Best Small Greenhouse Kits To Grow Your Plants This Winter in Small Spaces or Indoor

For avid gardeners, it is always hard to say goodbye to our plants as the cold weather rolls in. But luckily a good greenhouse can allow you to grow all year long. The small greenhouse kit is a great investment, and there is a version out there for everyone’s needs.

You no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on pre-built greenhouses or build your own and no matter what size yard, balcony or deck you have there is a greenhouse out there for you. So if you dread the cold killing your plants or you just want to try growing a more extensive variety of plants, the small greenhouse is for you.

But choosing a portable greenhouse for indoor growing could be overwhelming. However, there are a lot of options out there that boast wide-sweeping claims, and durability price and size seriously matter (some clearly have more benefits than others) when it comes to choosing the best one. Luckily with a lot of online research and a determination to not part with my plants, I’ve found 8 of the best small greenhouse options for any location or budget.

Here are my picks for the top small greenhouses on the market:

Best Overall: Palram Snap & Grow Hobby Greenhouse- 6 x 8 x 7 ft

Best portable: Abba Patio Large Walk in Greenhouse with Windows- 6 x 8 ft

Most colorful: CASTLECREEK Deluxe Walk-in Greenhouse- 7 x 4.9 ft

Best extra features: Palram Nature Series Mythos Hobby Greenhouse - 6 x 8 ft

Best permanent set up: Rion Grand Gardener Clear Greenhouse- 8 x 12 ft

Most Durable: King Canopy Fully Enclosed Greenhouse- 10 x 10 ft

Perfect for tropical plants: Flower House clear Greenhouse- 6 x 6 ft

A Greenhouse for Your Balcony: Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse 27 x 8 inches

Why should I get a small greenhouse?

A greenhouse is a must have for severe gardeners as it allows for all year gardening. Greenhouses are no longer a status symbol or only for people with enough land to build one.

There are now prebuilt models, kits for those who aren’t able to build one from scratch but still want to put it together, and variations of the greenhouse style that makes it work for any and every type of household.

Greenhouses don’t just expand the growing season but make it possible for you to grow anything without having to worry about the outside climate.

Want to grow tropical fruits; the greenhouse can be built to fit those specifications. Trying your hand at cactus and succulent growing; that can be arranged.

There is no limit to the possibilities, and no matter what your location is, you can grow what you want, when you want.

Other benefits to greenhouse gardening:

You Can Pick Up Pesticide-Free Vegetables

Because the greenhouse is enclosed it allows you to grow organically and without chemicals if you so choose. Insects and animals cannot enter the greenhouse, so you also don’t have to worry about anything eating your plants.

Nothing better than eating it straight from the vine and this lets me do that without having to worry about chemicals.

Stable, steady and regular gardening

Not only are you paying less because it is a much smaller size than larger greenhouses, but the smaller size means less cost to maintain your chosen climate. If you want to create a tropical environment in a very cold place, you will have to pay to heat it, and that can be costly in larger greenhouses.

Solar powered options are not yet available to heat the inside of the greenhouse, and personally, I cannot wait until that becomes an option as it saves even more money.

Best Small greenhouses grow veggies in small spaces (1)

Easy installation 

Whether you choose a kit or a pre-assembled greenhouse, their smaller size allows you to not only install it without hassle but choose where you want it to go. From patios to backyards and everywhere in between, the smaller sizes accommodate any home.

Being a renter, I much appreciate the flexibility so I can still garden year round without having to worry about my landlord disapproving.

Easier maintenance 

Sadly as plastic ages and time go on algae grows and what was once clear becomes opaque for UV damage. This means replacing plastic will be necessary every few years.

The smaller the size, the less plastic needs to be replaced and it is much easier to do so. The smaller size makes it more stable and less susceptible to collapses.

No permits needed 

Unlike a large building, smaller greenhouses do not require building permits. Hassle free and as simple as bring it home and put it up, small greenhouses have become my new preference.

No wasted produce

Unlike with larger greenhouses that allow for massive hauls, the smaller size will enable you to grow what you will use while not having the extra go to waste.

