I'm looking for a greenhouse for a gift for my wife. This is will be her first greenhouse and I'm thinking of something that is either 6x8 or 6x10. We live in the Philadelphia area, so we have hot summers and cold summers, with snow. I want to spend less than $1,000. I want something that is durable and can withstand the weather. So far, it seems like the greenhouses that have been recommended are the Rion EcoGrow and the Juliana Basic. Any insights, comments, or other suggestions? Thanks.
Greenhouse Suggestion - Rion or Juliana
You could make it yourself for a lot less money, then use the extra money to put in shelves, thermometers, a watering system, lights, plants and seed, etc. Many people are making them out of 4' x 16' cattle panels bent over to make a 7 or 8' high hoop. Put three together end to end and you'd have an 8 foot by 12 foot GH frame that you can cover with 6 mil plastic or for more insulation, top it with a clear pool cover. You can either chain the bottoms of the hoops together or build a frame to attach them to around the bottom, or drive heavy stakes into the ground for the sides to rest against, attaching them with wire on the the corners. You can search for "cattle panel greenhouse" on the internet to see what can be done.
You might also look at Harbor Freight--they have very affordable greenhouses, cheap enough that when I first saw them I wondered if they would actually be good, but from the posts I've seen about them I think people are pretty happy with them. I think that they come with bad assembly instructions, but if you look around in this forum or google for it you should be able to find all sorts of instructions on how to assemble them. Otherwise, based on the research I did when I was GH shopping the Rion & Juliana are both good options as well. Only thing I can't speak to on any of them is snow load, that's obviously something that wouldn't be a consideration for me :)
I built my sister an enlarged hot box that used old windows.
12' long by 36" wide by 36" high. The windows slope about 30 degrees.
She opens the windows and reaches over the front, about 18",
to tend the plants. So far she has had great success with her plants.
The windows can be braced open to allow cooler air to circulate.
I will try to come back with some pictures tomorrow if the sunny
weather here in Western Washington stays with us.
Harbor Freight has a fair product, is attractive when done, but was not designed for Pa. winters. You can tie up more than you want to. See here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243490/
A cattle panel or hoop house would be much less expensive and easier to add all your vents and fans to. If you plan to heat it it will also be less expensive. Hope this helps. Ric
I have a Juliana. I have added a lot of anchoring to make it stable. I like the fact that it is an all aluminum frame. I bought it used for 800.00 it is 9x14. Some parts were missing but they were easily made. I also bought several store freezer doors that fit well into the roof. If you pour a foundation you may not need additional anchoring. I did not want mine to fall. you will need quite a bit of silicon to seal your panels with. They make a well designed product. They have fair support and were very nice to me.
I purchased a Riga greenhouse from the Exaco Company in Texas about four years ago. It has been terrific and withstood hail, snow, etc. I live in western South Dakota so the temperatures and weather can be extreme. I have been able to grow tomatoes, beans, peas, etc. in the greenhouse from March to October (with the help of a small electric heater). I would recommend the company and the greenhouse without hesitation.