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My Husband had one of these bought for his birthday a few years ago. He is a keen gardener and although had a veggie plot in the garden he was really pleased with this as it meant he could grow certain plants from seed before planting "outside" as well as grow tomatoes.
He placed it outside by the patio, unfortunately he quickly discovered that you need a certain amount of weight inside it as it blew over several times in bad weather, he rectified this by putting a house brick on the bottom shelf, clearly this took up space and was a negative.
Another big problem we had was that the plastic, although looks quick thick, did rip quite soon, he did use masking tape to repair this and it did look quite sad with its masking tape and bricks.
On the positive, it did serve him well for a couple of years and he did bring it with us when we moved house. We now have a large potting shed and he has thrown away the plastic cover and still used the original shelving to sit his plants on in his shed and therefore he is still using this and in that respect is still serving us well.
Ours is green and has three shelves, the shelves being a wire tray type affair and therefore any excess water from the plants just drains through and leaves no puddles. The depth between the shelves seems about right in terms of how long they are there before being planted outside. It comes dismantled and takes seconds to put together, and does make end of season storage easy.
I believe you can buy one like ours for about £19 from wilkos, a smaller version being available from £10. For this years birthday I bought him one that came without the cover ("staging 4 Tier") for £13 as he no longer needs the covered version and this item again is very useful for potting sheds / greenhouses.
Im going to give it a 4 Doo Yoo rating, as although it ripped and needed weighing down, he still has spent many hours playing with it and would make a great male gift. Plus we have being able to utilise the shelving for several years now.
In some ways I'm lucky because my garden faces south and so I've been able to take full advantage in the past for all the crops, but especially for things like tomatoes and chillies. Yet what continued to frustrate me was the fact that I couldn't take full advantage of the sun in March and April in the propagating and establishing of my own plants, because with our climate we are still liable to have frosts in those months (and even into May, this year).The garden isn't big enough for a full sized greenhouse, either in terms of footprint or turnover, so I needed another solution.
I found what I was looking for in the Gardman Three Tier Mini Greenhouse.
What It Is
The tubular steel frame slots together around three mesh shelves using plastic three-way and four-way joiners. It's easy enough to assemble with no tools being required, just a little thought and patience as in its early stages of construction you'll probably have some joints springing apart while you're trying to secure others. It won't take long.
What it leaves you with is a 1260 mm (4ft 1") high, 490 mm (1ft 6") deep and 690 mm (2ft 3") wide skeleton over which you then place the plastic cover.
This plastic cover is pretty tough and the front flap unzips and rolls up to give you better access to the shelves.
Where to put it
Obviously for preference you want it where it will get plenty of light, otherwise it's defeating the object of having it. On the other hand, you don't want it to be too exposed to the rough weather, especially the wind.
Try to put it against a fence or a wall where it will get plenty of light, but have some support. If you can tie it to something, then that is better. Even though the thick plastic sheet gives plenty of protection, the less movement there is the better it will be, especially when you have delicate plants in there.
Pros and Cons
I have certainly found this to be a useful addition to the garden, allowing me to expand or move my seedling population from the house to the mini greenhouse.
The major disadvantage is that stability remains a factor, even when you have lashed it to a fence. I found that the only way to combat this was to put heavier items on the bottom shelf, which is very close to the floor. This worked well, but it means that you effectively lose one tier out of the three for potting purposes, though I still found it useful for storage.
A significant advantage, although I have never actually done this myself, is that you can disassemble the greenhouse and pack it away again when you're not using it. So if you really only need it for three or four months in the spring and early summer, the problems of the really bad weather need not come into play.
In hot weather, if we ever have any, you will have to open it up during the day, as it can get very hot in there. You do need to remember to firmly zip up the cover when not attended/overnight, however, in case the wind gets up.
Theoretically, slugs and snails could climb up, although I've not had a problem with them in the mini greenhouse. If you think it might be a problem, try spraying WD40 around the bottom of the legs and the cover. They don't like it.
Cost and Availability
This product is currently available online for £24.95 and replacement covers are available from as little as £6.99.
I have to say that - given the issue with stability and the potential loss of a shelf - you might be better off considering a 4 tier greenhouse, which wouldn't cost you a lot more - in fact you might get it for less (I've just seen one for £19.90). The only thing with that is that it would have a slightly higher profile, which you might not want. The 4 tier greenhouse is made and assembled in the same way and from the same materials. You can also get things like grow bag shelters i.e. the outer shell without the shelves.
If you think that something like this would be useful to you, you should have a look at the range.
Are you thinking of getting a greenhouse but don't have the room or the money for a full sized one? This Gardman mini greenhouse could offer a solution. I decided to buy two so that I could site them against a sunny wall. Unfortunately it wasn't a good choice.
