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How to choose the right mini greenhouse for your budget

Build a mini greenhouse like the Lit'l Propagator for optimum insulationHave you thought about having a greenhouse, but just don't have the resources or space for a big greenhouse? A mini greenhouse is a wonderful way to dive into hobby greenhouse gardening! You don't have to make a major commitment of time or money to start growing in a greenhouse. There are many mini greenhouses on the market in various sizes and prices to suit just about every situation. With a mini greenhouse you can overwinter your container plants, start seeds in early spring and in some cases even grow throughout the winter. Before you take the plunge, we gathered some advice from our experienced staff to help you make the right choice when it comes to buying a mini greenhouse.

Find a good location in your yard

The first thing you need to do is figure out where you will locate your greenhouse. Find a location that gets a fair amount of sun throughout the day. A south facing location is the best, but an area that gets morning to afternoon sun will suffice. Getting the morning sun will help quickly take the chill off your plants after a frigid night.

Once you find a location, measure the space. Don't forget to consider how much height you have available and think about whether you will have room for a swinging door or if a sliding door will be more appropriate for the space available.

Also ask yourself if you will need access to electricity for your mini greenhouse, possibly for a heater, seedling heat mat, or a circulation fan. You will also be glad if you locate your mini greenhouse somewhere close to a hose so you can easily water your greenhouse plants.

Decide which mini greenhouse features are important

There are three main features to look at when deciding on a mini greenhouse: price, size, and greenhouse covering. Now that you have your measurements, you know how big you can dream and what size greenhouse will work for your yard. Mini Greenhouses are available in a broad range of prices. The prices usually vary depending on the size of the greenhouse and the type of greenhouse covering. Mini greenhouses covered in twin-wall greenhouse covering help to hold in the heat and keep your greenhouse warmer than greenhouses with a single-wall greenhouse covering. A greenhouse with clear walls may seem aesthetically appealing, but it will also get much hotter on a sunny day and possibly burn your plants. A covering that is translucent will be gentler on your plants and spread the light throughout your mini greenhouse for better plant growth. Also look for a mini greenhouse that provides good ventilation. A greenhouse needs plenty of fresh air for healthy plants.

Mini Greenhouses for a small space

If you have size limitations, there are a variety of small greenhouse choices. The Plant Inn is an affordable mini greenhouses that will help you get a jump on spring. This is covered with single wall plastic, so they will help hold off the frost, but will not offer much protection during prolonged frigid days. Adding heat to these greenhouses will help, but it won't be very efficient since the heat will be lost almost immediately.

To get better protection from the frost and a longer growing season, you will want to look for twin-walled greenhouses such as the BioStar Cold Frame or the Patio Greenhouse. These greenhouses are a bit small to add a heater to, but a seedling heat mat or heating cables can help give your plants the extra boost they need to make it through the nights that dip below freezing.

Mini Greenhouses you can walk into

For those who have room for a full size, walk-in greenhouse, the Snap and Grower greenhouse is an affordable mini greenhouse that allow you to store quite a few plants. Once again, due to the single-wall plastic greenhouse covering, you will have limitations on what you can grow and the length of your growing season. The double-walled alternatives are the Early Bloomer Greenhouse and the Mythos Greenhouse. Of course if you have the space for these greenhouses, and you want to go the deluxe route, a Solexx Greenhouse has all the bells and whistles to set up a year round garden - all you need is an 8x8 space.

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