best greenhouses

Are you searching for hobby greenhouse reviews? If so, you have come to the right place! Our comprehensive article will give you all the info you need to choose a greenhouse for the upcoming growing season!

Greenhouses can provide an optimum environment for growing your favorite edibles in every season. This becomes especially useful if you prefer to stay away from grocery store produce.

Additionally, buying out of season can be an expensive endeavor. This is where finding the best greenhouses for you can be incredibly beneficial for your family, your budget and your taste buds. With a greenhouse you can take back control and grow your favorite edibles virtually any time of the year.

Consider your needs and environment first before shopping for your greenhouse. Does it drop below freezing regularly where you live or are you in a hot, dry climate like Phoenix? How much space do you need? How much space do you have? Is it windy where your greenhouse will be placed? How many plants do you want to grow? How much space do they need? Do you prefer a greenhouse that is more like a shelf or one where you can walk in?

Once you have pondered your needs then you can choose the type of greenhouse that best fits.

Best Hobby Greenhouse Reviews

Types of greenhouses

Starter greenhouses: These are small to mid-size greenhouses that are perfect for starting seeds and growing seedling plants. Since direct light is best for these baby plants, the starter greenhouses tend to have clear or semi-diffused covers (more on these below).

Grower greenhouses: These are great all-purpose greenhouses. They tend to be a little larger and usually have diffused or semi-diffused covers. This means they can not only propagate seeds but also grow crops to full-term.

Cold frames: Cold frame greenhouses or cloches are smaller and meant to be set on your garden over the seeds you are trying to germinate or transplants you are hardening off. These greenhouses are perfect for early spring when the frost has not quite disappeared but you are trying to get your seedlings to sprout.

Factors to consider

There are some factors to consider when shopping for a greenhouse. The biggest challenge gardeners run into with their greenhouse is underestimating the amount of heat generated inside it. Overheating is a major issue and tends to be the main reason plants do not make it. During cold winter, this extra heat is a good thing. During the summer months, it could be an issue. Make sure you can properly ventilate your greenhouse so air can exit and enter the greenhouse.

Greenhouse cover

The greenhouse cover is something you want to consider based on your climate as well. For example, the type of covering will dictate the amount of insulation your greenhouse will have. Two values are assigned: R-Value and U-Value. The R-Value is the “insulating ability” of the cover. The higher the value, the more it insulates. The U-Value measures “heat loss.” The lower the value, the less heat that escapes.

Many of the portable or mini greenhouses use a polyethylene plastic for a cover. The R-Value of that is 0.83. The U-Value is 1.20. By contrast double pane storm windows have a R-Value of 2.00 and and U-Value of 0.50.

Another consideration is the clarity of the cover. In other words is the cover clear, diffused or semi-diffused. Clear covers allow direct light to reach your plants. This is beneficial for seed germination and starter trays. The diffused or opaque covers even out the light coming into your greenhouse thus “diffusing” it more evenly to your plants. Even though it appears less bright, it is most beneficial to growing plants.

If you are trying to not only germinate seeds but also grow full-term crops in your greenhouse then a semi-diffused cover provides the best of both worlds. Semi-diffused covers allow enough direct light in to make your seedlings happy but still diffuses it enough to allow your plants to grow full-term.

Local zoning regulations

An article on portable greenhouse reviews is not worth anything if the reader is not warned about possible zoning law issues. Since we are mostly featuring small and portable greenhouses in this article, the zoning laws and required permits may not be an issue. However, depending which greenhouse you choose, you may want to confirm your local regulations. Some local governments require you to put your greenhouse on specific types of foundation. Although many greenhouses fall under “storage shed” regulations, it is worth a few minutes of your time to confirm these facts.

Site location

It is important to locate your greenhouse in an area of your yard that receives approximately six hours of uninterrupted sun each day. Do you need to trim any trees or bushes to ensure this happens? Additionally, how far are you from a water source? Can you easily water your plants in all types of weather? Some greenhouses come with gutters. Can you put a rain barrel nearby to collect the water? Also, how far are you from a power source? Will you need to heat it during winter or light it during the evening or early morning hours?

What about your foundation? Is your site location on stable ground? Exposed dirt may be a better choice than concrete due to potential water drainage challenges. If you do not like the idea of putting your greenhouse directly on the ground, consider making a foundation out of treated timber. This may take a little extra time but the results would be attractive and then your greenhouse is lifted off the ground.

Also, are you considering putting your greenhouse over an existing garden? The cloche greenhouse listed below is perfect for this. It will protect your seedlings from frost and animals.


Most greenhouse frames are either made of wood or aluminum steel. Wood tends to be more attractive but may not last as long. Steel can last forever but may or may not be sturdy depending on the construction. You will see in our reviews below where some manufacturers include stakes and guy wires to help stabilize the greenhouse in inclement weather.

