Our experience buying and building an inexpensive greenhouse from amazon and what our gardening plans are for it.
As our family and our need for food grows, we are having to get more and more creative about how we use our small intown lot. We knew last year that our 3 garden beds wouldn’t be nearly enough for our family of 8. This year we are now a family of 9 and have no choice but to expand our garden by building a greenhouse. Luckily my husband is very handy and is never afraid of a challenge. If he was he wouldn’t have married me.
After deciding to add around 10 more raised garden beds this year, we needed to be able to start our own seeds. Every penny that can be saved, needs to be when you have a family of this size. I did a lot of research. I found plans to build greenhouses, found greenhouses at stores like Harbor Freight, looked at cold frames and hot boxes, and finally settled on one from Amazon.
There were a lot of factors that played into this decision, but honestly, a big part of it was price. We are a one income family of 9, price plays into a lot of things. At $154.00 I figured it was worth a try. If it didn’t work out, I was only out $150, not $500-600 like many others I found.
My biggest concerns were ease of setup, holding temperature, longevity, and ability to withstand wind. While I cant say a lot about longevity or how it does in strong wind just yet, but I can tell you about the temperature and set up.
The good and the bad
I placed my order on March 28, 2021 and received my package on April 3 ,2021. I thought that was quick considering the greenhouse was not shipped by Amazon and came all the way from California to Indiana, so I was pleased.
The greenhouse came with well marked parts and photo instructions that I thought helped. My husband was a bit puzzled by having to put all the random pieces together prior to building as they are loose fitting and do not stay together while putting in place. Save the time and just put the pieces together as you go.
Once we got the hang of it, and put the triplets down for nap time, things went smoothly. We were able to put the frame together in about an hour. I will say part of that did include children stealing and trying to sword fight with the pieces. What can I say? My kids are partly feral.
Stretching the plastic over the frame wasn’t bad either. I found that it fit nicely, if not a bit loose. Building it where I could climb the garage steps to help pull it over really helped. The stakes it came with were very small and I plan on replacing them very soon. There is no way those stakes will keep it on the ground with any type of wind.
Within 5 minutes of putting the plastic on it started heating up. We were sweating in seconds, and our 70 degree day felt like 40 degrees when we stepped out. I was pleasantly surprised. When I checked after the sun went down it was still fairly warm in the greenhouse, though I didn’t have a thermometer in yet.
The Greenhouse is Ready for Growing!
As soon as the plastic was on Gage, our 7 year old, had to get some seeds in the dirt. I can’t say I blame him for being excited about it, I was too! The Easter bunny brought the bigger kids seed kits that you plant in eggs, so of course we had to plant them. Getting everything planned out and planted for our summer garden this year will be much easier and so much more convenient!
If you want to see what all we are planning to grow in the new greenhouse check out this post.
Update- I have put a thermometer in the greenhouse to see how well it is holding the temperature. Outside my house at 4:00 pm it is 76 degrees farenhight, inside the greenhouse it is 93 degrees. At 8:00 pm it was 70 degrees outside and 80 degrees in the greenhouse. Not too bad for a $150 greenhouse, but we will see how we do with temperatures closer to freezing.