Choosing the right greenhouse can be difficult. Every enthusiasts needs a greenhouse that's quality equals or exceeds their initial investment. I decided to create a list of Top 8 Greenhouse Brands in 2018 to help you decide which greenhouse gives you the best value for the money.
Any serious home gardener will eventually need a greenhouse. I started by growing a few plants on my windowsill, and after a year or two, I decided I wanted more space for my container plants and hanging plants, and I couldn't fit them all in my backyard in a slapshot fashion.
There are many manufacturers offering greenhouses for home use. A greenhouse kit is a more appropriate term. The greenhouse is shipped to you in one or two boxes, and you put it together yourself. I found the installation process to be pretty easy, as long as the instructions were clear.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Benefits of Greenhouses
- 2 Building Permits for Greenhouses
- 3 Choice of Material
- 4 Greenhouse Comparison Review
- 4.1 Grandio Greenhouse Review
- 4.2 Riga Greenhouse Review
- 4.3 The Ultimate Greenhouse Buyer's Guide
- 4.4 Brighton Greenhouse Review
- 4.5 Palram Greenhouses Review
- 4.6 How to Start a Greenhouse
- 4.7 Juliana Greenhouses Review
- 4.8 Shelter Logic Greenhouses Review
- 4.9 How to Maintain a Greenhouse
- 4.10 Sunshine Greenhouses Review
- 4.11 Solexx Greenhouse Review
- 4.12 MAIN FEATURES
- 4.13 DIMENSIONS:
- 4.14 Garden Master Wall
- 4.15 Gardener’s Oasis
- 4.16 Harvester
- 4.17 Conservatory
- 4.18 Early Bloomer
- 5 Our Final Verdict
Best Benefits of Greenhouses
I also like to overwinter plants that can't survive for long when it gets frosty in my area. Overwintering means maintaining the minimum temperature a plant needs to survive. I need to heat my greenhouse for a short time to ensure delicate plants stay healthy. Most greenhouse kits don't come with a heater, so I bought a small heater.
Before buying a greenhouse, consider the following information. I went through a lot of trial and error (and money) because I didn't plan before I bought my greenhouse. These tips will help you avoid any problems after buying and installing your greenhouse.
Building Permits for Greenhouses
Always check local ordinances for permit requirements. A simple lean-to or small shed-type greenhouse may not need a permit, but a large custom greenhouse may need one. In some locales, a self-installed greenhouse isn't considered a permanent structure, so no permit is needed.
Choice of Material
Most DIY greenhouses have roof and side panels made of polycarbonate. This material gives gardeners the clarity of glass with added strength and resistance. Polycarbonate is also more fire-resistant than plastic panels.
Glass and fiberglass are other common greenhouse wall materials. Usually chosen for its beauty, glass is heavier than the other materials and has little insulating value. It breaks quickly, and a contractor needs to install it for best results. Fiberglass is translucent instead of transparent and comes in corrugated rolls instead of sheets. It retains heat well, but attracts dirt more easily than other materials.
Greenhouse Comparison Review
Here are mini-reviews of the nine best greenhouse brands. I’ve had first-hand experience with a few of them, with varying results. These reviews are designed to help you make a better choice when it comes time to part with your hard-earned money.
Grandio Greenhouse Review
The popular Grandio Ascent greenhouse comes in five sizes - 8 by 8, eight by 12, eight by 16, eight by 20 and eight by 24. All these choices made it easier for me to choose the right greenhouse without worrying about running out of space. I needed a little more than what's required for a beginner, so I'd select the eight by 12 greenhouse.)
The Ascent line comes with rain gutters on all models. The rain gutters help keep the 6mm twin wall polycarbonate panels in place. There’s an aluminum frame, and stainless steel nuts and bolts are included in the kit.
It's no surprise Grandio Ascent greenhouses receive many excellent reviews from customers, as the brand offers superior construction and features. There's a powder-coated steel base, an easy-latch door containing a double-ball catch and cross-roof truss bracing to hold high snow loads.
The Grandio Ascent line ranges in price depending on the sizes and packages you choose. Premium packages include drip kit, trellis kit, automatic roof vent openers and plant hangers.
The smaller Grandio Element line features greenhouse kits sized six by 4, six by 8 and six by 12 for gardeners who need less space. These greenhouses range from inexpensive to a moderate range for the most extensive premium package. All models include a base kit, 10mm twin wall polycarbonate panels, and rain gutters.
Grandio Elite Greenhouse, the third product line, have a barn shape and contain all the features of other Elite greenhouses. The door hangs from above to prevent jamming and the well-ventilated growing space, like other Grandio greenhouses, has excellent insulation and heat loss value. It is available in the same sizes as the Ascent line. .
