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I’ve had many different mini greenhouses over the years to extend my growing space in my garden, from traditional aluminium greenhouses with polycarbonate or glass panes to wooden mini greenhouses and even plastic mini greenhouses with PE woven material. Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of these types of greenhouses. My family also own a garden centre nursery in Manchester, so I know how to appreciate a well-designed greenhouse when it comes to greenhouses. I’ve actually been in the horticultural industry for over 20 years now!
I’ve already discussed my favourite polytunnels and their advantages when compared to greenhouses but in this guide, I want to focus on the ‘best mini greenhouses‘ as they are a great option if you have limited space or need a little extra growing space for your seedling before planting them out as well as over wintering plants.
First, I want to quickly cover the ‘mini’ in mini greenhouses. The term is somewhat subjective as it can cover many sizes from a 6ft x 4ft aluminium greenhouse, such as my favourite, this Palram Mythos Greenhouse, which is small but still a full sized greenhouse, to a small wooden growhouse like this Plantpak 132×70.5x41cm Grow House thats ideal for very small spaces such as a balcony or small patio. With this in mind, consider anything smaller than your standard 6ft x 6ft garden greenhouse as a mini greenhouse. Anything bigger and my greenhouse review guide is probably where you need to be.
Before I get into my detailed reviews further down, I want to quickly discuss some of my favourite mini greenhouses that I have owned.
If you have enough space for a small but ‘full sized’ greenhouse, then this Palram Mythos 6ft x 4ft Greenhouse is well worth considering and one I personally have in my own garden as I write this review. While larger than what you may think of as a ‘mini’ greenhouse, it’s a compact, full-sized, walk-in greenhouse that provides enough room to add some greenhouse seed tray staging to one side and a workbench or potting table on the other side, leaving you some space in the middle to potter around.
This greenhouse is very durable and functional with an aluminium frame and polycarbonate windows. I also couldn’t resist and had to upgrade mine with an automatic vent opener and a digital thermost-controlled greenhouse heater to prolong my growing season and protect the seedling from any late frost.
I also have a few smaller greenhouses, which I’ve been very happy with. This includes this Plantpak Grow House, which is just over 2ft wide and 70cm tall. It has UV-treated polycarbonate glazing and adjustable shelves. My wife choose this one for its charming, solid wooden design that fits perfectly against the house wall on my patio. It provides valuable extra growing space when my main greenhouse is a little full of seedlings. This has proved valuable as we like to grow all our bedding plants from seed and often run out of room. We usually start them off first in the heated propagator before moving them into this greenhouse. We then use it as a cold house to harden the seedling off before planting them out.
For those who appreciate the craftsmanship and elegance of a traditional greenhouse, I’ve been really impressed with this Access Half Growhouse. I really do love this mini grow house. However, it’s expensive for its size! That said, it’s manufactured from architectural aluminium and 3mm toughened safety glass, which reminds me of the professional greenhouses at our family nursery. As mentioned, it’s a little pricey, but the quality is impressive. It really is a great piece of kit. I also love that you can position it directly on the soil and then use it as a cloth to protect tender plants. Then just as easily, move it to the patio to start seedlings off in.
Finally, I also wanted to include a mini greenhouse that I’ve been impressed with, especially if you’re on a budget or just starting your greenhouse journey. This Woodside 4-Tier Garden Greenhouse won’t disappoint for the price. Simple, efficient, and very cost-effective at under 30 pounds, it’s a great introductory greenhouse that even helped the kids at my local primary school dip their toes into the world of gardening when I donated it to them.
You might also want to consider some upgrades you can do. Even with a small greenhouse, you can make them more efficient. Firstly, if the design allows, I always add an automatic solar vent which I have also reviewed here. They are compatible with most standard greenhouses, including the Palram Mythos 6ft x 4ft Greenhouse, which is a straight swap from the manual vent opener. On most small wooden greenhouses with top windows that open, you can also add an automatic vent to these with a little DIY too. These are great as they stop the greenhouse from becoming too warm.
This is not always needed, but it can be worth it to extend the growing season or protect seedlings from late frost when one is forecasted, that is a greenhouse heater. This really depends on the size of the greenhouse, as some heaters are too big for the really small mini greenhouses. However, you can get some small Paraffin Single Burner heaters, they are ideal for small greenhouses to keep them above freezing. My favourite greenhouse heater is this Bio Green Palma Electric Heater with the Thermo2 Digital Thermostat.