When the greenhouses arrived they seemed OK for the money but the metal poles weren't as substantial as I'd hoped. The plastic covering was quite thick and the zips were good and sturdy. I thought I'd try putting one against the wall to see how I got on before unpacking the second one.
It was very easy to erect. The metal frame just pushed together and the cover was easy to put in place. I sited the greenhouse against the wall and within a day it had blown down. Undaunted I rerected the structure. The metal poles had come apart and the plastic had torn in places. I pushed the poles together and repaired the plastic with strong clear tape and tried again. This time I tied it in place against the wall but once again the greenhouse blew down. By now the plastic was even more badly damaged and I was forced to admit that it had been a stupid idea to put up something plastic in the first place. I still had the second greenhouse so I sold it to a friend. The friend knew all about the whole sorry story of my greenhouse but she had a much more sheltered garden than ours and she thought it would surely survive there. Once again there was disappointment however. The greenhouse lasted a few weeks in it's more sheltered spot but it simply couldn't withstand the Cornish winds.
I would say that if you live in a place that doesn't normally get high winds and you have a nice sheltered spot then this type of greenhouse could be ideal. If it is at all windy where you live I would give this one a miss and go for something more substantial.
I have always wanted a greenhouse but the high price has really put me off. I love gardening and especially enjoy growing fruit and vegetables. During a visit to my local garden centre last year I spotted a mini greenhouse priced at £20.A closer inspection made me decide to buy one as I thought it would be perfect for nurturing seedlings and protecting plants from the elements.
What you get for your money
The 3 tier greenhouse is made by Gardman; a leading company that specialise in supplying garden and pet care products. The company have been trading since 1992 and I was interested to read that they have a partnership with the British trust for ornithology. I am always keen to buy from companies that promote wildlife, so this was a plus for me.
The greenhouse consists of three mesh shelves fixed into a tubular steel frame. There is a PVC cover that is designed to cover the frame, ensuring your plants and seeds are protected from the weather. The greenhouse comes flat packed and includes a clear set of instructions for assembly. Setting it up was really easy and took about 15 minutes. You don't need any tools and the poles of the frame simply slot together.
The three shelves slide into place and you have the option of removing a shelf to accommodate taller plants such as tomato plants. The greenhouse can be fixed to a wall with the rings provided, giving it more stability. I have it situated against a wall in a sheltered spot so haven't bothered to use the fixing rings.
This is a compact greenhouse and measuring 126 cm high x 69 cm wide and 49 cm deep. The shelves can hold up to 9 seed trays.
The PVC cover has stitched seams for extra strength. The cover has zipped openings at the front and sides allowing easy access. The cover can be rolled up and is held in place with Velcro to allow ventilation. The clear plastic allows light to enter; essential for propagation. It is possible to buy a replacement cover if needed for around £10.
When not in use the greenhouse can be collapsed and folds flat for storage.
I am really pleased with this little greenhouse, although I would still like a *real* one! I live in the far north where the weather can be a little chilly at times. Last year I used it to successfully grow tomato plants. I kept them in the green house until they were well established and then transferred them to a grow bag in a sunny spot. I have also used the greenhouse to nurture delicate plants and cuttings. It is certainly better than having trays of seedlings on my kitchen windowsill!
It is important that you remember to roll up the cover when the weather is warm allowing the air to circulate. This can be a bit of a chore, but forgetting will result in lost plants!
Any negatives? - Although the cover is described as *strong*. It will probably need replacing soon as it has a few rips along the seams. At £10 for a new cover the cost of a new cover is expensive for what is after all a plastic cover!
The greenhouse is not that sturdy and could easily be blown over in high winds. You do have the option to fix it to a wall, but the wind still gets under the cover causing problems.
Overall I think this little greenhouse is well worth the outlay. It takes up little space and allows delicate plants to be nurtured. I really enjoy watching my seedlings and plants grow! The greenhouse is widely available both on line and from garden centres.
I love growing all sorts of plants and vegetables in our garden but was sick of having a kitchen full of seed trays every year. Last year we decided to buy one of these mini greenhouses for our garden, so we could at least have our kitchen back.
The greenhouse comes flat packed and ours was bought from Homebase as that is where my other half works and we get to use his staff discount. We paid roughly £12.00 for this after discount, which I still don't think is a bad price. It has three shelves and a flimsy cover which does up at the front with 2 zips. There is also a Velcro part to hold the cover up while you are working in it. I find rolling the door up and Velcroing it up quite boring so tend to just lay the door over the roof of the greenhouse, works just as well to be honest.
