|Tuesday Tools & Products: Greenhouse Kits|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 22 May 2012|
Whether you just want to get an early start on the growing season or are interested in growing vegetables for a longer period of time during the year, a hobby greenhouse or one made from a kit might be the solution. A step up from a cold frame or growhouse, a greenhouse made from a kit is a stand-alone structure that is usually less expensive and easy to assemble--taking a weekend or two at the most. In other words it's perfect for hobbyist gardeners.
A hobby greenhouse from a kit is an unheated clear structure that works by capturing the heat and light of the sun. It is constructed from a metal, typically tubular steel, or wood frame with plastic such as polyethylene or PVC, polycarbonate sheets, or glass. Often there is an interior fan, which circulates air, as well as shelves to grow the plants on. Other than the initial capital cost, solar greenhouses like these are relatively inexpensive to operate and maintain and use very little in the way of energy resources because there is no watering, heating, or ventilation system, other than a circulating fan.
Because of the numerous choices available as far as styles and types, first decide what you need and how you want to use the greenhouse. If possible try to visit several operating greenhouses in person to get a better understanding of how they function and whether that style is good for you. Ask other gardeners for recommendations and request literature from the company about a greenhouse kit you are interested in. Most companies are happy to oblige.