It’s always growing season inside a backyard greenhouse
In most northern climates, the autumn season brings a chill to the air that tells perennials, vegetable plants, shrubs and trees that the growing season is coming to an end. When the first frost hits, the arrival of winter weather brings gardening to a halt for millions of homeowners.
But you don’t have to hang up the garden tools and hunker down for the winter. There are practical ways to extend the growing season, because the controlled climate inside a backyard greenhouse makes it possible to grow garden plants all year long.
Many homeowners have installed a backyard greenhouse as a way to grow their favorite plants—including homegrown fruits and vegetables—throughout the year. A wide variety of hobby greenhouses are now available, ranging from lightweight greenhouses that can be moved to different garden sites to professional-quality greenhouse kits that are constructed onsite.
Want to harvest salad greens, tomatoes and other homegrown delicacies—even in the coldest winter months? Here’s an assortment of greenhouses that can make that dream a reality.
A greenhouse you can use 12 months a year
A RIGA Greenhouse is beautiful enough to fit into any upscale garden setting and functional enough to satisfy both professional growers and avid backyard gardeners. Designed and engineered in Germany to meet European standards of quality, it offers the perfect growing environment for growing plants all year long—even in the coldest days of winter.
The standard RIGA has a heavy-duty frame with 8mm and 10mm twin-wall polycarbonate walls, while the professional level RIGA XL boasts thicker profiles with 16mm triple-wall polycarbonate for superior insulation throughout the winter. The unique shape of RIGAs allows snow to slide off and wind to blow over, making it extremely durable and ideal for a variety of climates. Both models provide diffused sunlight to protect plants during hot summers and include automatic roof vents and a wide front Dutch-style door and rear window for increased ventilation. The RIGA XL model has a Dutch-style door at the front and the back.
The thick polycarbonate glazing is UV coated and comes with a 10 year warranty; the frame has a15 year warranty. Exaco, the US distributor, provides responsive customer service and assembly support for all RIGA greenhouse owners.
An optional in-ground foundation frame is available to anchor the greenhouse for those who prefer to avoid concrete work. Accessories and ventilation packages are also available. RIGA Greenhouses are available in many sizes from 7’8” wide by 7’ long to 9’8” by 17’6”. The larger 14’ wide RIGA XL Greenhouses come in lengths from 16’5” to 29’6”. For more information or to order RIGA Greenhouse kits, visit www.exaco.com or call customer service at 877-760-8500.
Gothic Arch Greenhouse offers a distinct look and energy efficiency
A greenhouse from Gothic Arch Greenhouses is strong enough to stand up to extremes of snow and wind. The heart of a Gothic Arch Greenhouse kit is the sturdy Bald Cypress wood framing that is many times more energy efficient and insulating than metal-framed greenhouses. The sustainably harvested cypress wood is extremely resistant to water and insect damage.
The hand-crafted structural arches are always at an ideal angle toward the sun. Because of the high profile of the ridge, a Gothic Arch Greenhouse is perfect for growing taller plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and many tropical trees. The Gothic Arch design encourages condensation run-off inside the greenhouse, and the design also prevents snow accumulation on the roof.
Three greenhouse covering options are available: corrugated polycarbonate, 8 mm twin-wall polycarbonate, and 8 mm triple-wall polycarbonate. Greenhouses are available in five widths—8’, 12’, 14’, 18’ and 22’ in four-foot increments in length. The greenhouse can be installed directly on the ground, or the structure can be placed on a foundation wall to raise the height of the roof. Prices for one of the most popular starter greenhouse sizes, 12 feet by 12 feet, start at $3,985. For more information about available sizes and options, visit www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com or call (800) 531-4769.
Greenhouse kits for a more modest budget
Perfect for backyards, small spaces and smaller budgets, the Jupiter Greenhouse features space-saving sliding doors, integral gutters for rain control, and roof vents to provide ventilation and temperature control. The powder-coated green frame is durable, weatherproof and attractive in any yard or garden setting.
One of the benefits of the Jupiter design is its tall center height. The ridge height in the center is just over 8 feet high, which provides plenty of height for hanging baskets and taller plants. The smooth-action sliding doors are 6 feet, 4 inches tall and a roomy 48 inches wide, making it easy to move wheelbarrows and large plants in and out of the greenhouse.
The Jupiter Greenhouse is available in four sizes – 8 feet wide by 8, 10, 12, or 14 feet long. Three glazing (covering) options are available, including tempered safety glass and 6mm (1/4-inch) thick twin-wall polycarbonate. The deluxe glazing option includes an energy-efficient roof that reduces heat loss in winter and overheating in the summer, matched with tempered safety glass walls. The smallest size Jupiter Greenhouse (measuring 8 feet by 8 feet) sells for $2,150. For information or to place an order, visit www.CharleysGreenhouse.com or call (800) 322-4707.
Lean-to greenhouses for tighter spaces
In addition to free-standing greenhouses, another popular style is the lean-to greenhouse. This configuration typically takes up less space because the greenhouse attaches to the wall of an existing house or other building, making it a great starter greenhouse.
Measuring 8 feet wide and 8 feet long, the Solexx Harvester Greenhouse is a modified lean-to design because it can stand alone or hug the side of a house. The large (6 ½ feet tall by 36 inches wide) door provides easy access to the roomy growing area and can be installed on either end.
The Harvester Greenhouse provides a double-tiered bench frame to maximize growing area on one side with a single bench frame on the other for growing taller plants. Two hanging rods run the full length of the greenhouse.
An essential feature of the greenhouse is the Solexx brand greenhouse covering. The twin-wall material diffuses light to create ideal inside growing conditions for plants. The covering also provides the highest-rated insulation available in hobby greenhouses. The combination of the strong frame along with the Solexx corrugated plastic greenhouse covering makes the Harvester Greenhouse sturdy enough to withstand powerful winds—unlike many small greenhouses. The Solexx Harvester sells for $2,316 from The Greenhouse Catalog, www.greenhousecatalog.com.