trends and provide a reliable and efficient use for years on end. The dimensions are 10x20 feet with the peak height of 9.4 feet and the side height of 6.6 feet.
This walk-in greenhouse provides enhanced lighting, which will help your plants grow. Your seedlings and plants will grow in the ideal temperature they need. You'll be being able to grow your favorite fruits and vegetables for your family or cultivate some bright and beautiful plants and flowers throughout the growing season.
Things We Liked
- Heavy duty powder-coated rust-free steel frame
- Durable reinforced transparent PE cover
- Door allows easy access and great ventilation for plants and vegetables
- Rolling-up windows with insect netting help control pests
- Great for cross ventilation and climate control overall
- Comes with big foot plates and pegs for extra stability
Things We Didn't Like
- The plastic zippers for the doors could be better quality
SKY1917 Walk-In Greenhouse by Best Choice Products will ensure that your plants are protected from rough weather conditions such as rain, wind, and snow. It measures 15' x 7' x 7' and comes with heavy-duty threaded PE cover and rust resistant high-grade silver powder-coated steel tube frame.
The walk-in door allows for easy access to this elegant and spacious greenhouse to add a multitude of new plants without compromising the amount of space needed for the plants to grow to their full potential.
It is easy to set up or dismantle for relocation. The stable, weather resistant build will protect your plants through tough weather conditions. For the optimal organization, each of the greenhouse selections provides easy access to your plants, both equipped with a zippered roll-up door.
With the help of the roll-up windows, you’ll be able to control the amount of light that enters your greenhouse by simply rolling up the windows on its sides. This greenhouse has 4 roll-up windows on each side, allowing light and air to penetrate the greenhouse from various angles.
At this price, the Walk-In Greenhouse by Best Choice Products is a real bang for your buck. To assemble it, you will need a 3/8 wrench, a Phillips screwdriver and perhaps a hammer. You can have it up in 1-2 hours, depending on how many people will help.
The plastic cover is well made and has a mesh to hold it together and all the zippers seem to hold up well on this model. Again, we recommend anchoring the greenhouse securely so it stands up to strong wind.
Things We Liked
- Great value for money
- Heavy duty threaded PE cover will protect your plants
- High-quality silver powder coated steel tube will provide stability and durability
- Zippered door will provide easy access
- 8 rolling-up windows with screens for ventilation and insect protection
- Comes with ropes and stakes for stability
Things We Didn't Like
- The instructions are a diagram only. More user-friendly setting-up manual would be appreciated
King Canopy is a long lasting durable solution for gardeners. It features a sturdy 1 3/8 inches in diameter all-steel frame and a clear 1-Piece PE cover, with a back window and front roll-up door.
Before installing the cover, unzip the door on the cover. This will make installation easy and will not cause damage to the zippers. Unfold cover and make sure grommets are inside. Place a tarp over the frame so that the door is located at the front of the frame and the window at the rear. Leave the sides of the cover on top of the frame until the legs are installed.
The ball straps are long enough to accommodate various cover lengths. If your straps are too long for a tight fit making an additional knot in the strap cord can shorten them. Just slide the ball upwards to reveal the tied knot. Then, tie a new knot above the old one. The length taken up here determines how short the strap gets. Finally, slip the ball down over the new knot and cut off the excess cord.
After construction, the canopy must be securely anchored to prevent damage from the wind. If the legs are not anchored, severe winds will cause the frame to flex and unanchored legs will fall and the canopy will collapse.
You may wish to bolt all pipe and fittings together. The best way to anchor your King Canopy greenhouse is with screw-in ground anchors and cable or rope attached to each leg or over the frame.
And here are a few don’ts regarding King Canopy greenhouse:
DO NOT use bleach to clean cover.
DO NOT dry clean cover or wash cover in the washing machine or dry in the dryer. Hand-wash the cover with mild soap and water only.
DO NOT allow rain water, snow or ice to accumulate on top of the cover.
DO NOT hang or suspend anything from the frame, grommets, and truss system or ball straps of the unit.
Overall, this 10 ft. x 10 ft. steel A-frame greenhouse is easy to assemble and store. The fully enclosed King Canopy greenhouse will last you a long time and comes at a good price.
Things We Liked
- White powder-coated 20-Gauge steel frame
- Front door for easy access
- Weather and mildew resistant cover
- Rear window for ventilation
Things We Didn't Like
- In addition to the back, side windows would be an improvement
Palram Nature Series Mythos Hobby Greenhouse features an aluminum frame which is durable, maintenance free and rust resistant. It will positively keep you focused on growing your plants and not maintaining your greenhouse.
Roof vents and a magnetic door catch will keep the much-needed oxygen flowing and reduce internal temperatures on warm days.
Advertised as unbreakable, the 4 mm twin-wall polycarbonate panels block up to 99.9% of UV rays and diffuse the sunlight eliminating the risk of your plants being.
The rust-resistant aluminum frame with 48 sq. feet of growing space will be perfect for your gardening needs.
This greenhouse kit includes adjustable roof vent, rain gutters, lockable door handle with a magnetic door catch and a galvanized steel base for structural support. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty
It is designed as a do-it-yourself project without the need for special tools for assembly. A smart panel slide and lock system will connect the frame precisely and quickly into place and polycarbonate panels slide easily into profile channels.
Integrated rain gutters disperse rainwater to the ends that can be collected for a sustainable irrigation system. How cool and green is that?
Things We Liked
- Quality 4 mm twin-wall polycarbonate panels
- Rust-resistant aluminum frame
- Galvanized steel base for structural support
- 48 sq. feet of growing space for your plants
- Lockable door handle with magnetic door catch
Things We Didn't Like
- Assembly instructions are quite complicated and you need to read them several times before starting the assembly process
Outsunny Portable Garden Greenhouse is a “walk-in” portable greenhouse which features lightweight but sturdy PVC cover built over a high-quality powder-coated steel frame. The combination of these two parts is an amazingly durable final product that can be moved and relocated easily, fitting even in tight spaces if necessary.
The zipper door allows for easy access and great ventilation that your plants need. If you want to maintain the internal climate, it also can be sealed in to. Simply put, it’s perfect if you want to reduce excessive heat or cold and keep your seedlings safe throughout the seasons.
Made of a durable and well-ventilated PE cloth, this greenhouse design provides the protective surroundings that your vegetables or flowers need. Without spending a large sum of money needed for a built-in greenhouse, this model has the polyethylene covering which keeps the cold weather out and provides your crops with perfect temperatures.
It has a reinforced and sturdy steel frame with rust-resistant coating to support the cover and 12 breathable roll-up windows with protective screens. There is also a zippered entry door for quick and convenient access.
The kit includes 4 guy ropes and 4 ground stakes for additional stability. If you live in an area with a lot of wind, use additional anchoring for better stability.
The tent structure allows you to place the greenhouse covering anywhere you need. It also enables you to easily disassemble the greenhouse and move it wherever you need it.
The structure can then cover an existing patch of land, or you can build regular greenhouse boxes within it. The double-zippered door allows the seal to be maintained while providing getting in and out in a convenient way.
Things We Liked
- Reinforced frame for stability and durability
- Seals out weather and protects plants
- Easy to tear down and move to a different location
- Strong powder coated steel frame
- 12 windows provide cross ventilation
- Zippered roll-up door that can be attached to top to stay open
Things We Didn't Like
- The cover material should be more robust