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Expand Your Growing Season with the Perfect Greenhouse Kit
Welcome to Greenhouse Kits Direct! If you are passionate about gardening, you've come to the right place. Don't limit yourself to a short growing season. You can expand the time you have to grow with the right greenhouse. Whether you're a beginner gardener or a seasoned pro, we have a greenhouse kit that will suit your needs. From small greenhouse kits that you can put on your patio, to large greenhouse kits that will allow for a huge growing space, we have a great selection of greenhouse kits for sale!
We know how much time, resources, and care go into your garden, and each and every plant in it. That's why we have selected only the most trusted greenhouse kits on the market to keep your hard work protected. Durable enough to protect against strong winds and harsh storms, these structures will keep your plants safe and growing healthy. With one of our advanced greenhouse kits, you can use your green thumb all year long.
Check out the tabs below for more information about your future greenhouse kit.
Is a Greenhouse Right for You?Running a greenhouse properly takes a lot of time, money, energy, and consideration. With the uprise of organic growing culture and low-impact, local consumption of fruits and vegetables, more and more people are turning to gardening to become more self-sufficient. Growing your own food gives you more control over your diet, more agency over what you cook, and more of an emotional connection to your ingredients.
We encourage anyone who fits the following profiles to learn more about our greenhouse kits--what they're made from, what your options are, what accessories are integral to a properly maintained space, etc. If any of these profiles sound like you, we are excited to provide you with top-of-the-line equipment that will enable your goals:
You have a plan in place for consuming what you'll be growing. Until you have a few seasons of greenhouse gardening under your belt, it will be hard to tell exactly how much output to expect. The first few seasons of gardening are going to be a little experimental, since you'll be seeing what temperature is best for the widest range of plants, trying out new produce, and getting a grasp on how to keep the humidity and temperature constant. But despite all that, be certain to plan out how to get rid of everything you grow.
The last thing you want is to grow an overabundance of food and then not know what to do with all of it. If you already depend on fruits and vegetables as a core part of your diet, that's great--just make sure to do some rough calculations on how much you'll need to consume once everything is ripe and ready to eat.
You have a plan for selling or donating the fruits of your labor. You can sell your produce in a variety of ways. Perhaps you live in a region with an abundance of farmers markets, where you can set up your own stall or share a stall with someone who you can count on to share costs.
If you are lining up to become involved with a farmers market, a greenhouse is going to work great for you, because it's not up to you to eat every single thing you grow. You can always use what you need and then take what's left over each week to the market.
Another option you have is to donate your produce to a food bank. Before completely relying on that, make sure you know what it takes to have your produce accepted there--each food bank is going to have different requirements and standards.
Donating is a great way to become involved in your community while also unburdening yourself with your greenhouse's surplus growth. You might also consider talking to some local restaurants. These days, restaurants take a lot of pride in offering fresh, local ingredients. See if you can set up an arrangement with a chef.
This option is a little more standardized than the others - they'll probably want to see exactly what you're harvesting, and they'll want you to be consistent. But there's no harm in calling around to see whether local restaurants would be interested to see what you grow.
You are a member of a gardening group. Being a member of a gardening group gives you connections to people who eat produce and who know how to distribute it. It's probably a good idea to connect with people like this whether or not you expect to have an overabundance of produce once you start harvesting.
These folks will be able to support you from beginning to end, answer your questions, and give you advice on best practices. Gardening is a community venture: establish yourself as part of that community so that your growing experience isn't isolated.
You have a budget for maintaining your greenhouse's temperature. A greenhouse doesn't necessarily save you money in the first few seasons. You have to consider start-up costs, like purchasing the materials to build the greenhouse, collecting greenhouse supplies, buying soil, selecting the appropriate fertilizer, acquiring the seeds, preparing to pot things as they grow, etc.
And even after that, it costs money to provide enough water and to keep the greenhouse heated. So if you're in a tight spot right now and you think that having a greenhouse will help you financially this year, you might be better off waiting until you can afford these upfront costs. However, if you have a budget for watering and heating, you're on the right track.
If you're looking to drastically change your diet, a greenhouse might not be your first step. The greenhouse will likely become a source of frustration for you if you're not already accustomed to eating what you plan to grow. Similarly, if you are not a seasoned gardener, you might want to try your hand at an outside plot before committing to the expenses and intricacies of greenhouse gardening.
Choosing the Right GreenhouseOnce you are certain that investing in a greenhouse is for you, there are still some details to work through to ensure you choose the most fitting selection from our various greenhouse kits. You need to figure out what type of greenhouse you need, the size of greenhouse, the materials to select, and the way you'll ventilate the structure once it's up and running.
Type:There are three general types of greenhouse kits you can build on your property: a freestanding greenhouse, an attached greenhouse, and a raised garden bed. A freestanding greenhouse is located out in your backyard, apart from other structures.
Our largest greenhouse kits are freestanding units, but we also offer smaller varieties as well. Freestanding units are great because they can be positioned in any possible way, so long as you have the space allocated.