All Grandio Greenhouse kits are shipped in two easy-to-carry boxes. Every piece is wrapped separately to prevent damage during shipment.
Unlike many personal greenhouses, Grandio kits come with thorough instructions. I know how frustrating it can be to deal with hard to understand or too-brief directions. I wish more manufacturers would take as much time writing decent step by step assembly tips... [Read More...]
Riga Greenhouse Review
Riga greenhouses have a reputation for durability, and experts consistently place Riga kits in the Top 5 of all greenhouses for home gardeners.
The Riga Onion series is named after the greenhouses’ onion shape. Constructed of an 8mm twin wall polycarbonate main body, these greenhouses also have a 10mm twin wall polycarbonate over the front and back panels to makes these areas even stronger. The Series consists of Riga models II, III, IIIs, IV, IVs, and V.
Riga Greenhouses range in size from seven to 17 feet wide and are either seven or nine feet wide. Rigas measure seven feet high most of the time but can go up slightly to seven feet six inches. All Riga Onion frames are made of durable aluminum. The features that I love include roof windows with automatic openers and a hinged rear window. I rank the Onion Series in my personal Top 5, so I wholeheartedly agree with greenhouse experts.
I'm not that tall, but a few of my gardening friends are, and they find they have to stoop when using most Riga greenhouses. Due to the shape, the greenhouse slopes greatly from the top to the sides, making it harder for tall people to work on the outer edges of the interior. The middle of the greenhouse has enough space for anyone, regardless of height.
Riga Greenhouses are shipped via LTL Freight on a flatbed truck since the boxes are too heavy for common carriers. It will take a while to put the Riga together, regardless of size, and I had to borrow a few tools to put this greenhouse together.
Riga Greenhouses are pricier than most personal greenhouses but well worth the cost for most people. They're sturdy, so I don't need to worry about the weather report every day. I don't need to cross my fingers when the weather gets too windy – the Riga will stay in place.
They offer top of the line and the highest ranked greenhouses.. [Read More...]
Brighton Greenhouse Review
The well-reviewed Brighton Greenhouse is available in two sizes, 6x4 and 6x8. Both sizes come with a steel base kit and a thicker than a normal aluminum frame. The 4mm twin wall polycarbonate panels offer insulation while letting just enough light enter the greenhouse. The non-yellowing panels are UV protected.
The opaque roof and walls diffuse bright rays that may harm plants. I like the look of the panels – they're not too clear, as some brands, and less opaque than others. The roof vents help me control the temperature, and the rain gutters let me recycle water.
The Brighton provides extra headroom for better working conditions. This greenhouse lets me care for several hanging plants without crowding the space. The overall height and door height measure seven feet five inches and six feet five inches, respectively.
I was able to assemble this greenhouse in five hours with a friend helping me. The parts are shipped in two boxes, so I didn't have to struggle with one massive package. When you open the boxes, the pieces may not look like much, but don't worry. Once you put everything together, it will look and work fine.
You may need to use a spray lubricant to make the panels push together, and keep bolts loose to move pieces around during assembly. After you've put together the main sections, the greenhouse will be easy to move around. The Brighton is my first choice for small, portable greenhouse for beginners or folks with a minimum of plants.
Brighton offers a line of accessories, from shade nets to plant hangers, to make the most of its lightweight greenhouse. Premium packages cost a bit more and include a drip irrigation watering kit, trellis kit, and other extras.
Brighton offers the best affordable greenhouses on the market.. [Read More...]
Palram Greenhouses Review
Palram makes many high-quality greenhouses for home and school use. There are sizes and styles for most home gardeners.
The Palram Harmony Greenhouse, a moderately-priced choice, has clear polycarbonate panels on the side and roof. It works fine on calm days and may falter on windy or snowy days. The Harmony offers five sizes – four, six, eight, ten and 14 feet. (The four-foot model is enough for my needs.)
All sizes have a hinged door, which opens outward, and a roof vent (or two, for the 14-foot model.) The Harmony Greenhouse has gutters built into both sides of the roof. The fitting at each end of the gutter lets you attach hoses with clips so you can aim excess rainwater in any direction you want.
The glazed polycarbonate roof and sides are clear as glass and virtually unbreakable. It gets quite windy where I live, so I worry about how stable the structure will be in a storm. Gardeners who deal with lots of inclement weather may want to look at greenhouses with sturdier panels and a more secure base.
Harmony Greenhouses costs go from $530 to $880 online. Retail prices may vary.