Additionally, it is recommended that the shelves for many of the shelving type greenhouses be tied securely to the frame as many just lay on top of the frame. From the manufacturer’s perspective, the reason for this it gives you flexibility in arranging your plants. For example, if you are growing corn, you need all the height you can get-thus the shelves may need to be removed in order to let your crop grow freely.

Below you will find our research on the top portable greenhouses available on the market today. We scoured the net hunting for not only diversity but also reliability and usefulness. Some of the areas we considered were size, portability, type of use and of course, user reviews. The pictures always look great right? But is the greenhouse sturdy? Does the cover work well? Is it easy to remove or open? Some of the manufacturers were noted for their great customer service. That is helpful if your kit is missing a part.

We did include reviewer comments where we felt valuable advice was given. For example, was the greenhouse easy or difficult to put together? Does the cover hold up in the elements? Etc.

Best Greenhouse Kits Review

Gardman 7610

Gardman 7610 4-Tier Greenhouse with Reinforced Cover

The Gardman 7610 Greenhouse is 63 inches high, 27 inches long and 18 inches wide. It has 4 tiers making it ideal for your younger plants and seedlings. The cover is heavy duty reinforced polyethylene with a roll up zippered door so you can easily get to your plants.

The frame is made out of tubular steel and the push-fit assembly makes it easy to put together. This greenhouse does not require any tools to step up either. The Gardman does comes with guy ropes and metal stakes so you can secure it against high winds.

The reviewers state this product is easy to assemble and perfect for “sensitive veggie plants.” Another reviewer warns readers to use cables ties to hold the shelves in place.

Ogrow ultra deluxe seed starter cloche

Ogrow Ultra Deluxe Seed Starter Greenhouse Cloche

The OGrow Greenhouse Cloche is 71 inches wide, 36 inches high and 36 inches deep. This smaller, shorter greenhouse is perfect those with very limited space. There are two wide openings so you can easily access your plants. The frame is made out of powder coated steel with the cover being transparent PVC. Both openings are zippered so you can securely close your greenhouse when necessary. The cover attaches to the frame with Velcro which lasts longer than traditional ties.

Hardware is not needed to assemble this greenhouse.

Several reviewers warn against leaving this greenhouse out all year long as the cover does not hold up in the elements. Another happy reviewer mentions she set this greenhouse over her raised garden beds and it helped her vegetables quickly grow.

Outsunny Outdoor Compact Walk-in Greenhouse

Outsunny Outdoor Compact Walk-in Greenhouse

The Outsunny Compact Greenhouse is 6.5 feet high, 4.67 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep. It comes with 8 ventilated shelves with 18 inches between them. The transparent green plastic mesh cloth cover is high quality and water resistant. The zippered door rolls up so you can easily step inside and access your plants. The frame is a powder coated steel meant for durability.

There is no floor to this greenhouse in case you want to place it over an existing garden area. No tools are necessary for assembly.

One happy Amazon reviewer mentions the Outsunny has saved her plants from multiple frosts and she loves that she can stand up straight while working inside. Another reviewer cautions he placed the greenhouse up against the leeward side if his own home and tethered it to an adjoining permanent fence to ensure it stayed put.

Palram Plant Inn

Palram Plant Inn Raised Garden Bed

We shook things up a little bit with this Palram greenhouse review. It is a combination greenhouse and raised garden bed. The entire bed is 46 inches wide by 46 inches high. The roof peaks at 58.5 inches high. There are two lids on either side that lift up and lock in place so you can safely and easily access all of your plants. These same lids can also partially open for ventilation.

The planting areas are 6.5 inches deep with an internal water drainage system and includes plant hangars so you can trellis your vining plants. Conveniently, the base was created as a storage space for your tools and equipment.

Most greenhouse reviews mention this Palram product is not easy to put together and in fact, the instructions recommend having two people available to set it up. Given this, those same reviewers say the time “was well worth it” and “worth the effort.”

Gardman R687 4-tier mini greenhouses

Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse

The Gardman Mini Greenhouse is 63 inches high, 27 inches long and 18 inches wide. It has 4 tiers making it ideal for your younger plants and seedlings. The cover is a clear polyethylene and has a front zipper that rolls up so you can easily access your plants.

The frame is made out of tubular steel and is easy to assemble. This greenhouse does not require any tools to step up either. The Gardman does comes with guy ropes and metal stakes so you can secure it against high winds.

The reviewers state this product is easy to assemble and in fact, one happy reviewer had it completely set up in 30 minutes. Another reviewer warns readers to use zip ties to hold the shelves in place.


Getting a greenhouse is a fun adventure for us garden lovers but it is important you get the perfect one for not only your needs but also your environment and prospective site location. Greenhouse kits are great for convenience and in many cases your wallet. We hope our mini greenhouse reviews article gave you an idea on what is currently on the market. Depending which one you purchase, be prepared to put in a little elbow grease to get it successfully set up though. Since we gardeners are used to working a little harder for our meals that is not much of an issue now is it?

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