How To Use a Portable Greenhouse
How To Use a Portable Greenhouse
Recent years have seen a surge in the number of people donning their gardening gloves and growing their own. Not only is it a more sustainable way to put fruit and veg on the table, but it’s cheaper than shopping at an organic market and deeply rewarding too. Few things are tastier than a juicy tomato lovingly nurtured by your own fair hands.
If you’re interested in growing your own but are concerned you lack the space, think again. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a big garden. Portable greenhouses are perfect for smaller gardens and, even if you own a large garden with acres of space, you can use them to nurture seedlings before moving them to pots, plots, and beds.
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What is a Portable Greenhouse?
Portable greenhouses aren’t like the glass greenhouses you find in nurseries or country gardens. They’re smaller with tubular steel frames and covers that pop over the top. They can be easily assembled when you’re ready to grow and disassembled when the growing season’s over. Like glass greenhouses, they’re specially designed to maximise the level of sunlight plants receive whilst protecting them from garden pests.
Using a Portable Greenhouse
Although most people use them throughout the summer to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and other crops, they can also be used to harden seedlings during the spring. Leaving a portable greenhouse up from late autumn to the start of spring isn’t recommend because they’re not as sturdy as glass greenhouses and are more prone to damage in windy weather.
Set up your greenhouse from late March to early April when the wind eases up and the weather turns a little warmer. Ideally, you should choose a location with lots of sunlight to give seedlings and young plants a winning start. If you’re growing from seed, we recommend germinating them inside your home before transporting them into your greenhouse.
Some plants struggle to survive in the autumn when the days are shorter and colder. A portable greenhouse allows you to extend the growing season by keeping plants warm and allowing them to absorb more sunlight. We recommend storing your greenhouse away in October, as this is the month when the wind picks up and nights can turn a little frosty.
During the summer, you should regulate the temperature inside your greenhouse, so your crops don’t wilt and die. Leave the door open on hot, sunny days to increase ventilation. If you’re growing plants that thrive in humid conditions, such as chillies and peppers, give the inside of your greenhouse a regular misting to increase the humidity level.
By now, your portable greenhouse should be safely stored away in your garage or shed. If it isn’t, pack it away – pronto! If you’ve developed a keen interest in growing and long to be pottering about in your garden, consider investing in a cold frame. They’re suitable for using all-year round and can be used to grow hardier crops long into the winter.
Types of Greenhouse
Small greenhouses are great for first-time growers and smaller locations, such as patios and courtyards. Seasoned growers also use them as an extra space to nurture seedlings before transferring them to outdoor pots or beds. Shelves allow you to grow a variety of plants in pots, and you can remove the shelves to accommodate taller plants like tomatoes.
Looking to upgrade to something bigger? Our walk-in greenhouses have extra shelves and enough space to stand inside when tending to your crops and flowers. If you have a lawn, you can peg the reinforced PE cover to the ground for extra strength and wind-resistance. Using it on your lawn also allows you to create beds for cabbages and other ground crops.
Growhouses don’t have shelves which makes them perfect for growing taller plants, such as French beans and tomatoes. Extra ground space allows you to grow plants from grow bags, so they can establish a stronger root system and produce a healthier crop. Eyelets allow you to secure canes vertically and horizontally to support your plants and stop them collapsing.
The Growhouse Max can be easily adapted from a greenhouse to a growhouse to suit your needs. Use it with the shelves attached to nurture seedlings and grow plants in pots or remove the shelves to grow taller plants. Like our tomato growhouses, it has ground space for grow bags and metal eyelets on the cover to secure canes and support your plants.
The Growhouse Max measures H170cm x W120cm x D50cm and comes with a PE cover which has peg points and guy lines to secure to your lawn and increase its wind-resistance.
Don’t worry if the cover on your greenhouse gets damaged. Rather than investing in a completely new greenhouse, you can get a replacement cover instead. We stock covers for all our small and walk-in greenhouses. The covers have ties to fix to the frame of your greenhouse and a zip-lock door which can be rolled up and secured to tend to your plants
PVC covers allow plants to absorb plenty of sunlight whilst keeping them warm at night. One drawback is that they’re prone to wear and tear, so they’re best used over the summer when it’s less windy. Greenhouses with PVC covers cost less and are ideal if you’re new to growing. If you enjoy it, you can always upgrade your greenhouse with a replacement PE cover.
PE covers offer all the advantages of a PVC cover but are UV-resistant to protect plants from harmful ultraviolet rays. The covers are also stronger than PVC with a mesh sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene. Some PE covers have a green mesh, but ours have a white mesh, so plants can absorb the levels of blue and red light they require for healthy growth.
Fleece covers can be used in place of a PVC or PE cover to give plants extra warmth and insulation. This allows you to plant seedlings earlier in the spring and extend the growing longer into the autumn. The covers keep crops warm to temperatures of -8˚C and come in two sizes to fit our three and four shelf greenhouses.