Finally, adding some insulation is an easy way to make your mini greenhouse more efficient. I recommend using some UV-stable bubble wrap designed for greenhouses and NOT standard bubble wrap for packaging, as it disintegrates when exposed to the sun.
Finally, why not set up an automatic watering system for convenience, this could be worth doing, and I’ve talked about this in the past in my greenhouse water system guide here. I’ve talked about my latest smart water timer here to automate the watering around my garden.
Need to make a greenhouse base for your mini greenhouse? – Check out my step by step guide where I show you how I built my own greenhouse base using patio flags
6 of the best mini greenhouses that we have included in my review
- Plantpak 132 x 70.5 x 41cm Grow House – BEST PICK
- Palram Canopia Mythos 6ft x 4ft Silver Greenhouse
- Access Half Growhouse
- Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse
- Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse
- Rowlinson HWGROWST2 Hardwood Mini Greenhouse
- Grow It Gardman 57 x 76 x 110cm Wooden House
- Christow Walk In 6ft 4in x 4ft 7in x 4ft 7in Greenhouse With Shelves
Best Mini Greenhouse Reviews
1. Plantpak Grow House
The Plantpak Grow House is a solid wooden greenhouse that comes in a gentle dove grey colour. This greenhouse will be an unobtrusive addition to your garden structures. This is a freestanding mini greenhouse that doesn’t need to be near your house walls or garden fences. The manufacturer doesn’t identify the species of wood on the package but online users say that it’s lightweight and soft.
The light weight of the wood is a bit of a problem for some online reviewers. It’s soft so some users predrilled the holes for the screws as they worried that putting them in might split the wood. The frame came with just a thin coat of paint on it. If you receive one in this condition, make sure that you either paint the frame or use a wood preservative on it before you put the greenhouse together, this is not essential but would ensure it’s properly protected for the British winter weather.
The light weight of this greenhouse is also an advantage if you want to move it around your garden throughout the growing season, but a disadvantage if you live in an area with high winds so would be best positioned somewhere that is a little sheltered or put a weight of some kind (bricks, paving slabs) on the bottom shelf to improve the stability of the greenhouse.
The walls and roof of this Plantpak Grow House are made of 5mm polycarbonate that’s been UV-treated. This keeps the harsh rays away from your plants while letting the sunlight through. The roof/lid is split into two independent parts and you tilt each one to catch the breeze from different directions. The locking mechanism keeps the roof in whatever position you place it; just remember to close the lid in the evening or if bad weather is forecast. The French doors open from the centre making it easy to move plants in and out.
This mini greenhouse comes with three wooden shelves that are all adjustable. Different sizes of your plant pots, trays and containers can fit onto the shelves. In addition, the shelves are removable to make space for your rapidly growing tomatoes. If you do remove some shelves, the greenhouse has a board on the bottom to preserve its stability.
- Solid wooden mini greenhouse in a dove grey colour that matches any house or garden colour scheme.
- Freestanding so you don’t have to place it against the house or a fence
- Windows are glazed 5mm polycarbonate that has been UV-treated to ensure they don’t deteriorate.
- The hinged design has locking stays to keep the split roof tilted when it’s open for optimum ventilation.
- Three adjustable wooden shelves to fit whatever size pots you put on them.
- Dimensions are 132cm (height), 70.5cm (width) and 41cm (depth).
- Lightweight wood with a thin coat of paint.
The Plantpak Grow House is priced amongst the mid-range mini greenhouses in our review. It’s made of solid wood (unspecified species) and comes with all the features you need for successful under glass growing. The lid is in two parts which you can tilt independently of each other to catch the wind to ventilate the greenhouse. The double doors open outwards so you can access all your plants at the same time. The adjustable and removable shelves (included) give you plenty of space to grow your seedlings and we especially like they can be removed for growing tomatoes.
We’ve made the Plantpak Grow House our Best Pick of mini greenhouses for all its features and better than average build quality even though it’s not perfect.
If you’re looking for a mini greenhouse that will last throughout your plant growing ambitions and gives you all the features you need, the Plantpak 70200425 Grow House is our recommendation, but we recommend at least giving it a coat of paint.
2. Palram Canopia Mythos 6ft x 4ft Aluminium Greenhouse
This Palram Canopia Mythos 6ft x 4ft Greenhouse is probably not what I would describe as a mini greenhouse. However, I own this greenhouse and think it’s a brilliant greenhouse for the price and being only 6ft wide by 4ft, it will fit install a relatively small area. I built a new paved area for mine, fixed it to this, and then installed some greenhouse staging and an automatic vent. It’s a fantastic little setup for a compact small area!