This comes into play if your house doesn't allow for an attached unit to let the ideal amount of light in (we'll cover the preferable orientation of greenhouse kits later), or if you simply want a larger unit to maximize the output of your greenhouse.
In a similar vein, freestanding greenhouse kits can be as tall as you want them to, which aids in natural ventilation. Attached greenhouse kits are directly connected to your house, or to something like a shed or garage, which is perfect if there's an outlet from your house that faces the appropriate direction. Attaching a greenhouse to your home is beneficial in that it can make your house feel bigger and you don't have to travel outside to reach your greenhouse. Often, people will attach their greenhouse to their kitchen for convenience.
Another route people take is attaching their units to a mudroom to avoid tracking in dirt. Additionally, an attached structure will naturally be closer to water and electricity, which decreases start up costs. Finally, you have the raised garden bed, which gardeners often use to raise starters before transplanting them to a larger bed outdoors. This helps if your region's temperature has mood swings as you approach spring - you can be sure that your seedlings will survive until the ground and weather is ready to receive them outside.
Other benefits of a raised garden bed are that they are often portable, they can sit inside another structure as long as you install grow lights, and they are incredibly cheap and low maintenance.
SizeWhen considering size, think about your end goal for your greenhouse. If you plan on developing several connections to local restaurants and markets, or if you intend to make money in other ways off your greenhouse, you'll probably end up needing a lot of space. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to invest in your future plan early on. It's more expensive and labor intensive to make changes and expansions to your greenhouse later. In short: if you envision your greenhouse growing later, go big now.
You can always fill a greenhouse with different projects and experiments while you're growing smaller amounts of produce. However, if you simply intend on using your greenhouse to add a sun-room or a small flower room, a smaller, attached greenhouse is ideal. You'll save money on heating and watering, and you won't feel overburdened by the space available inside the greenhouse.
MaterialsOnce you have the type and size of your greenhouse locked down, you need to consider what materials best suit your needs. We offer greenhouse kits with three different types of frames: metal, aluminum, and resin.
Our metal frames are made from galvanized steel, an industrial-strength, hardy, warp-free material that is created to withstand wind and rain. Galvanized steel is regularly used for commercial-grade greenhouse kits due to its sturdiness and longevity. Our metal frames will last you years upon years with little to no maintenance.
Aluminum frames require no maintenance as well, and while they are sturdy, they're a little more pliable, which might help when setting up your greenhouse. They are also easier on the eye than steel, although steel can technically be painted or otherwise covered to improve the unit's aesthetics. Aluminum will not rust, and it obviously won't mold--so if you live in a particularly warm region, aluminum and steel are going to be your best options.
The last material we supply for greenhouse frames is resin, which is strong and naturally insulated. The only setback to a resin frame is that it could warp under extreme heat--but that means that if you live in a colder region, the resin will help insulate your greenhouse and you won't have to worry about it warping or changing form over time.
At Greenhouse Kits Direct, we are firm believers in the virtues of polycarbonate siding. Some greenhouse kits rely on glass or plastic for their siding panels, but we have found that the drawbacks of those materials far outweigh the potential benefits.
While glass is a beautiful choice, it is also fragile, heavy, and not terribly efficient, since it does not diffuse light. It surely is not ideal for a DIY greenhouse. And from a gardening standpoint, it's hard to control how much light you let in through glass panels, and you'll be more likely to overexpose certain areas of your greenhouse if sunlight is allowed directly through.
Plastic is inexpensive, but it won't last very long. It is easily damaged and will need to be replaced often. When you're buying panels for a greenhouse you intend to keep around for a long time, you want to invest early in strong, durable, efficient materials early on instead of making up for damages later.
That's why we encourage greenhouse gardeners to consider polycarbonate, which is inexpensive, highly efficient, long lasting, and light diffusive. It does the best job of trapping heat and transmitting light through your greenhouse, and will last through strong winds, harsh storms, and freezing winters. Polycarbonate definitely gives you the biggest bang for your buck. We have a great selection greenhouse kits with polycarbonate siding, including ones from Palram, a manufacturer known for their polycarbonate expertise.
VentilationThe next consideration to take before purchasing a greenhouse is how you will ventilate and provide shade to the structure. The point of using a greenhouse is to create a stable atmosphere, one that is ideal for the growing needs of your plants. Integral to tracking temperature is a thermometer, and you'll want to stay within the range of 75 to 85 degrees.
When sunlight enters a greenhouse, the panels trap the heat, keeping the air warm enough to foster ideal plant growth. However, the heat then interacts with the moisture you apply to your plants. This is where you need to exercise ventilation practices, which will keep the greenhouse from becoming too moist--you'll never need to worry about your greenhouse NOT being humid enough. Without ventilation, you run the risk of fungal infections, which can spread from plant to plant and destroy everything you've labored to grow.
