A portable greenhouse is typically a smaller type of greenhouse that you can move around your backyard, and even store away when you don’t feel like using it. Especially for people who don’t have that much space to plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs, a portable greenhouse is a really great idea. You can save money by building one yourself if you’re crafty enough. Before getting into the supplies you’re going to need in order to build one, we’re going to provide you with the benefits of having a portable greenhouse. Let’s have a look!
Why Do You Need a Portable Greenhouse?
1. You Save Money
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of a portable greenhouse is the fact that it saves you money. By that, we don’t only mean saving money by building one yourself. We also mean saving money that you would normally pay for groceries. Especially if you’re someone who bases most of his or her diet on vegetables, you definitely spend a lot of money at the grocery store or farmer’s market. While growing your own vegetables and herbs in a portable greenhouse might not ensure that you’ll never have to visit a store ever again, it does ensure that you’ll save at least some money.
2. You Enjoy Fresh Vegetables All Year Round
This is kind of a double benefit, as we’ll explain in a moment. First of all, you’ll be able to enjoy healthier vegetables that you know come from a reliable source. Consequently, you’ll treat your vegetables with care, because you know that they are your most important source of nutrients and vitamins. The second benefit is that you don’t have to worry that the cold season will stop you from growing your own vegetables. A portable greenhouse is the best solution to this problem. As long as you make sure your plants get enough heat, you can grow whatever you want even in the middle of winter.
3. You Don’t Have to Worry About Design
Growing vegetables outside in the garden can be a rather tedious experience. Especially if you have to figure out how to make the best of the limited space you have. Consequently, garden designing can take a lot of time and effort. Which is why a portable greenhouse is a great alternative. Whether you choose to buy a pre-made one or to build your own, a greenhouse will exhibit your plants without you worrying too much about landscaping.
4. You Protect Your Plants
Most vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs are sensitive to attacks from different kinds of insects or rodents. So if you want to protect the fruits of your labor from pests, you’d better place them in a portable greenhouse. The greenhouse ensures that no intruder will reach them and that they’ll be able to grow and develop unencumbered.
However, a greenhouse doesn’t only protect the plants from pests, it also protects them from extreme weather conditions. This is especially true in winter. However, it can be equally as true in other seasons as well, depending on the climate of the region you live in. As long as you keep your plants covered, they’ll be safe from storms, floods, blizzards, and so on.
5. You Can Control Temperature and Humidity
Unlike growing plants outside, where you are dependent on weather conditions, growing plants in a portable greenhouse allow you to control the amount of heat you provide your plants with, and the level of humidity that you maintain there. When outside it’s freezing cold, you can bring a heater into the greenhouse. The air-tight design of the greenhouse will keep the warmth from leaving the structure. Similarly, when you feel like your plants need more air, you can simply leave the door open for a while, or open one of the windows.
Humidity is very important when it comes to a proper plant development. In the middle of summer, when there isn’t that much moisture for your plants to rejoice in, using a greenhouse that can seal in a lot of the humidity is a great idea. The soil won’t lose that much water, so you won’t have to worry about irrigation as much.
6. You Can Move It Around
Since we’re talking about a portable greenhouse, it’s quite obvious that it’s going to be much easier for you to change the location of your plants. This is especially great news if you want to provide them with more sunlight, or on the contrary, you feel like they need some shade. Unlike growing vegetables outside, or in a larger greenhouse, this option is more flexible. It allows you the liberty to choose where you want your plants to grow.
3 Main Supplies for Building a Portable Greenhouse
1. Structure Material
The first thing that should concern you when building a portable greenhouse is how the structure is going to look like. The most popular type of structure for a greenhouse is that made of wood. So if you have lumber around the house, you might want to use that instead of spending money on some other material.
However, not any kind of lumber works if you want your greenhouse to last for some time. It has to be pressure treated one since the structure has to take a lot of humidity and sun exposure. Moreover, remember to paint over the wood or seal it before filling your greenhouse with plants. Also, remember that if your greenhouse is larger, a wooden structure is going to make it difficult for you to move it.
Another popular material is steel, which is strong and durable. However, it’s quite expensive, and it also requires a certain amount of expertise to weld and install. So if you’re not knowledgeable in this field, you should consider another option such as aluminum. The process of making a greenhouse structure out of aluminum is similar to that involving wood. However, aluminum is lighter and more reliable than wood, but also more expensive. Even so, it is preferred in the case of a portable greenhouse. Finally, PVC pipes are another option which is less expensive but prone to damage due to extreme weather conditions.
2. Covering Material
When it comes to the kind of material you can use to cover your portable greenhouse, you also have plenty of options to choose from. The first and most traditional one would be glass. A glass cover has many advantages. The most obvious ones are the fact that it looks great and that it’s also easy to take care of. The disadvantages are that it might break easily and it’s also quite expensive. If you do decide to go with a glass cover, keep in mind that you need a sturdy structure to sustain all that weight. Moreover, if the greenhouse is too large, all the weight might make it impossible for you to move the structure at your convenience.
Plexiglass is another popular option since it’s quite resistant, and not as heavy as real glass. Moreover, it’s also clear. So it provides your plants with the same amount of sunlight as a glass-covered greenhouse. Even so, keep in mind that after a while (10-15 years), the plexiglass will deteriorate. This will make it lose most of its quality and ability to filter sunlight.
Finally, you can also cover your greenhouse with plastic sheets made of double-layer acrylic, or polycarbonate sheets. The light can easily penetrate these sheets. So you don’t have to worry about them not providing your plants with enough sunlight. This is one of the most popular options for portable greenhouses. That’s because it makes the entire structure extremely lightweight. Thus, it’s easy to transport from one place of your backyard to another. However, keep in mind that plastic sheets are not extremely durable, so you might have to replace them more often.
3. Greenhouse Flooring
Whenever you build a portable greenhouse, you have to consider what kind of materials you can use for the flooring. Since concrete flooring is not a good option for a portable greenhouse, due to the fact that you cannot change its place, you can use a special mat, such as the ValuMat that you can purchase on Amazon for $71.00, or simply rely on mulch.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of a portable greenhouse and the main supplies that you need for building one, you might want to take a look at a previous article in which we detailed the steps you have to consider before building a greenhouse.
Where Can I Buy a Pre-Made Portable Greenhouse?
If you feel like a DIY portable greenhouse is too much for you, and you simply want to find a portable greenhouse for sale, you can do that on Amazon. They have many great options, from the Walk-In Portable Greenhouse, to the Ogrow Deluxe 6 Shelf Portable, or the Goplus 8 Shelves one.