I like to think of it as a small/mini greenhouse but also a full-sized, stand-alone greenhouse that’s big enough to potter around in. Most mini greenhouses, you simply cannot step inside and pot plants up etc. However, with this greenhouse, you have room to do this.
It’s obviously not a moveable greenhouse as you do need to secure it to a base/floor (not included, I used paving and made a small patio), but you could also fix it to a wooden deck. I did a guide on how to make a small greenhouse base here.
I really like that this greenhouse has an aluminium frame that’s lightweight. The aluminium is durable and rustproof, so you don’t need to coat it with anything to keep it in good shape like you do a wooden greenhouse.
The twin walls are actually two walls of polycarbonate that have a connective ribbing that creates an air space between them. This helps insulate the greenhouse and reduces the transfer of hot air between the walls. It also helps the two walls stay rigid and impact resistant. The polycarbonate is 100% UV protected, so it won’t become brittle and shatter over time. I’ve had mine up for around four years, and it’s in perfect condition.
This greenhouse is relatively easy to assemble, but it does take some time. I think it might have taken about 5-6 hours from memory. You just slide the polycarbonate panels into the aluminium frame. And then everything into the galvanised steel base at the bottom. The instructions are easy to follow, it would definitely be easier with two people, but I build it on my own.
You can circulate the air inside the greenhouse by opening a single window on the roof. I purchased an automatic vent that opens when it’s warm and closes as it cools; this works well. It’s also much sturdier as the manual one included is plastic and a little flimsy.
Alternatively, open the full-size door that’s polycarbonate on a metal frame. The door stays open using a magnet – a handy feature. You can easily put together the door as a left or right opening, depending on your preference.
I particularly like the gutters along the base of the roof part of the greenhouse. You can use them to collect the rainwater that runs off the roof that you can then direct into a rain butt. I’m still yet to do this!
If you like this model of greenhouse but find it’s a bit too small, it does come in larger sizes: 6ft by 6ft and 6ft by 8ft.
- Small Walk-in greenhouse to solid aluminium frame that’s stand-alone.
- Polycarbonate twin walls on an aluminium frame.
- Single window panel in roof that opens on a hinge and can be upgraded to a solar automatic vent.
- Full size single door of polycarbonate on an aluminium frame.
- Over 70% light transmission through the walls and roof.
- Gutters at the lower edge of the roof collect rainwater that runs down the roof. You need to divert the water into a water butt using hose pipe.
- Five-year limited warranty for full peace of mind.
- Dimensions: 185cm (width), 126cm (depth), and 208cm (height).
The Palram Canopia Mythos 6ft x 4ft Aluminium Greenhouse is a small stand-alone greenhouse that needs to be anchored to a base so keep this in mind. I just built my own mini base from paved slabs from B&Q.
I really like that there is enough room in the greenhouse for one person to work and stand up comfortably. I really like that it’s just big enough to install some greenhouse staging, one on either side. I have one for seedlings in trays in a rack on one side. On the other side, I have my aluminium potting bench to work at. It’s a great little setup taking up minimal space.
The Palram Canopia Mythos 6ft x 4ft Greenhouse is a good choice if you’re looking for a walk-in greenhouse for a small area to make the most of the space.
3. Access Half Growhouse, Mini Greenhouse
If you really don’t have much room in your garden for an aluminium greenhouse and you’re the sort of person like me, who appreciates a decent aluminium greenhouse, then this Access Half Growhouse/Mini Greenhouse is well worth considering.
What I really like is that it’s made from architectural aluminium with a 25yr framework guarantee, also it has 3mm toughened safety glass. Yes, it actually has real glass!
It also features front and top sliding panes for easy access and for venting. This gives you some control over the air flow as well as easy access to the interior. This mini greenhouse has been well thought out. The only downside is the price. I think it’s expensive! However, I can’t argue with the build quality and how versatile it is. It’s a great piece of gardening equipment.
It’s amazing how much you can fit into this little greenhouse and what you can use it for. To start with, it has room for eight full-sized seed trays plus room on the ground/base for more pots and trays.
It’s also very durable and rust resistant, so doesn’t need any special care as a wooden mini greenhouse does. Plus, it is much more durable than those plastic mini greenhouses that last a couple of seasons, if that.
