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Question about small growhouses

Hi all,

I wonder if anybody could clear up a concern I have.

I bought a couple of the small growhouses that are in all the shops at the moment, just big enough for a couple of tomato plants each.

I've set them up and I'm worried that not enough sunlight is entering them, I have the heavy duty covers with the green strips running through the plastic cover, when I open the front zip section the sunlight pours in, but when the front is down it looks like the plants are in shade.

I can't see how the see through plastic is blocking out so much sunlight?!

Will the plants still get enough to grow properly?

Thanks in advance


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,174

    Hi there. As long as you leave the front zip section open all through the day and only close it - if needed - at night the tomatoes should be fine.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Hi Paul Gibbs

    I have one of these too. I already had the frame and bought a replacement cover from homebase, which was the only one which would fit. I too was concerned about the green stripes. But i have had great success especially with my dahlia tubers - I had about 25 pots of them and they have all grown up brilliantly. I undo the zip and open the flap all day and close it in the evening. Dahlias are outside now but I have other things growing in there, it's quite good. Hope this helps you. 

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Paul Tomato's need an ambient temperature it is more important than anything else and the night temperature can sink quite quickly. Leave them open until around six at night then close to keep up the heat, a couple of house bricks in the base or up against a solid wall helps as they take in daytime heat and give it back at night. Once the fruit is well set then they need lots of sun to ripen which is why most gardeners remove leaves that shade the fruit. Good luck.


  • Great, thanks for the replies everyone. It's put my mind at rest. Although today they have had no sun anyway as it's been chucking it down all day!

  • I have had heavy duty covers on mine for the last three years and sunlight seems to enter fine, everything has thrived.  Whilst I do regularly open the front to ventilate I don't leave it open all day and enough light still enters.

    One issue I've had with my growhouse is that it has blown over in wind a few times even though it is against the house.  I just pop a large pot either side now so it can't topple.

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    i have one too and after it blowing over last year with 72 little plants in it and every single one upended itself from the pot throwing out the id label too.......what a nightmare that was, i fixed a tight bungy cord around it with two hooks attatched to the wall, this wasn't enough to stop it so now i have two bungys, one at the top and one at the bottom both fixed to metal hooks in the wall, i'd just been moving stuff around and out onto the steps leaving just the petunia seedlings in there on their tray, went inside to 'do' something when my husband said do you know the greengouse is on it's side and all your plants are tipped out.......... hands and knees sifting for tiny petunia seedlings and replanting the lot image be warned image

    Last edited: 21 May 2016 22:07:30

  • Sanjy67 that is definately a familiar scene of devastation - about 40 cosmos seedlings all out of their pots as well as various other things. A big job to repot and sort everything and everything was set back for the rest of the season.  

    Definately better to anchor these growhouses as soon as you put it up - they can blow over in fairly light wind, it doesn't have to be a hurricane.

  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713

    We have a couple of these too - the first year one blew over - what a panic trying to get all the seedlings back into their pots - so now I have it tied to the wall with a couple of strong pegs driven into the grout between the granite of the wall. No problems anymore. We open the cover each day just as you have all suggested - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the moment to allow more light onto the plants. Don't forget to water the plants too - they dry out very quickly if it is a sunny day.

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