Home Greenhouse Buying Guide

A backyard greenhouse will let your family enjoy fresh flowers and vegetables all year round. This home greenhouse buying guide will help you select the best one for your gardening needs.

Home Greenhouses 101

A greenhouse can help turn your summer gardening hobby into a year-round passion. Though the thought of installing a greenhouse on your property may seem daunting, it’s easier than you think. There are two main categories of home greenhouses: freestanding and attached. Each has its own unique advantages, but both will allow you to grow flowers and vegetables throughout the winter. You may also want to look into cold-frame greenhouses for protecting seedlings, and mini greenhouses in protecting specific plants in your yard. The sooner you get started, the faster you and your family will begin reaping the benefits of a year-round growing cycle.

Types of Greenhouses


Freestanding Greenhouses

A freestanding greenhouse simply means that it’s detached from your home. This lets you to position it strategically to capture as much sun as possible, and in an area that allows future renovation or expansion. Freestanding greenhouses also give you great flexibility in choosing the size and shape of your structure. This type of greenhouse generally has a sturdy steel base or a foundation, rust-resistant aluminum framing and clear polycarbonate panels.

Attached or Lean-to Greenhouses

Attached or lean-to greenhouses connect to an outside wall of your home, garage or garden shed. This provides added insulation to your home and can also be a source of solar heating. The close proximity of the greenhouse to your home also makes it easy to tap into your residential water and electrical systems.

Cold-Frame Greenhouses

Compared to a traditional greenhouse, a cold-frame greenhouse is more of a protective box. These greenhouses are used for guarding seedlings and other plants from animals and the elements. They're typically built low to the ground and don't have a floor. The top is a covering material that lets in the sun, while the sides are often made from wood or another solid material. Cold frame greenhouses can be purchased as ready-to-assemble kits, but can also be a great do-it-yourself backyard project. 

Mini or Pop-up Greenhouses

Mini or pop-up greenhouses are lightweight, portable units designed protect plants from harsh weather, and also to extend their growing season. Similar to pop-up camping tents, they spring into form easily and collapse down compactly for easy storage. The standard design is vented to prevent overheating and has an open floor so the greenhouse can be placed over existing plants. Mini or pop-up greenhouses are often used for seedlings and protecting tomato plants. Larger versions have room for shelving to hold numerous pots and planter boxes.

Greenhouse Buying Tips:

• When choosing a greenhouse consider how well it will integrate with your backyard landscaping and living space
• Position your greenhouse for optimal sun exposure
• Choose your greenhouse size based on the space you have in your yard and the types of plants you will be growing
• Some plants, such as tomatoes, can require five feet of height or more to grow properly
• To raise seedlings you will need a heated greenhouse

Greenhouse Features

Covering +

The material covering a greenhouse performs a dual role: it allows sunlight to enter, and it also helps the structure to retain heat. Most of the newer models use polycarbonate plastic panes, which are as clear as glass and virtually unbreakable. They're also treated to provide UV protection.

Vents +

The size of the greenhouse dictates the number of vents required for proper air circulation. Adjustable vents allow you to maintain the desired climate and tailor the air circulation to keep plants safe from hot temperatures.

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Greenhouse Maintenance Tips:

• Check for broken or cracked panes and replace as necessary
• Dirty windows will reduce the amount of sunlight entering the greenhouse
• Clean the outside of the greenhouse using warm water and a sponge
• Regular, thorough cleaning of the interior is essential for controlling pests and plant diseases
• Make sure the electricity is turned off and electrical equipment is unplugged before cleaning the interior
• Before cleaning the interior, remove all the plants and containers if possible
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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