Inside the greenhouse, you can grow your seeds and seedlings on the two (included) metal shelves. These shelves are also adjustable, and the top shelf is not as deep as the bottom one. All told, the shelves hold eight full size seed trays. What I really like is that you can fold or remove the shelves if you want to grow larger plants.
Don’t forget that you also have the floor of the greenhouse to place pots on, or you could place the greenhouse directly on soil as pictured above and grow vegetables to help promote early croppings of carrots and lettuce you sown in Feb, for example. You need to provide a base or floor yourself, but it can easily be placed on any surface, such as a patio against a wall or decking etc.
- A mini greenhouse that you can move around your garden so it can be placed on a solid surface or even soil.
- Features an aluminium frame that comes with a 25-year guarantee.
- The walls and roof are made from 3mm toughened safety glass.
- Front panels and roof panels slide for access to the interior and for ventilation.
- Comes with two adjustable and removable metal shelves.
- Dimensions: 121cm (4ft) (width), 65cm (25 inches) (depth), and 82cm (32 inches) (height).
- Sliding glass can stick when wet, but it is not a problem once it dries off by late morning.
This Access Half Growhouse is probably one of my favourite mini greenhouses despite the cost, it’s expensive, thats for sure. However, you get what you pay for with greenhouses. I like that you can easily move it about your garden depending on what you’re using it for. Although it’s small in size, you still have enough room to grow eight seed trays of plants, plus the entire floor space for extra pots. Overall it’s a great piece of kit and a very versatile greenhouse and one thats made to last.
Read next: The best space-saving lean-to greenhouses
4. Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse/Growhouse With Reinforced Cover
This Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse is almost the same as the Christow Greenhouse with the shelves that I review further down. It’s just smaller and cost less. However, it still has a larger area than some of the hard-sided mini greenhouses I have also reviewed. The first thing to note is that this is a budget-friendly model, for the price it’s a great piece of kit but only expect it to last a few seasons. I actually had one for a couple of seasons and then donated it to my local primary school as it was in good condition still.
The frame of this mini greenhouse is made from powder-coated steel that lasts a long time and won’t rust (unless the coating is rubbed off). The greenhouse is stand-alone and light weight, so it’s easily portable. The click-together design of the frame means that you don’t need any tools to assemble it.
The greenhouse’s cover is made from 135GSM PE woven material which is common on more budget-friendly models. Plus it’s UV resistant to stop any sun degradation, including fading.
The door in the cover is at the front of the greenhouse. It’s part of the cover and has zips on either side for easy access to the plants. Once you roll up the door, keep it in place with the ties at the top. This Christow greenhouse comes with four mesh shelves, one of which is at the base of the frame and gives extra stability. However, the shelves aren’t adjustable but they are removable. This means that if you want to grow taller plants such as tomatoes, you can easily remove shelves to so this.
Because it is so lightweight, you can move it easily but this means so can any strong winds. I use to anchor the greenhouse with a bag of compost or some bricks or paving stones or anything else that’s heavy. Basiclly something to add some weight to hold it in position. If it’s in a sheltered position, this probably won’t be a problem, it’s more if you have it in an exposed position.
- Stand-alone mini greenhouse made from steel with a heavy-duty polyethylene cover.
- The cover is two layers of white polyethylene with a mesh between them to reinforce it.
- The frame is powder-coated steel and resists rust and UV rays.
- Roll up door has zippers on both sides so it’s easy to open.
- The door keeps in place with ties at the top so you can leave it open for ventilation on warm days.
- Comes with four heavy-duty mesh shelves that let the water run away if you over-water your plants.
- Click-together design doesn’t require any tools so non-DIY people can easily set the greenhouse up.
- Dimensions are 69cm (length), 143.5cm (height inside) and 49cm (depth).
- Shelves aren’t adjustable.
- No base.
This Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse is the cheapest greenhouse I have owned at in this review but it has enough growing space to compete with more expensive mini greenhouses. The polyethylene doesn’t weigh too much and the powder-coated steel frame holds up in all weathers. You don’t need any DIY skills to put this mini greenhouse together because it has a click-together system. This Woodside Greenhouse comes with four mesh shelves so you don’t have to buy anything for your greenhouse.
If you have a small space (even a balcony) but you still want to grow plants from scratch and have a tight budget or even just need a greenhouse to use for a season or two, this lightweight Greenhouse is a good choice.