The Palram Nature Mythos Hobby Greenhouse also comes in five sizes – four, six, eight and ten feet wide, and 12 or 14 feet wide. All sizes have 4mm twin-wall polycarbonate panels which filter out up to 99% of UV rays. The Mythos has a rustproof aluminum frame, and from 24 to 84 square feet of space for plants and equipment, depending on the size greenhouse you buy.
The Mythos prices are inexpensive.
The Palram Snap Grow Hobby Greenhouse comes in seven sizes, from 6 by eight by 7 to 8 by 20 by 9. All Snap Grow Greenhouses have reinforced polycarbonate double walls, UV protection, and rust resistant aluminum frames. Workspace ranges from 53 to 164 square feet depending on size. Online prices vary depending on the model.
Palram Greenhouses offers a wide ranges of sizes and prices levels which meets most gardeners needs. Palram offers a best rated and best selling greenhouse for the price. Palram offers good, economical greenhouses to meet most budgets. [Read More...]
Juliana Greenhouses Review
Juliana Premium Greenhouses are available in 9 by nine and 9 by 12 sizes. The peak of the available Juliana houses is eight feet, which offers lots of headroom when I'm standing in the middle of the greenhouse. The roof is sloped more than many barn-style greenhouses, so you may have to bend down to work on tables along the side wall.
You can buy an optional base kit and locking, hinged Dutch doors for better stability - and better looks.
The instructions were a bit hard to decipher. Ask a friend to help you put together a Juliana Premium (or any other Juliana greenhouse) if you have no experience setting up greenhouses or sheds. It’s easy to set up once you figure it out, but it can be frustrating at first.
Other product lines include the Gardener Greenhouses, geared for schools or home gardeners with modest needs, and Lean-To/Minis, which you can place against the exterior wall of your house or garage if you only have a few plants you need to work on or keep during the winter.
Juliana Greenhouses' prices depend on the model, according to online sellers. Juliana offers a fantastic budget friendly option. [Read More...]
Shelter Logic Greenhouses Review
ShelterLogic offers tunnel and heavy duty greenhouses as well as smaller “Greenhouses in a Box.” I tried Shelter Logic’s Logic’s Grow-it Personal Greenhouse as a starter kit for my new flower garden. It had an all-steel frame with a waterproof, tarp-like cover. The triple-layered, translucent cover is heat-bonded and resistant to UV rays on the outside and inside.
For a small, portable greenhouse, the ShelterLogic Grow-It offers a lot of unique features. The Cross-Rail system ensures that the greenhouse retains its square shape. Shelter Logic's trademarked "Ratchet Tite" tensioning keeps the cover firmly in place, and the Shelter Lock makes sure the greenhouse stays anchored. The frame has a baked-on Dupont powder coat finish.
Other Shelter Logic greenhouses include the High Tunnel Greenhouse, which offers more space for bigger plants. It has a galvanized steel frame, and it can be configured to the customer's specifications. That's perfect for me because my plant-growing needs change every year or two. There's a polyethylene cover that protects plants and helps them to grow taller and faster and galvanized steel end frame panels.
Another greenhouse kit called the GrowIt Heavy Duty Greenhouse has the same features as the personal greenhouse in a larger version. It has an all-steel frame, a triple layer RipStop translucent cover with heat bonding, and two front and back zippered doors. Half-moon screen vents and roll-up side panels, located at the front and rear of the greenhouse, allow precise temperature and airflow control.
The High-Arch Greenhouse insulates and protects plants to extend the growing season. It has an alpine-style steel frame and 12 feet of overhead space for growing tall, healthy plants. Like the Heavy Duty Greenhouse, it has zippered doors in the front and rear.
Shelter Logic Greenhouses are perfect for people on a low-budget. ShelterLogic offers a cheap alternative for any beginner who doesn't want to invest large amounts of money. [Read More...]
Sunshine Greenhouses Review
A Sunshine Redwood Greenhouse is made of redwood, as the name implies. Redwood provides natural insulation and is insect and fungus-proof. The attractive wood frame combines with double-wall-polycarbonate panels for the sturdier outlay. The panels diffuse light for better plant growth and keep the greenhouse warm in the winter. The polycarbonate sheets block 98% of UV rays and won't crack, even in intense weather.
The structures are wind-tested up to 85 degrees. They're built on a 45-degree pitch to prevent snow load problems. (Snow holds up to 20 pounds per square foot.) All models have Dutch Doors, and the Mt. Rainier has accessible doors. Greenhouses have a vent at the top of the roof and lower back to maximize airflow.
