How do I Choose the Best Greenhouse Kit?

Angela Crout-Mitchell

When choosing a greenhouse kit there are several factors that must be considered, including selecting one that offers sufficient light for the intended plants, durability and strength, and easy maintenance. Greenhouses should also protect plants from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and extend the growing season for the gardener. There are several types of greenhouse kits to choose from in a variety of sizes and designs, and some offer accessories including shelving and irrigation systems. Before choosing a greenhouse kit, the homeowner will have to determine the space for the structure, figure out how many plants they are intending to grow, and decide on the growing season they hope to enjoy from the greenhouse. It is common for consumers to choose a small greenhouse initially to better determine their individual needs.

When choosing a greenhouse kit, consider how many plants you want to grow, how much space you have and how much you want to spend.
When choosing a greenhouse kit, consider how many plants you want to grow, how much space you have and how much you want to spend.

The main purpose of any greenhouse is to provide sufficient light for the seedlings and plants housed inside. Experts have discovered that, much like people, plants grow more efficiently and are healthier when exposed to filtered light. There are different materials used to provide filtered light, including glass and polycarbonate plastics. Some gardening specialists suggest that the use of glass for greenhouses can be detrimental for the plants, as it allows too much sunlight and results in too high temperatures that are dangerous and unhealthy for most plants. This important information can be found on the packaging of most greenhouse kits, or available from the kit manufacturer or retailer.

It is essential to choose a greenhouse kit designed for strength and durability. These structures must be able to withstand extreme temperature changes, storms with hail, snow, and high wind, and falling tree branches and other debris. The greenhouse kit frame should be durable and well supported, with very little movement when jostled. Panels of the greenhouse should also be strong and impervious to cracks and other common hazards. For this reason, experienced gardeners suggest plastic panels for the greenhouse as opposed to the glass options.

Easy maintenance is important when selecting a greenhouse kit as well, and many consumers choose models that only require washing with a garden hose. Greenhouse models with an UV protection coating on the outside have to be carefully cleaned to ensure the covering isn't scratched or damaged. Most commercially made greenhouses are made with materials resistant to water etching and scratching from debris, such as branches and rocks, as well as mold and mildew resistant. In addition to making maintenance simpler, these features also help ensure the health of the plants growing inside.

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