Looking for a pop-up type greenhouse? – Read my review here on the best pop up greenhouses
5. Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse
The Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse is similar to the Christow Mini Greenhouse in our review but it’s larger. This Grow It model is a stand-alone greenhouse that is not a walk-in structure but provides plenty of growing space, especially with its arched roof.
The steel frame is powder-coated in a suitably horticultural green colour that blends in with the green reinforced polythene cover. This greenhouse is lightweight and you can move it around easily. This is also a downside and some online reviewers complain that this model blows over in medium to strong levels of wind, even if it’s placed in a sheltered spot.
These same reviewers also state that they weigh down the structure by putting rocks and other ballast in the outside pockets of the cover, being careful not to put in too heavy a weight because it will stretch the polythene. However, we cannot see any pockets in the photos of the greenhouse on the sales web page.
The zippered door to the greenhouse is on the long front wall and rolls up easily. Secure the door at the top by tying the ties. The door usefully gives you access to the entire width of the interior and to the four metal mesh shelves (included) within. There’s no reaching across or behind delicate growing stems to get to anything. You also don’t have to worry about your pots sitting in pools of water as any excess water drains away through the metal grid to the ground below.
Any, or all, of the shelves, are removable, making extra headroom for your extra tall or climbing plants. The arched roof also provides additional vertical growing space above the top shelf.
Be careful about removing too many shelves at the same time because they provide much-needed stability to the structure. Some online reviews discuss how the design of this greenhouse has changed and that now the shelves use prongs to connect to the frame, making both the shelves and the structure a bit wobbly.
Assembling this greenhouse is quite straightforward though some owners recommend that you put it together on its side as it’s easier that way to ensure that all parts fit properly together.
- Steel powder coated frame is extra wide, strong, and weather-resistant for long service life.
- Roll-up zipped door in the front wall gives you access to the full width of the interior.
- The plastic cover is held onto the arched frame by Velcro fastenings so you can keep it tightly in place.
- Assembly is quick and easy because no tools are required as you ‘push and fit’ it together.
- The frame has four metal grid shelves for your pots and equipment.
- Dimensions: 105cm (width); 45cm (depth); and 160cm (height).
- Shelves don’t fit into frame securely.
- Blows over relatively easily.
The Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse is a stand-alone greenhouse with a significant amount of growing space, especially for taller plants. It’s easily assembled by clicking the frame together and using the Velcro to attach the cover. The powder-coated green steel frame and the matching green cover let this structure blend into your garden landscape and offset the riot of colour within.
The Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse is the Runner-up selection in our review. It’s a convenient and affordable mini greenhouse with a significant amount of growing space that’s all reachable without having to move from the front door.
Have you considered a grow house? They are easier to move and take down than a greenhouse. Read my guide on whether you should buy a mini grow house and see me put one together step by step.
6. Rowlinson HWGROWST2 Hardwood Mini Greenhouse
The Rowlinson HWGROWST2 Hardwood Mini Greenhouse is made from eucalyptus wood and overall is a lovely greenhouse. It’s intended for year-round use to raise seedlings in early spring through to growing vegetables in the summer and then over-wintering plants when the weather turns cold. The windows are of ridged plastic but you can still see through them to the plants inside.
This Rowlinson greenhouse comes with two slatted shelves to put your pots and trays on. The shelves are not adjustable so you’re limited in what pots you can use and what plants you can grow. There may not be enough room for established tomato plants. The roof/lid is split into two independent sections. Both sections can be opened for ventilation so your plants don’t become too warm. This mini greenhouse doesn’t have a base so you have to stand it directly on your patio or another solid base. Be aware that the base you use may absorb heat and increase the temperature in the greenhouse.
Online reviewers complain that the wood frame splits and cracks in the summer. The door may warp and stick. However, the manufacturer addresses this problem by saying that this doesn’t affect the integrity of the structure. They recommend spraying the wood with water when the weather is hot. We saw this problem with most wooden greenhouses and they usually return to normal once the weather cools and the wood absorbs moisture again so we don’t see this as an issue.
- Eucalyptus wood mini greenhouse for year-round use.
- Comes with two slatted wooden shelves that drain the water away if you give your plants too much.
- The roof is split into two independent halves where the roof stays to keep them open for the best ventilation.
- The windows are made of rigid plastic for durability and safety.
- Dimensions are 133cm (height), 102cm (width) and 54cm (depth) – all interior measurements.