I don’t need to worry about rotting at the base of the greenhouse. The recycled plastic base looks like wood, and I installed it directly in the ground. I didn’t have to add a foundation.
I like the automatic vent openers that adjust the temperature without batteries or electricity. There’s a hydraulic cylinder full of wax that expands and pushes the vents open when warmed. The vents close automatically, too.
Sunshine greenhouses come with printed instructions and an assembly video. The labels are paneled for easier installation. I used a tape measure, power drill and six-foot ladder for assembly, so getting up and running wasn't complicated.
The tall sidewalls and roof peak give me more growing space for my cayenne peppers, spinach, and other veggies. The extra room captures hot air above plants and allows room for more hanging baskets.
Sunshine Greenhouses are built in Washington State, and come in three basic models – the Mt. Rainier (my favorite), Mt. Hood, and Lean-To. The company also sells greenhouse accessories. They offer redwood benches for each model. (Some models can fit up to four benches.)
Sunshine Greenhouses are in the higher-price tie depending on size. Sunshine is one of the best and most popular greenhouses available. [Read More...]
Solexx Greenhouse Review
For those looking for reliability and durability, you should definitely consider Solexx greenhouses. Known for their ability to efficiently and evenly distribute light and heat, it is not surprising anymore that a lot of people love this brand.
- Composite framing
- Unlike other greenhouses with either wood or PVC frames only, Solexx uses composite tubing, which is a material used to build bridges. Because of this, we are assured that it is very durable.
The composite frame is also known for its ability to fight off the cold weather. Aside from protecting your plants, it can also save you money since you do not have to rely too much on a heating system.
- White insulated cover
- The frame is white to ensure that your plants will receive enough light to thrive. The more light there is, the greater the rate of photosynthesis. Your plants can grow up to 25% faster compared to other brands.
- Added accessories
- It already includes the accessories that you need. Each purchase comes with hanging rods as well as a shelf.
- Ventilation flaps are included in the design. The measurement of the air vent is 24” x 12”.
- Easy Set Up
- It does not take a genius to set this up. The pieces are color-coded so it is not confusing.
Garden Master Wall
- Height: 6’6”
- Roof Height: 8’9”
- Door Dimensions: 35” x 75.75”
- Aisle Width: 36”
- Unit Measurements: 8’ x 8 ‘
- Door Dimensions: 35” x 75.75”
- Aisle Width: 36”
- Height: 8’
- Length: 8’
- Door Dimensions: 35” x 77.25”
- Aisle Width: 36”
- Height: 9’6”
- Width: 8’ or 16’ or 20’
- Door Dimensions: 35” x 77.25
- Aisle Width: 36”
- Height: 6’3”
- Width: 8’
- Door Dimensions: 29” x 67”
Our Final Verdict
Now that I've shared information about some of the top greenhouse brands, you can see that most greenhouse kits have many things in common. Most notably some type of polycarbonate, either single or twin-wall. Some models have rain gutters and door, and vent styles vary.
Set up your greenhouse on a level, dry site. I placed mine in the flattest part of my backyard. Keep the greenhouse away from pools, swing sets, children’s play areas or barbecues and outdoor dining areas.
What About Frames?
Aluminum frames are used in most hobby greenhouses. They aren't as strong as galvanized steel, which is used in professional greenhouses and larger custom home greenhouses. Galvanized steel is much heavier than aluminum and rusts from consistent high humidity. It also requires more hardware to mount a stiff covering to it.
Lightweight aluminum frames won't rust or break down from humidity or UV rays. It lacks any maintenance requirements and can be powder-coated in a variety of colors.
Aluminum frames should be engineered to increase strength since aluminum is naturally not as strong as galvanized steel. The frame I have was advertised as engineered aluminum. Look for this type of frame if you want the long-lasting qualities of aluminum with more strength than untreated ones.
Custom Vs. Off the Rack
A custom greenhouse always costs more than a pre-made one. Buying a custom greenhouse is preferable if you can afford it. A greenhouse suited to your needs will require less tweaking and maintenance as the years pass.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to buy a greenhouse that's too small for your plants. I made that mistake. I assumed I wouldn't want to add more plants to my greenhouse, or use hanging baskets. When I decided to increase the number of plants I cared for, my DIY greenhouse couldn't handle it. I couldn't add another piece to the greenhouse to expand it. (Most DIY greenhouse kits are non-expandable.)
I ended up buying a larger greenhouse with rain gutters and a base. Buy one size larger than what you think you'll need, and you won't be disappointed. You can also use extra space for storage or another purpose if you decide against adding more plants.