If you have a limited amount of space available in your garden but you still want to benefit from a greenhouse, there are smaller options available, rather than the traditional larger structures.
Uses of Mini Greenhouses
When you’re looking for something more compact, you can typically choose from mini greenhouses which are taller, and cold frames which are lower to the ground. These are ideal for raising cuttings and seedlings and can be used by themselves or, if you require extra space, on top of your standard greenhouse.
One of the problems with these is that they can get very hot if it’s a particularly sunny day, even in the spring, so you’ll need to ventilate them in the daytime. Automatic watering systems can generally be fitted to most models to keep plants watered while you’re away and including a heat source creates a whole range of new uses.
Modern cold frames are available in a choice of styles, such as those with brick, timber or clear sides, and they typically have a glass cover that can be opened for ventilation and watering. There are also a range of shapes and sizes available, including slim, tall models to give you height, even when you don’t have a large space.
What to Consider When Buying a Mini Greenhouse
Before you select a mini greenhouse or cold frame, there are a number of factors that you should consider, to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.
The cold frame needs to fit into your garden, as well as providing adequate space for everything you want to do.
You can choose to position it straight into the ground, to enable you to plant in the soil, or you can place it on a base, and use pots, seed trays or growbags.
A traditional style of cold frame is low down, but taller mini greenhouses might be beneficial if you want to protect pepper or tomato plants until they’re ready for harvesting.
It’s important to think about how you’ll access the cold frame and look after the plants once they’re in there. Often they will have hinged glass lids, but you need to be careful these aren’t dropped and broken or become twisted in the wind. There is also the option of roll-up tops or sliding panels. You should also consider where the cold frame is positioned, as this might prevent access from one or more of the sides, making it difficult to reach all the plants.
If certain parts of your garden are sunnier at different times of the year, you might want to move the cold frame around to make the most of this. To do so you’ll need to factor in the weight of the structure, as glass and wood are heavier materials.