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Gardeners around the world dream about setting up a greenhouse kit of their own one day, and thanks to current market prices more greenhouses are being set up in backyards and gardens than ever before.
What is a greenhouse kit? A greenhouse kit is a package that contains a pre-made greenhouse that’s ready to set up straight out of the box. Kits include poles or hoops, hardware to hold everything together, and some sort of cover. Greenhouse covers range from heavy-duty materials like PVC and EVA sheets to breathable polythene mesh.
Read on below and learn everything that you need to know about setting up a greenhouse kit!
How to Set Up a Greenhouse Kit
Learning how to set up a greenhouse kit has never been easier than before. In fact, most of them can be put up in a single morning, afternoon, or evening.
Small to medium greenhouse kits take between half an hour to two hours to set up. Larger kits require about 30 minutes extra for every few meters.
Approximately 90-percent of your effort goes towards screwing poles to other poles, connecting said poles, and said positioning poles. The other 10-percent involves slipping the cover on and strapping it in place.
In the following sections we break down how to set up your greenhouse kit, step by step:
- Open the Kit and Inspect What’s In the Box
- Read the Instructions and Review the Warranty
- Separate and Count Each Piece Before You Get Started
- Measure your selected setup location
- Double-check that your new greenhouse fits
1. Put the Frame Together, on the Ground
The first real step to setting up a greenhouse from a kit is putting the frame together. Often, the best place to do so is on the ground right where you want the greenhouse to stand.
2. Erect the Frame, Following the Instructions
After the pieces of the greenhouse are put together, it’s time to stand them up and secure them. It’s crucial to read the manufacturer’s instructions for this part of the process (which you should already have read before you started).
Depending on the design, this step may be more or less complicated. The good part is, once it’s done, the “heavy” work is out of the way.
3. Slide the Cover onto the Frame
Many greenhouse kits come with a cover like the one our’s came with (shown in the pictures above). Once the frame is erect, slide the cover onto the frame. If your greenhouse kit didn’t include a cover, cover it with mesh, netting, or plastic.
4. Secure the Cover to the Frame
Greenhouse covers need to be secured to the frame. These days most covers secure to their frames via velcro. In the old days, people used rope, string, and cord to keep their greenhouse covers from flying away or falling off.
5. Set up a Floor/Pest Barrier
When your cover is secured, it’s time to set up a floor. If you don’t want to have an actual floor, it’s suggested to at least add some cardboard to keep the weeds from being an issue like spreading seeds into your potting soil and planters.
6. Add Shelving/Set up the Inside
An optional step is setting up a potting area, basic shelves, or a growing system. Depending on what you plan on using your greenhouse for, your interior needs will vary widely. Some gardeners simply use their greenhouse as a nursery and a place to overwinter sensitive plants.
A few extra precautions you might want to take are:
- Secure the joints of the frame with some rope or tape
- Add weight to the frame, such as bricks or lumber
- Use tent stakes to help anchor the greenhouse in place
- Add a thermometer to monitor the temperatures
- Set up an exhaust or waterproof ventilator
- Practice organic pest control in and outside of the greenhouse
What to Consider Before Putting Up a Greenhouse
There are several important factors to consider before putting up a greenhouse, whether using a kit or building one from scratch.
A few of the main things to think about include:
Size and Shape (Framework and Dimensions)
Greenhouses are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Frameworks range from rounded to square and triangular. Dimensions vary from as small as several inches wide, long, and tall to half a dozen feet wide and tall and dozens of feet long.
Depending on the shape, size, and material of a greenhouse, as well as its surrounding environment/climate, and what is growing inside, ventilation needs range from small fans to commercial exhaust systems.
Select the Best Location Possible
If you’re sure you want a greenhouse, explore your land and select the best location possible. Greenhouses do best in full sun, to slight shade, with plenty of protection from wind.
Consider Additional Heating in Advance
If you’re in a climate that becomes below freezing, or anywhere near freezing for that matter, heating may be necessary for all-year growing. There are a bunch of ways to heat greenhouses, from electric heat to solar, steam, and other DIY methods.
Choose the Best Material for Your Climate
Greenhouses materials can be broken down into two main categories; materials for the frame, and materials for the cover. As far as greenhouse frames go, PVC, light metal, and wood are by far the most popular building materials. For greenhouse covers, PVC, EVA, and various plastics are the most commonly used materials.
Building a Greenhouse vs Using a Greenhouse Kit
There are at least four main differences between building a greenhouse and using a greenhouse kit:
The amount of your time that goes into putting a greenhouse up is drastically different from building a greenhouse and using a kit. The kit in this guide took less than two hours from start to finish, with one person doing 90-percent of the work. Building a greenhouse from scratch takes several hours if not multiple days.
The more time it takes to put up, the more physical effort you’ll be exerting. Greenhouse kits take the least amount of physical effort, requiring just an hour or two of your time and physical strength. Building one from scratch takes many more physical actions (preparing materials, measuring, cutting, drilling, screwing, lifting, and more).
Kits tend to cost about twice as much money as basic DIY greenhouses. That said, they take anywhere from twice to ten times less time and effort to put up as well. For example, the kit we set up for this article cost $200 and took 2 hours. The DIY greenhouse we have planned costs around $100 and will take 10 hours or more.
Level of Expertise Needed
Your level of expertise (at building things, and growing things) is called into play when you build a DIY greenhouse from scratch. You’ll also need tools and an understanding of basic carpentry. Using a Kit takes little to no experience, let alone even a bit of expertise.
How do you use a greenhouse?
Once your greenhouse kit is set up, how you use it is up to you. A few of the most popular ways to use greenhouses include starting seeds, growing sun or climate-sensitive crops, cloning plants, storing and mixing soils and growing mediums, storing water, overwintering plants, and potting things.
What do you need inside a greenhouse?
Depending on what you’re using a greenhouse for, some of the most common things to find inside of it are watering cans, irrigation systems, seedling trays, soil blocks, soil mixes, extra containers, gardening tools, and of course, a wide variety of plants.
Should a greenhouse be in full sun?
Greenhouses thrive in full sun, but they also get by in spots with a bit of shade. The biggest thing to keep in mind when choosing a location to set up a greenhouse is if it is protected from wind and freezing temperatures.
A Final Word About Setting Up a Greenhouse Kit
Setting up a Greenhouse Kit is the quickest and simplest way to get a functional greenhouse gardening operation up and going! There is no guessing if the design will work, including measuring, cutting, or making parts for it.
Building a DIY greenhouse, or paying for a professionally installed greenhouse, are also great options if you have the time, experience, and money!
What do you think about greenhouse kits? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading and good luck with setting up your greenhouse kit!
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