The first few weeks of using your greenhouse will help you figure out what temperature the atmosphere naturally rises to--the hotter the structure, the more ventilation you'll need. Many of our backyard greenhouse kits come with roof vents built in so you can adjust the amount of air that you let in and out of your greenhouse.
If you live in a particularly warm region, check out our greenhouse supplies to view a wide array of add-on ventilation kits, including automatic ventilators and manual ventilators. The arm of an automatic ventilator will open when the greenhouse reaches 68 degrees. An oil-filled cylinder starts to expand at that temperature, and at 80 degrees the arm will fully extend to let in the maximum amount of outside air.
When the temperature decreases, the arm will react along with the declining heat, and close below 68 degrees so as to not over-cool the greenhouse. On the other hand, a manual ventilator will allow you a little more agency over which vents are open at a certain time. If you have used a greenhouse before, you may not need the help of an automatic vent to decide when to allow air inside. Either way, make sure that the ventilator kits you decide on are compatible with the particular greenhouse brand you purchase.
Another way to improve air circulation and ventilation for your greenhouse is to install a side louvre window, available for our Rion brand greenhouse kits. Our louvre windows let you open and close a side vent by hand. You can let in outside air to make it cool enough for you to work, and at the same time let some moisture escape. The vent can then be easily closed when the temperature has decreased enough. Windows interact well with roof vents to keep the air flowing between the two openings.
You can install our window louvre into all of our Rion greenhouse kits, and you can also attach an automatic louver opener, which opens and closes the vents by itself without you having to monitor the internal temperature of the greenhouse or even keep it plugged in.
ShadeAs mentioned before, the idea of a greenhouse is to magnify the power of the sun, providing a space where plants can thrive with plenty of light and warmth while also being sheltered from inclement weather.
For plants that don't perform well in tropical weather, you may want to consider incorporating a shade cloth to your temperature control plan. Shade cloths do let some light through, but they significantly reduce the amount of light and heat that penetrates the polycarbonate walls.
Shade cloths are easy to apply and remove, so you can adjust them during the day if you need to. You may only want it up during the hottest hours of the day, or you only want to use it block a part of the greenhouse while letting full sunlight into the rest of the structure.
To ensure that you are allowing the ideal amount of sunlight into your greenhouse, position your greenhouse in accordance to how the sun shines down on your yard.
First of all, pick a spot that receives sunlight from all angles for the majority of the day. If this simply isn't possible due to trees, plants, and other man-made structures, you can coordinate your plant arrangement so that the plants requiring the least amount of sun are positioned where the least amount of sun penetrates your yard.
Whether you use a freestanding or attached greenhouse, garden experts recommend positioning the structure so its longest portion receives light from the south. In other words, you'll want the front and back ends of the greenhouse to face east and west if you live in the northern hemisphere. This orientation will increase the amount of daylight your plants receive, which becomes especially important if you're running your greenhouse in the fall or winter.
Maintaining Your GreenhouseWhile our greenhouse kits are engineered for longevity and efficiency, they are intended to host plant life - plant life is finicky, with a mind of its own and the ability to impact the atmosphere of the greenhouse. Maintenance practices vary from season to season, so we turned to the experts at Timber Press to break down what to expect a few months down the road.
In the springtime, you'll mostly be maintaining the plants themselves, making sure weed growth is contained and picking up leaves that have fallen from your plants. Scour any benches or shelves you have set up in the greenhouse to prevent mold growth, which can seem benign at first but later be the bane of your existence. You'll also want to wash the walls to make sure dirt and grime is not keeping sunlight from entering the greenhouse.
During the summer when the temperature is at its peak, you'll need to make sure that any doors, windows, and vents seal tightly so as to not let in hot air. Similarly, check for any cracks in the panels themselves. Make sure that animals will not be able to get into your greenhouse - this means inspecting your foundation for weak spots or signs of disturbance. Nothing wreaks havoc on a controlled greenhouse more than a wild animal!
In the fall, Timber Press suggests turning on and checking your heating, watering, lighting, and drip systems to make sure that nothing is clogged, that power is reaching your greenhouse, and that all the pipes are cleaned.
This is a great time to order parts, just to make sure they arrive in time for you to install them before it gets too chilly. They also suggest that the fall is when you should make sure your back-up generator is operating as it should in the case of a power outage. One power outage in the extreme cold can entirely wipe out everything you've grown.
You should also install your winter cover, whether that's greenhouse film or the more DIY bubble wrap. Timber Press insists that this should be completed prior to filling the greenhouse with plants. In the winter, you need to care for your greenhouse like it is a newborn baby. On a daily basis, check the temperature of the greenhouse and make sure no air is escaping or entering the structure. If you have never seen the need to install a fan because you experience a mild summer, the winter might be the most appropriate time to do so - it can kick around the cooler air so it interacts with heated air, keeping the temperature stable throughout the length of the greenhouse.
Finally, you'll want to hit the catalogues to order seeds for the upcoming spring. What better way to spend Christmas than to imagine what new plant varieties you can implement once the weather warms up?