- Assembly is best done by two people with a screwdriver.
- The shelves aren’t adjustable.
- Comes without a base.
The Rowlinson HWGROWST2 Hardwood Mini Greenhouse is a eucalyptus wooden greenhouse that you use year-round and is well worth considering. Propagate seedlings in the spring to fill up your flower and vegetable beds and then over-winter your delicate plants in warm comfort. There are two hinged lids that open independently and let you decide how much ventilation your greenhouse receives at any time.
If your garden or house design style is rustic or natural, the Rowlinson HWGROWST2 Hardwood Mini Greenhouse will fit right in.
7. Grow It Gardman Wooden House
The Grow It Gardman Wooden House is a stand-alone mini greenhouse you can use anywhere in your garden. The (unknown to us) wood is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council to be both environmentally and economically beneficial. Consider protecting the wooden frame by painting or using a wood preservative before you build the greenhouse, we recommend doing this with most wooden greenhouses.
The twin walls are of polycarbonate that is ridged horizontally. Some reviewers suggest sealing the walls with silicone as you build the structure to ensure a tight fit. The hinged roof is in one piece and opens up from the front. It has roof locks – and when you open the roof it stays where you place it. The roof is slanted forward. Online reviewers report that the degree of the slant of the roof lets rain run down it and pool at the base of the roof.
The two-hinged doors (French style) are held closed by a wooden latch. This ‘wooden house’ comes with two shelves that have slats in them to let any moisture run through them to the bottom of the greenhouse. This mini greenhouse doesn’t have a base so the type of ground you place it on becomes part of the structure.
- Wooden stand-alone mini greenhouse for vegetables and ornamental plants that you want to protect.
- The wood is certified as environmentally friendly and economically sustainable by the Forestry Stewardship Council.
- The walls have two layers of polycarbonate glazing for extra insulation.
- Two slatted shelves that let any water run down to the bottom of the greenhouse.
- The hinged roof locks in place so you don’t have to worry about propping it open for ventilation.
- Two hinged doors are secured by a wooden latch for easy access.
- Dimensions are 76cm (height), 100cm (width) and 57cm (depth).
- Lightweight and softwood of an unspecified species.
- Shelves are removable but the structure becomes wobbly so not recommended unless you build something to strengthen the frame.
The Grow It Gardman Wooden House is one of the smaller mini greenhouses in our review. Its (unspecified) wooden frame holds the walls of two layers of polycarbonate. Your plants are well insulated. The single piece roof opens up to ventilate the greenhouse so condensation doesn’t form. Use the two shelves and the bottom of the greenhouse to grow your seeds and to place your garden tools.
If you really don’t have much space or want to grow only a few plants, this could be the mini greenhouse for you.
8. Christow Walk-In Greenhouse With Shelves
The CHRISTOW Walk in Greenhouse With Shelves is another stand-alone mini greenhouse. Unlike all the rectangular greenhouses we review, this one is square. It’s also different because the walls and roof are actually a cover made of polyethylene. This is a one-piece soft cover that you pull over the frame. Another unique feature of this structure is that it’s a walk-in greenhouse. The roof is high enough for most people to potter about inside. This greenhouse is light enough to easily move it around your garden for the best placement each season.
The frame of the CHRISTOW Walk In Greenhouse is made of powder-coated steel – the best kind for resisting rust and for lasting a long time. As we’ve said, the walls and roof are one piece that’s constructed of an internal grid placed between two layers of white polyethylene. This is not only UV resistant but has extra thickness for increased insulation. Plus the white colour lets more sunlight into the greenhouse than darker colours do.
With the click-together frame, assembly is easy. Just put the steel poles together with the (included) plastic clips. Then use the ground pegs and the guy lines to anchor the greenhouse to the ground. As you need to put the pegs in the ground, this greenhouse won’t work on concrete or a paving slab surface too easily, although something could be fashioned to hold it in place, for example, buying some paving slabs (12” x 8) and lay them inside along the bottom. You could also insert rings into the hard surface to attach the guy lines to.
The door into this greenhouse is part of the cover. It has double zippers – one on each side of the door – and rolls up to the top of the structure. Ties are there to keep the rolled-up door out of the way. Another useful feature of this greenhouse is that it comes with eight mesh shelves. These are removable to create space for your tallest plants. Online users recommend that you use cable ties to attach the shelves to the frame for stability because the shelves are a bit flimsy.
