Greenhouse Kits - Rion, Mini, Portable, Hobby and Professional

Let's face it: it can get freezing cold, blustery and snowy outside in winter and hot as hell in summer. If you want to get your plants growing, you'll have to take matters into your own hands and buy one of the many greenhouses. With a quality greenhouse: and there are countless sizes, designs and styles around; you will be able grow healthy plants, indoors, year round.

Greenhouse kits: Favorite brands

Before buying, take a look at the many greenhouse kits on the market. Two greenhouse manufacturers: Juliana and Rion make several very good state-of-the-art hobby greenhouses and are worth looking into. Juliana greenhouses include basic, premium and compact, and there are several sizes and models within each one to choose from. How are they constructed? Juliana greenhouse kits are made with durable aluminum framing and double wall polycarbonate panels for glazing. Sunshine Greenhouse kits also include the polycarbonate panels, but instead, are framed with redwood. Other kits to consider: Rion greenhouses, Florian, Riga and Solexx.

Questions before buying:

  • Does the greenhouse have adequate ventilation?
  • Will you need to apply a shade cloth fabric during the hottest months?
  • Can the kit withstand heavy winter snow loads?
  • Can it withstand high winds without damage?

How are kit greenhouses are constructed?

Two main components make up the greenhouse structure: glazing and framing. Glazing is essentially the windows, usually made from plastic or glass and these fully encloses the conservatory while allowing lots of sunlight. Framing is the framework structure, that supports the building. Framing materials used typically include: aluminum and polycarbonate plastic, steel and wood. Glazing materials used typically include: plastic or glass.

Material pros and cons:

  • 1) Framing with wood
    Advantage: looks attractive.
    Disadvantage: may need treating with water repellant and wood preservative every few years. This can be a chore if you have a large house.
  • 2) Framing with aluminum
    Advantage: framework is remarkably strong, lightweight and not bulky. Also, aluminum conservatories require no maintenance, except for cleaning the glass and oiling moving parts such as doors and vents.
    Disadvantage: metal is a poor insulator and expensive heat from within is conducted outside.
  • 3) Glazing with polycarbonate panels
    Advantage: If the greenhouse has double wall panels, plants will stay 10 to 20 degrees warmer during the winter. This material is also more energy efficient than glass and will save money on heating. Also, this material is unbreakable and won't shatter.
    Disadvantage: don't know any.

Greenhouse alternatives

If you don't have the space or money for a greenhouse, here are some good alternatives:

Here are important greenhouse accessories:

  • benches and staging
  • greenhouse heaters
  • fans
  • misters
  • potting benches
  • grow lights


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