Grow what you will use and don’t worry about rushing to get things canned or eaten before they go bad. Smaller amounts at a time still allow me to cut down on the grocery bill, but I don’t feel so overwhelmed or rushed.

What should you consider in a greenhouse? 

There are many types of materials to choose from when it comes to greenhouses of any size and knowing which ones are best in specific situations.

Temperature 

There are four types of greenhouse temperatures: Cold house, cool house, a warm house, and a hot house.

Cold houses: These greenhouses are designed to have no additional heating source other than the actual enclosed space. They are ideal for the spring and fall to help extend the growing season and give crops more time to grow. But because it has no added heating the temperature inside can go below zero.

Cool houses: They are designed to maintain the greenhouse temperatures above freezing. While they aren’t ideal for many plants, the ones that can survive freezing weather will have no problem in this type of greenhouse.

Warm houses: These are the most popular greenhouses as they support a comprehensive range of plants. The temperature usually hovers around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and plants that can withstand the cold can also be placed inside without issues.

Hot houses: The hot dwellings are designed to support tropical plants and are heated to stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They must have supplementary heating sources to support these plants, and you must consider the other plants you put into the greenhouse and make sure they can handle the heat and humidity.

These types of greenhouses also require more frequent maintenance as they can grow algae on the plastic quite easily.

How Large a Greenhouse Will You Really Need? 

The greenhouse can range in shapes and placement. There are free standing greenhouses as well as supported greenhouses that lean against walls or buildings. Other styles can include A-frames, lean-tos, domes, gothic, and Quonset.

Options for Framing Material for a Greenhouse

​The types of materials you choose will determine how your plants go so you should consider what you want to grow and how each material will help or hinder their growth.

Clear Panels

Clear panels are ideal for seedling preparing for transplanting into the outside garden. The clear panels let in direct sunlight and can energize your plants and boost their growth rate.

Opaque Panels:

An opaque panel is needed for plants that will grow to maturity in the greenhouse. This is because the opaqueness of the panels most closely mimics photosynthesis.

If you have no desire to move your plants to the outside, this will help to give them what they need without giving the plants too much direct sunlight.

Wood Frame:

Wood is strong enough to hold any glazing material but will wear out over time and is susceptible to rot.  If you are choosing this type of frame, it will require yearly maintenance and proper drainage.

They are heavy with adequate anchorage and make it very hard to blow over. They are also easier to personalize with shelving and attachments.

Aluminum Frame: 

Aluminum is very durable and rustproof, but is also very lightweight. They are the ideal material for first-time greenhouse owners and are easy with little to no maintenance involved.  

The aluminum is also a good conductor of heat, so it helps keep your greenhouse warm without having to pay for extra heating.

Plastic Frame:

Plastic is the most inexpensive option but comes with a downside of being incredibly lightweight and easier to blow over. They also don’t conduct heat as well as their metal counterparts.

To keep the plastic frames in place, they are often anchored by steel frames so consider the quality of what you are getting and how it will handle the climate where you are.

Steel Frame: 

Steel is extremely heavy and is typically used for permanent greenhouse structures. They are difficult to maintain and work with so this is not my first pick for framing material, but if you live in a very windy location it may be better to pick steel for the added weight and anchoring it provides.

Glass Glazing:

Although tempered glass has made vast improvements in preventing breakage compared to regular glass, it is still extremely heavy and hard to work with. Freezing temperatures can crack and break the glass so while it has an aesthetically pleasing historic feel, it is not recommended for cold places.

Polycarbonate Glazing:

This type of glazing is translucent rather than transparent, so the light comes through softer and more diffused. This makes it more useful for greenhouses and comes in a variety of thicknesses that help insulate the greenhouse as well.

This is my personal favorite, and while I highly recommend it, I don’t recommend the three-wall option as even though it adds greater insulation and protection against breaking, it makes it harder for light to get through to your plants.

