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How do I Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse?

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  • Written By: Kaitlyn N. Watkins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2016
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A portable greenhouse can be an effective and flexible way to protect tender plants and extend the growing season. In order to choose the best portable greenhouse, it is important to consider size requirements, space available, climate, and portability. While usually less sturdy and smaller than a permanent greenhouse building, a portable greenhouse can still provide most of the benefits of indoor growing at a fraction of the cost and labor.

Size matters when choosing a portable greenhouse. Consider the plants you will be housing and how big they may get inside the greenhouse. Small shrubs and potted plants may only require a single pop-up greenhouse cover, while large racks of seedlings will probably need a few tiers of shelves with plenty of space between for adequate light and air circulation. Location also plays a role in determining the size of greenhouse. Measure the available space and purchase a portable greenhouse that will not only fit the space but also allow enough room for maneuvering plants, watering, and access to full sunlight.

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The local climate and time of year will also determine the best kind of portable greenhouse to buy. If the weather is mild and plants just need heat and pest protection, a lightweight greenhouse, perhaps with wheels for easier positioning, should do the trick. Harsh weather, however, will call for a greenhouse that comes with stakes and ties or some way to secure it so plants are not damaged outdoors. Ventilation is key for temperature control in very sunny or warm weather. The best portable greenhouse will come with a vent on each side, and perhaps a screened window or even a shade cover.

Gardeners who are looking for portable greenhouses tend to use them seasonally, so portability and storage are important considerations. The best greenhouse kits should be easy to assemble and disassemble and may even come with storage cases or bags when it is time to put them away for the season. Pop-up greenhouses are one piece that simply unfold to assemble, while other kits may have metal framing and a fitted cover. Portable greenhouses should be lightweight and easy to position to maximize sunlight hours or to move to a more sheltered location if weather threatens. There are many reasonably-priced portable greenhouse kits and systems available, and some might even have extras like auxiliary grow lighting or overhead irrigation piping.

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