Have you ever dreamed of having a greenhouse right in your own backyard? Many gardeners do and I certainly did for many years, but simply could not justify the expense. Have you seen those adorable greenhouses on Pinterest made out of old windows? For a while, I thought I really wanted one. I even have a pile of old windows I’ve been saving so my hubs could build one. Then I started looking into and researching traditional greenhouses, and I decided for my not-so-perfect environment and the climate where I live I would not utilize a greenhouse enough to justify the cost. It would sit filled with junk for about 7 months and then rodents would move in… and so, I talked myself out of a permanent greenhouse structure.
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Several years ago, I started looking into purchasing a portable pop-up greenhouse and after doing some research, reading lots of reviews, and doing some comparisons, this Flower House Greenhouse has been the perfect choice for me. This particular model has a is a walk-through style with zippered doors on both ends. The doors have a zippered screen, as well as a heavy plastic zippered door panel.
In case this particular model isn’t available, here are some other portable greenhouses that get great reviews. Eagle Peak brand also has some high-rated reviews.
What to look for when Purchasing a Portable Greenhouse
- There are many different sizes of portable greenhouses. How much space do you need? Are you looking for a spacious walk-in pop-up greenhouse? Do you want a small greenhouse? Or, a large greenhouse? Or, a little compact greenhouse? Do you want to be able to stand with extra headroom?
- Determine exactly what you will use your greenhouse for.
- Look for a model that either has roll-up doors or a door that can be rolled to the side and attached out of the way with velcro straps.
- A portable greenhouse needs to be anchored, so be sure to look for one that comes with ground stakes and wind ropes, or some type of wind-stabilizing kit.
- If you’re purchasing a larger model, look for one that has a mesh window on the sides for adequate ventilation.
- Determine if you want a heavy-duty powder-coated steel frame or if a plastic PVC pipe frame will do. The frame on mine is made with small PVC pipe that makes for easy assembly.
- Determine how you will store your greenhouse. Does it come with a storage bag, or another convenient way to store it?
- Read reviews.
I use my pop-up greenhouse in the spring for about 6 weeks to get a jump start on my summer gardening. We sit the greenhouse up on our deck so it’s right outside our kitchen with very easy access.
Why Have a Portable Greenhouse
If you are an avid gardener and would love to get a jump start on your gardening season, or extend your growing season, a portable, pop-up style greenhouse is perfect for you.
Or, if you’d love to have the greenhouse, but don’t want the hassle or expense of having a permanent structure, a portable walk-in greenhouse is just what you need.
The floor on the model I have is open, so it can be placed right over a raised garden bed.
The humidity levels in a greenhouse are high and create the perfect growing environment.
What To Do With a Pop-up Greenhouse
I do lots of indoor seed starting in our basement and my portable greenhouse is the perfect solution to help harden off my little seedlings. That way I don’t have to lug all those seedling trays back indoors during the hardening-off process.
If you don’t have room indoors or don’t want the mess, greenhouses are wonderful for starting seeds. And, although I start seeds indoors, I usually end up starting more seeds in my greenhouse. My pop-up greenhouse is like my gardening geek playhouse.
Because we’re in Zone 4, I like to get a jump start on summer blooming bulbs, like lilies, gladiolus and dahlias, so I can enjoy them longer in the summer. After the initial cost of purchasing a pop-up greenhouse, I’ve saved money by starting my own plants.
Bottomless, portable greenhouses can be set over raised flower beds, or vegetable garden beds and are a great option to extend the planting season both in the spring and in the fall.
A Few Other Tips for Gardening in a Temporary Greenhouse
Even the most sturdy – made portable greenhouse must be anchored and should come with the ropes and stakes to do so. No matter how big or how small, you must anchor your portable greenhouse. Really, go overboard with anchoring. I learned this the hard way and lost many baby plants. You definitely don’t want that to happen and harsh weather conditions are always possible.
Since I don’t use or leave my greenhouse up all year, I’m not really sure how long it would last if left up year-round. If “portable” or “pop-up” are used in the description, they likely are not for year round use and I would not recommend it for that purpose.
My greenhouse lasted for 7 seasons and I think it would have lasted longer if I would have lubricated the zipper door with graphite or soap to keep it zipping smoothly.
If cold weather is forecasted and overnight temperatures drop into the 40s, we use a portable heater with temperature control and safety shut-off, so that the plants don’t freeze. I typically just set the heater on 50-55 degrees, so that it will run on cooler days too. Of course, use caution when using a heater that is not intended for this purpose.
Caring for Plants in a Pop-up Greenhouse
I check my plants every day and water them if necessary.
Every morning, I open up the top of both doors and leave the screen shut, so there’s plenty of ventilation. Air circulation is necessary to prevent fungal diseases. Plus, the inside of the greenhouse can heat up rather quickly from the sun. Many greenhouses come with a shade cover that will also help to protect plants from direct sunlight on sunny days.
Soil gnats can sometimes be a problem in a greenhouse. I’ve only had them once and I used these sticky gnat traps and they worked great for eliminating the problem.
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