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Plastic growhouses

The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
As I have no room for a greenhouse in my garden I was wondering if one of these would do the job of growing one or two plants (chillies, tomatoes, that kind of thing) as well as bringing on the odd plant from cuttings or seed. Ideally i'd like to buy one lot of annuals this year and take cuttings or seeds for free plants next year.
Would any cuttings, seedlings etc die over the winter or would they be protected enough from frosts?

I'd be able to tie it into a downpipe and have kept a slab from my garden renovations to weigh the base down, but I don't want to waste twenty or thirty quid if it will be a pointless exercise. 

Any advice appreciated.


  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Hi I too have no room for greenhouse but have a small plastic grow house, wooden slats and polycarbonate panels rather than an all plastic one, It's against the side of the house south facing. I overwinter lots of stuff in there but some have extra protection like dahlias are in dampish compost in an old polystyrene fish box and fleece on the top. No good for pelargoniums, they have to come in the house.
    Absolutely brilliant for cuttings and seeds. I start things like tomatoes and chillies indoors but harden them off in the grow house.
    They were stupidly expensive but I waited until January Sale at Wyevale and got it half price.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    edited May 2018
    My main problem is that my little plastic greenhouse (clear plastic mac over a shelf) is that slugs and snails can easily climb up from the bottom and have an eight course, Michelin starred meal of seedlings and all things tender. I would say that if you get one, find a type that is enclosed (or can be full closed) or has a kind of venting system that doesn't invite the bstrs in. Also, they tend to be organised vertically and not horizontally, like regular greenhouses, so the plants on the top shelf and near the front, get sun. The ones near the back and lower down are in permanent shade, which seems to rather defeat the point.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,194
    They're ok for tomatoes B.Gardener - but make sure you have good air flow, and don't overcrowd it. You just have to be vigilant with them.They're useless for keeping anything protected in winter up here - not the protection that glass has. Fine if you're not growing anything with questionable hardiness,but they really only keep the worst of the rain and wind out. 
    It has to be kept well ventilated too - they get up to a horrific temperature on a sunny day. It's fluctuating temps which do the most damage to plants. 

    Slugs and snails still get in if they want - the bottom's open and they can get in through very small spaces....

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    @tessab98 Yeah, I was going to wait till after the summer boom on gardening items had passed before buying one, sure to get a bargain that way. :smile: So, pretty much ideal for what I'd like it to do then.

    @Fire Do you mean find one with a sort of zip closer rather than the ones that I've spotted that just roll up and get tied off at the front? 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    My first one was the walk-in type, it doesn't give you much shelf space for its footprint.  The frame was made of so many pieces that in windy weather it rocked until it collapsed, and all the time I'd spent filling paper pots, sowing and labelling, was wasted and I had to start again.  Last year I bought the sort that's all shelving, and sited it in a more sheltered part of the garden. It's much more robust.
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    edited May 2018
    I bought two at £12.99 each from Home Bargains and keep them in my porch. So easy to assemble and better built than the one I returned to A**z** that cost £29.99. They have been marvellous for seeds and cuttings over Winter and Spring.

    I think it would be fine to have them outside about now, as long as they are weighted etc the way you plan. I would dismantle it for Winter though, as Fairygirl said, there is no protection from cold, wind etc. You know what it's like here 😀.

    So, no, I would not use them to raise cuttings or grow seeds over Winter outside.
    SW Scotland
  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    Hmmm,  food for thought then. I daresay it could be worth a punt for a few toms and chillies then. I could maybe gamble on one or two cuttings of something hardy to see how they fare but as you say it might not work out with our winters. I'll think some more on that aspect of it, but I reckon I'll have a wee go at some veg next summer.

    Thanks folks. :smile:
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Rhondda ValleyPosts: 2,705
    I've found mine very useful since about the beginning of April.I had grown seeds and let them live on the kitchen windowsills,gradually moving them out to the tiny GH to harden off. I now have Heuchera cuttings in there,and have a dark cover which goes over the top for some shade in this warm weather,I also have about a dozen Penstemon plants,brought on from seed,but needing somewhere to live till they can go in the garden next year. I only paid ten quid for the GH from Wilko.Well worth it in my opinion!
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • SussexsunSussexsun Posts: 1,444
    At the end of the season wilkos sell off these plastic grow houses realy cheaply. Last year the £10 ones were £2.50 each and the big £25 one was £4. I usually buy a couple as back up for starting my dahlias in and when the covers rip or crack I then use the shelves as greenhouse staging.
    To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    I'll be passing wilko tomorrow, I think I'll nip in for a wee look. I would have liked to make a start this year, but the hard graft of removing trees etc and establishing a lawn had to take priority.  

    £4 for a wee growhouse sounds like a right good deal.
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