- The Walk-in stand-alone greenhouse is made of steel and polyethylene so you can move it easily.
- The dimensions are 143cm (length), 195cm (height to point of roof) and 143cm (depth).
- The walls and roof have an internal grid placed between two layers of UV-resistant polyethylene for extra insulation.
- Frame is made of powder-coated steel for rust resistance and long life.
- The door is double zippered and you roll it up to get into the mini greenhouse.
- Comes with eight removable mesh shelves that allow pots to drain away water easily.
- Easy assembly with a click-together frame, and ground pegs and guy lines to hold it in place.
- Mesh shelves are lightweight and flimsy.
- Doesn’t have a base.
- Not easily constructed on solid surfaces.
The Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves is one of the cheapest mini greenhouses we review here. It’s also one of the lightest and the biggest. Easily place the two-layer polyethylene cover over the powder-coated steel frame and you’re ready to start planting in your seed trays. This is the only walk-in greenhouse we looked at, with mesh shelves (included) down each side of the structure.
If you’re an avid gardener who grows many plants from seeds and wants a walk-in greenhouse with a lot of room, check out this Christow greenhouse. Just remember it’s much easier to construct it on a solid surface, like a lawn.
Greenhouses of any size provide protection and optimal light conditions for the plants that you grow in them. Delicate plants that can’t normally prosper in cooler outdoor conditions are good candidates for growing under glass. These may be tender plants that need to overwinter with a little protection or seeds that you start before the summer growing season.
Before you read this Buyer’s Guide to discover the features of greenhouses, ask yourself two questions to start your research:
- Where are you going to place the greenhouse?
- What direction is it going to face?
Your first answer guides you to the size of greenhouse you need and the second answer identifies how much sun the plants in the greenhouse will receive.
Mini greenhouses are a smaller version of full-size greenhouses but perform the same functions. They can be short and wide, tall and narrow, and even walk-in structures. Generally, mini-greenhouses cover about 1m2 of floor space. In this review we look at standard mini greenhouses that you purchase in a kit; custom mini greenhouses are also available so you can design your own but are usually expensive.
Why you need a mini greenhouse
If you’re an avid horticulturist you probably start growing your flowers and vegetables from seed before spring even arrives. Doing this in a mini greenhouse ensures that the climate remains warm for the plants and that they receive the right degree of ventilation. Consider a mini greenhouse as a larger and more controllable cold frame.
Mini greenhouses are also great for growing plants from cuttings and seedlings. If you have favourite plants in your garden, take a cutting and put it in the greenhouse until it’s hardy and sturdy enough to return to the garden bed.
Mini greenhouses come in two basic styles. We review stand-alone or freestanding mini greenhouses in this review. These greenhouses stand up on their own and you can place them anywhere in your garden. Lean-to greenhouses need to be attached to a wall or fence that forms the back wall.
Construction and materials
Mini greenhouses that come in kits usually have frames made of aluminium, steel or wood.
Aluminium frames are either bare metal or are powder-coated for extra protection. They’re lightweight, durable, and don’t conduct heat well. With these frames, check frequently that your plants are at the right temperature. Steel frames, which also may be powder coated, are heavier and are very durable but there are more prone to rust, unlike aluminium.
Wooden frames give a natural and traditional look to mini greenhouses. Most wooden frames arrive with all the panels attached. Maintaining wooden frames involves painting or staining them before you put the greenhouse together and doing this regularly throughout their life.
The glazed walls and lid of mini greenhouses are usually one of these materials
Standard horticultural glass is clear and practical. The contents of your greenhouse are on display to the outside world. This type of glass does shatter into large shards if it’s broken, which is not ideal, especially if your greenhouse shares a garden space with your children.
Polycarbonate safety glazing is a plastic that’s difficult to break and is the most popular choice. It’s usually opaque, though you can see your plants faintly through it. Two sheets of polycarbonate often are a grid sandwiched between them to add to their strength.
Reinforced high-quality polyethylene is another plastic used as glazing. This is a soft plastic that’s used for soft covers for greenhouses. These are the type of greenhouses in which just one cover goes over the sides and the lids. The cover also has a roll-up door in it and is completely removable. Use your mini greenhouse as a plant stand when you’ve finished growing plants inside it.
Toughened safety glass is the safest form of glazing and is usually used in high-end greenhouses, like that of our Runner-up. It’s a clear and strong glass that disintegrates into hundreds of small pieces if it’s broken. It’s not easy to cut yourself on tiny pieces of glass.