Polyethylene Glazing:  

While this is the least expensive option it is still a viable one for smaller greenhouses and plastic frames. Sadly this glazing material is susceptible to discoloration, fading, and yellowing and must be replaced every three to five years. It is also able to tear due to stretching caused by temperature extremes.

If you live in a very mild climate and only want a tiny greenhouse that would work on decks or porches, this will work for you. But extreme weather conditions will wreak havoc on this material, and you will not have it long before needing to replace it.

Heating Options For The Greenhouse

Considering how much you have to spend it will impact how much-automated control you can afford. For a lower end heating option, I recommend a simple space heater.

Other more expensive options include forced air heat, radiant heat, steam, hot water systems, and soil heating.

No matter what option you choose make sure you plan ahead to ventilate your plants when introducing additional heat properly.  

Best Small Greenhouse kits On The Market 2018

Here are my personal picks for the 9 best small greenhouses:

1. Palram Snap and Grow 8’ series hobby greenhouse

It offers 100% UV protection and comes in a variety of sizes with almost 7 feet of clearance. The glazing is polycarbonate and is ready to handle your specifications with double wide doors, adjustable vents in the roof, rain gutters and a lockable door to keep others from getting into your greenhouse.

  • Dimensions 
    53 sq. Feet growing space and 6.8' Of head room
  • Warranty
    5 year limit warranty
  • Shipping
    Free

Pros:

  • Durable
  • 5 year limit warranty
  • Low maintenance
  • Aluminum frame
  • Rust resistant
  • 100% UV protection
  • Roof Vents
  • Polycarbonate panels
  • Double panel door that locks

Cons:

  • 295 lbs
  • Assembly required
  • No tools provided
  • Must manually adjust vents

2.  Abba Patio Large Walk-in Fully Enclosed Greenhouse with Windows

With a steel frame and a strong, durable cover, this greenhouse is ready for anything. The windows come with an added layer of insect netting to make sure nothing gets in, no matter how small.  And the best part, you don’t need tools to put it together!

  • Dimensions 
    8 x 10-Feet Large Walk in Fully Enclosed Lawn and Garden Greenhouse
  • Shipping
    Free

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Strong and durable Steel frame cover
  • Insect netting layer
  • No tools needed
  • Rust resistant
  • Polyethylene cover
  • Lightweight
  • Double zipper door
  • Ideal for cross ventilation

Cons:

  • Assembly required
  • No roof vents

3: CASTLECREEK Deluxe Walk-in Greenhouse

While smaller than the previous two, this greenhouse is literally green which looks great in the backyard.

The framing is steel with a durable and waterproof polyethylene cover. The greenhouse includes two metal shelving units to put your plants on as well as ropes and stakes to keep it extra secure. An added bonus is it only weighs 44 pounds even with the steel.

  • Dimensions 
    2 metal shelving units, each with 2 shelves; Shelves are 11.5" deep; Comes with 8 stakes and 4 guy ropes to keep them stable; Measures: 7' x 4'9" x 6'5"h
  • Shipping
    Free

Pros: 

  • Polyethylene cover
  • Green coloring
  • Includes two metal shelving units
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Ropes and stakes included for added stability
  • Steel frame
  • Only weight 44 lbs
  • Ripstop mesh reinforcement
  • Great inexpensive option
  • Roll down door

Cons:

  • If you aren’t a fan of the green color this is not for you
  • No additional vents

4. Palram Nature Series Mythos Hobby Greenhouse

Polycarbonate panels with four-millimeter twin walls are virtually unbreakable and offers up 99.9% UV protection. The aluminum frame is one of my favorite features as well as the rain gutters, roof vent and locking door.

This model also comes with a steel base frame to keep your greenhouse exactly where you want it and a variety of size options, so you get the one that is right for you.

