Greenhouses forum: Plastic Mini Greenhouse

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Name: Kandace
New Iberia, LA (Zone 9a)
Kandy477
Dec 26, 2013 1:15 PM CST
Has anyone any experience with plastic mini greenhouses for seed starting? I'm in zone 9 and I usually start my seeds indoors. I was thinking of trying one of these and starting them outside this year. Are these things worth it or should I stick to starting my tomatoes and peppers inside?

Thumb of 2013-12-26/Kandy477/68bd13

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Dec 26, 2013 1:23 PM CST
Mine blew away mutliple times despite being "secured". The wind comes up underneath and it just sails away.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Dec 28, 2013 9:43 PM CST
Unless you remember EVERY day to open/close, not the best. I fried some seedlings in mine and not sure is it's enough protection, even in zone 9. They are great for hardening off and I use inside my reg. greenhouse as added layer of warmth for a few more tender seedlings, but again, must be monitored carefully.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Dec 29, 2013 7:24 AM CST
I agree
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jeff
Perry Iowa (Zone 5a)
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PerryJeff
Jan 13, 2014 8:22 AM CST
I use two of these in March in my kitchen. The advantage is I can keep a nice humid environment for the seed starts. I have 2 heat pads I plug in for the bottom two shelf’s and then I attached a florescent light on the top and then put one on the outside vertically to the plastic.
I would think you would have a lot of problems with them outside
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 13, 2014 5:56 PM CST
Inside is cetainly the best way to use these "mini-greenhouses".
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 20, 2014 7:08 PM CST
Gee, if they are used inside, couldn't you get the same effect by draping a big sheet of heavy plastic over a bookshelf?

I guess there would be a convenience factor if each level had its own zipper opening.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Jan 20, 2014 9:04 PM CST
You could, but it's easier to unzip and tie back (included) the front to open. I never used mine in the house, just outside for hardening off and inside the GH for added protection, BUT, there's where you have to really be careful because on day of forgetting to open it with a bright sun, your plants will fry!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 21, 2014 1:23 PM CST
>> forgetting to open it with a bright sun, your plants will fry!

That's what scares me about any cold frame or poly tunnel. Our nights are always cool or cold, and mornings are STILL cold, and most days are cloudy ...

... but ...

I could be at work when the clouds part, ...

... and come back to steamed veggies.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 30, 2014 8:34 PM CST
I have two of these that I use for my orchids outside and I really like them. In fact, I just bought a third one to have in reserve.

For most of the year, I just use the shelf units, and put plastic jugs of water on the bottom shelf to keep them from blowing over. The jugs also retain heat to keep the plants warm at night.

They're lightweight, and not terribly sturdy, but good for seedlings, small plants and orchids which are pretty light as they don't grow in soil. The plastic cover for the first one tore along one zipper, so I had to sew a piece of stretchy fabric in there, you can see it in the picture. The second one seems to be made of more flexible material.

When I do use the plastic covers, usually just for a few cold nights here and there through the winter, I absolutely make sure to unzip them, or take them right off before the sun hits them. I'd never leave the house with them zipped up.

You have to do this with any greenhouse, if it doesn't have automatic thermostatically controlled venting.
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jan 30, 2014 8:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Kelli
Martha Lake, WA (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Beekeeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Kelliarm
Feb 19, 2014 10:01 PM CST
I just bought one of these and put it together last weekend. I didn't have high expectations, but I was surprised at a couple of things. First, it was really easy to put together. I was waiting for poor construction and things not fitting together and that didn't happen. It also is a simple design... no special tools needed. Second, it is not the sturdiest unit but for what it is and the price, I think I can make it study enough for my needs. I used zip ties to hold down the shelves... and I will say that the shelves are not substantial. They are wire and thin wire at that. They just lay on the cross pipes, but the pipes are strong and it came with an extra that I ended up using to reinforce the top in the back. But I think tying the shelves down with zip ties will be sufficient. I do plan to use this outside near my big greenhouse and plan to use it to harden off seedlings. I like the idea of using the milk jugs on the bottom as I doubted I would use the bottom for much anyway. But here in the Pacific NW we get pretty strong winds so I will likely tie it to something also. All in all I am happy with the construction... again for the price. I think I paid less than $40 for it off eBay,
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 20, 2014 4:22 PM CST
>> I used zip ties to hold down the shelves

If the zip-ties can't slip, I imagine the shelves now add some cross-bracing to the structure.

If they do slip under sideways pressure, you might try adding some waxed twine. If you "lash" two crosspieces together with waxed twine, they are bound as tightly as with glue.

Just wrapping two turns of waxed twine under each zip-tie might give good resistance to sliding or twisting. The wax gives good friction, and the zip-ties would probably clamp them down hard without any need to dig out the old Boy Scout Handbook or Girl Scout Handbook to remember how to lash things together.

P.S. I see "Snohomish County". Do you know of Steuber's Distributing in Snohomish (the town)? It's a great resource for gardeners or greenhouse people. They have a paper catalog that I browse as often as I browse seed catalogs. And they sell all sizes of pots and plug trays in onesies.

Steuber Distributing Co - - - (360) 568-2626 - - - - - - greenhouse wholesale
308 3rd St - - - - - - - - - - - - - open Sat. to Noon
Snohomish, WA 98290


Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Feb 20, 2014 4:50 PM CST
any web address for them @RickCorey
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 20, 2014 7:51 PM CST
I thought they were just one outlet for a national chain, but I guess not!

http://steuberdistributing.org/home

I'm surprised that they got an "org" URL. I would have thought "com".

Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Feb 20, 2014 8:15 PM CST
Thanks! gonna bookmark now. Getting tired from entering my seeds from swap into database. Hilarious!
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
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qwilter
Feb 27, 2014 11:00 AM CST
I have 2 of these & the larger walk in version. I keep them in a partly shaded area & have only fried a couple plants when I was away for a couple days. I'm amazed how much warm air can be trapped inside.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 15, 2014 11:09 PM CST
@qwilter Can I ask what your larger one looks like, size, cost and possibly where you got it?

Thanks!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Jun 16, 2014 2:54 AM CST
I use these, but wind is a problem so heavy water containers on the bottom shelf.
Right now I have a 4 foot by 6 foot walk in one.
It is good for holding plants as they harden, but I lost half my petunias when I was away---- and it turned warm.
Over the summer I can do peppers, eggplant and one or two tomatoes in there.

The shelf kind are good for seedlings, but vigilance is necessary if the door is zipped closed.
These are temporary solutions only. If I were planning on staying in this home, then I would go
for a proper greenhouse.
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
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qwilter
Jun 16, 2014 7:05 AM CST
Got it at Big Lots. Tractor Supply has similar ones. It is 6' X 8' & 7' tall in ctr. I did have to use a heavier metal shelving rather than what it came with. I hold mine down with unopened bags of top soil. It is almost perfect for FL winters. Up north would not provide winter protection.

Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
Bee Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder Birds Pollen collector Seed Starter
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Cat
Jun 16, 2014 8:22 AM CST
Anyone seen or used this? http://www.buildingagreenhouseplans.com/?hop=wundrowl
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

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