Most mini greenhouse kits provide shelves that attach to the side walls or from front to back in a larger structure. The shelves might be made of wood to match the frame, aluminium or another metal. Many of the mini greenhouses come with shelves made of slats. This enables water to run through them, in case you overwater your plants. Look for shelves that are adjustable or are at least removable. The problem with some models is the greenhouse removes less rigid when the shelves are removed and requires some extra braces DIY style to strengthen the structure. This is especially true for cheaper models.
A few mini greenhouses come with a built-in floor. This ensures that the greenhouse is completely sealed. Many greenhouses, however, have an open floor so you need to place it on a surface that doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Try grass, gravel, concrete, wooden decking, or paving stones. Also, look for ready-made bases to purchase.
Roofs (also known as lids) are important in ventilating the greenhouse. Your plants won’t become too hot and dry out if you have a controlled airflow in the greenhouse. Some mini greenhouses have a single lid that opens and others have split lids that open independently of each other. The lids are made of the same material as the greenhouse walls. Some models also have separate vents, as pictured above.
Many mini greenhouses have double doors that open from the centre. This gives you access to all of the plants at once. One greenhouse in our review has sliding glass doors. These are elegant and minimalistic but you can only get to one half of the greenhouse at a time.
Once you have the basic and workable mini greenhouse you may want to add optional, nice-to-have accessories. These include:
- A heater for the cooler nights in spring and autumn to keep the temperatures above freezing.
- A thermometer to tell you how warm the inside of the greenhouse is or how low it has been.
- Potting benches to replace the shelves for a sturdier place to put your plants.
- Shading screens to protect your plants from the middle of the day harsh sunlight.
Check out the following articles that may be useful
How many months a year can I use a mini greenhouse?
Growing plants in a mini greenhouse extend the growing season, at both ends. With careful planning, you can have plants in your greenhouse all year long.
Spring is when you start your seeds or small seedlings off in the greenhouse before it’s too cold to plant anything outside.
When you’ve transplanted your seedlings outside in summer, there’s room in your mini greenhouse for crops that sometimes need protection, such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
In autumn, take cuttings from geraniums and flowers and put them in the greenhouse to provide new plants for next year. You can also sow lettuce to maintain your salad green crop throughout the winter.
In the winter, use the greenhouse to overwinter your more delicate plants. And start your winter and spring bulbs here for early-year colour.
Can I put a mini greenhouse against a wall?
You can place a mini greenhouse against a wall but know that the wall will retain heat and transmit it to the greenhouse interior.
If you intend on keeping your greenhouse against the wall, consider a lean-to greenhouse. This is a greenhouse that doesn’t have a back wall as it’s specially designed to fit up against a garden wall or an outside wall of your house. During the day the wall absorbs warmth which it radiates out at night, heating up the interior of the greenhouse.
What are the top three things I need to have with my mini greenhouse?
If we can choose only three items, then we pick:
- An accurate thermometer so you know what the temperature of the interior is.
- A way of cooling down the inside if it’s too hot. We suggest sun shades or a fan. These offer more delicate control over the temperature than just opening the door.
- A way of heating up the interior if it’s too cold. We suggest a heater designed for greenhouse use.
You’ll notice that we didn’t include a watering system in our list. Mini greenhouses are usually too small to warrant an irrigation system and a watering can will often be enough. And we’re assuming that shelves come with your greenhouse purchase.
From growing seedlings from scratch in spring to picking ripe tomatoes in the summer, mini greenhouses give your plants the warmth and shelter that they need. Although their footprint is small, these greenhouses provide a significant amount of growing space.
The mini greenhouses in this review are of a variety of styles, sizes and materials. Before you select your mini greenhouse, the two key questions to answer are what you want to grow in the greenhouse and where you’re going to place it. The answers will help you narrow down your selection.
The Best Pick in our review is the Plantpak 70200425 Grow House. This wooden greenhouse is still light enough to move easily. The split roof lets you control how much air to let in for ventilation.
Our Runner-up choice is the Grow It Gardman 4 Tier Extra Wide Arc Mini Greenhouse. This is a tall and wide greenhouse that you don’t have to step into but that provides a significant amount of growing space, especially for taller plants.
If you now think that a mini greenhouse is too small for all your plant growing ambitions, read our Best Greenhouses article for reviews and buying advice for larger greenhouses.
Last update on 2023-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API