  • Dimensions 
    48 sq. feet of growing space (L x W x H): 97.2" x 72.8" x 81.9"
  • Shipping
    Free only within the U.S

Pros:

  • Rust resistant Aluminum frame
  • Steel base for extra stability
  • 99.9% UV protection
  • Polycarbonate panels
  • Comes with Rain gutters & Roof Vents
  • Lockable door
  • Durable
  • Withstands 75 mph winds
  • Available in two colors

Cons: 

  • Can be pricey so hold out for sales
  • Four to five hours to put together
  • 104.5 pounds
  • Must manually adjust vents
  • Must keep gutters clear to function

5: Rion Grand Gardener 2 Clear Greenhouse 

While more expensive than our other options, this greenhouse is definitely worth the money. 100% UV protection and four-millimeter thick twin wall polycarbonate makes this greenhouse great, but what makes it even better is the heavy duty resin frame that is barn shaped for that classic greenhouse feel. And the quick assembly isn’t bad either.

  • Dimensions 
     (L x W x H): 153.1 x 105.1 x 93.5 inches
  • Shipping
    Free 

Pros: 

  • Barn style for extra headroom
  • Double doors with lock
  • Roof Vents
  • Polycarbonate glazing
  • Durable
  • Diffuses 90% of sunlight for even lighting
  • Resin frame that promotes insulation
  • 100% UV protection
  • Can handle up to 70 mph winds
  • Supports 1100 of snow on top
  • Ships in four separate boxes

Cons: 

  • An expensive option so not for the hobbyist
  • Weighs 297 lbs
  • Limited warranty
  • May need to check building codes before set up
  • Tools required
  • Manually adjust roof vents

6: King Canopy Fully Enclosed Clear Greenhouse

Steel frame, a fully enclosed clear cover and a white finish make this greenhouse look both cute and classic. Added features include a cover that is a UV inhibitor, fire retardant and water resistant with a ripstop.

  • Dimensions 
     (L x W x H): 126 x 115 x 95 inches
  • Shipping
    Free 

Pros: 

  • Steel frame
  • UV protection
  • Fire retardant
  • Water resistant
  • Durable
  • Long lasting

Cons: 

  • No additional vents other than the door
  • Heavyweight
  • 10x10 ft

7. Flower House FHSP300CL SpringHouse Greenhouse, Clear: 

With a quick and hassle-free set up this greenhouse works on any surface because of its open bottom design. It is ideal for tropical plants as it promotes and maintains high humidity levels and UV protection.

  • Dimensions 
     (L x W x H): 72 x 72 x 78 inches
  • Shipping
  • chargeable

Pros: 

  • Portable
  • Easy to set up, take down and move around
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • UV protection
  • Open bottom design
  • Works on any surface
  • Great for tropical plants
  • Minimal assembly
  • Four portholes
  • Ground stakes and high wind ties included
  • Zipper door
  • Clear polystyrene cover
  • Shade cover

Cons:

  • Promotes high humidity so not ideal for all plants
  • Plastic frame
  • No additional vents other than the door

8. Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse perfect for Your Balcony

This is my personal favorite because it is ideal for renters and the small size makes it easy for any home to accommodate. It truly is the every-person’s greenhouse. The polyethylene cover and steel frame make this greenhouse both incredibly functional and sturdy. Plus it is absolutely adorable!

  • Dimensions 
    27" Long x 18" Wide x 63" High
  • Shipping
  • free

Pros: 

  • Adorable look
  • Can fit literally just about anywhere, including indoors
  • Four metal shelves
  • Polyethylene cover
  • Steel frame
  • Fast shipping
  • No tools required
  • Under $50

Cons: 

  • Does need to be assembled
  • Won’t fit large plants
  • Will have to replace the cover after exposure to UV rays.

Univent Automatic Vent Opener Standard, Best Accessory to buy

Lifts 15 Lbs: This is not a traditional style greenhouse but rather an enclosure opener that adjusts your greenhouse vents depending on how hot it is.

It screws directly into the greenhouse frame and is well worth the money as it takes the hassle out of opening and closing vents and allows you to just focus on the plants. As a shorter person I know I appreciate not having to climb up on a stool every time I need to adjust the vents.

Takeways

There are many varieties of greenhouses, and it is up to you to decide what you want, but I highly recommend these options and wish you the best of luck in your gardening adventures.

Best Small greenhouses grow veggies in small spaces (1)

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Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.

Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.

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