The whole construction is a pushing of metal poles into plastic corner parts, it is flimsy but it holds together well. The cover although waterproof and reasonable does not survive a cat who thinks it makes a good scratching post....thanks Bailey!
Although I did originally house this in our garden, not only did it get battered around by the wind, snails also found getting in very easy and we lost a lot of seedlings due to actually closing the snails inside the greenhouse. The bars holding the shelves on make good hiding places for them, until they want to come out and eat your plants! Due to both these reasons, it has now been moved onto our balcony so is away from snails plus out of the wind.
I love our greenhouse and apart from the cat scratches, it has held together well, it is roomy enough for four plant trays per shelf, which is more than enough for us. The top shelf allows for taller pots or plants as you have the roof area also. I water our seeds while they are on the shelves as the shelves have holes which allow drainage, you will have to be careful that you do not damage any weaker seedlings underneath though.
You can purchase new covers, this retails at around £11 ish so really you might as well just buy a whole new greenhouse. Ours is surviving just, but maybe next year we will end up having to buy another one. I would defiantly recommend this to anyone who wants to give their seeds the best start, away from the cold and frost etc.
I purchased this three tier greenhouse about a year and a half ago, for the price of £14.99. I have an allotment, but no garden, and I wanted a way of starting off the growing season without the risk of frost ruining my efforts.
The frame of the mini-greenhouse reminds me of a play tent I had as a child. The frame is made up of many parts of tubular steel that slot into plastic brackets- no need for any tools. The plastic covering fits over the top, with Velcro loops on the inside to secure the covering to the frame. The front of the cover can be opened up with two zips on either side, and there is a tie cord at the top to tie it up in place to stop it flapping about.
I placed the greenhouse in a very sheltered spot, however shortly after I started using it, the wind blew it over and I lost my seedlings. I would recommend putting some bricks or paving slabs on the bottom shelf to keep it secure and stop it falling over.
The plastic cover has lasted a year and a half. The wind has caused it to tear to the point where a repair is not possible. The covers are available to buy separately for £6.99, and I am planning on buying another cover.
While this is no substitute for a "real" greenhouse, I do not have the space or the money for one. This mini greenhouse is cost-effective way of starting off your growing season, safe in the knowledge that as long as you have the door closed at night, your seeds will not be affected by frost. I have also used this greenhouse for "hardening off" the limited amount of plants I've had space to start off at home.
I have owned this greenhouse for three years now, its still in perfect condition. Its ideal for protecting tender plants over the winter months. I also use mine to get a head start when planting seeds and taking cuttings as it acts like a giant propagator!The greenhouse is very easy to construct and no tools are needed. Its best to position the greenhouse against a wall as it provides some protection against the wind. I would advise anyone who purchases this greenhouse to leave something heavy on the bottom shelf as it gives it more stability, I use a tray of compost.
Over the past few years I have been bitten by the gardening bug and am getting more and more hooked on growing things. Last year I bought Homebase's own brand 4 tier greenhouse and it was soon filled to the rafters, I ended up running out of space in it. Fast forward to February this year and my mum spotted this on offer for £11, it was in a local store that sells a bit of everything all at good prices. Knowing that I needed more room she got it for me and I have been using it since.
The greenhouse was easy to assemble, I did it by myself, and think it must have taken quarter of an hour, if not less. There are no fiddly screws, it's just a series of tubes that slot into plastic joins. The shelves rest across the tubes but are not attached to them. I particularly like this because it means if you want to grow something tall then you can temporarily ditch one or more of them. I imagine it would be just as easy to disassemble, although personally I will just fling it in the garage over winter to save the bother. It is very lightweight which makes repositioning really easy but the downside is that it is also easily blown over. For this reason I advise weighing it down with something. I rest a plant pot full of grit on the bottom shelf and on very windy days I push the patio table against it as a precaution to keep it in place.
Compared to Homebase's version of a mini greenhouse it has much flimsier feeling plastic which forms the cover and I am very careful around it to ensure that I don't make any holes in it. I believe you can buy new covers but expect that considering the price of the item new, it is not worthwhile. Nevertheless it is serving its purpose and I don't see why it won't last a good few years more if it is looked after.
I would recommend buying this, but would advise buyers to consider the fact that they will probably need to weigh it down and this will take up some shelf space. So basically, depending on how much room you are after it may be worth going for one with more shelves.
We purchased the Gardman 3 Tier Mini Greenhouse for £19.99 from Amazon.co.uk as we wanted something fairly lightweight just to propagate seedlings in, to protect them from the wind and rain, and keep them warm and snug. Now, the first one that came was actually faulty - the construction is a tubular steel frame with a PVC 'sleeve' with a zip up door to cover. But the tubular steel was too small for the plastic connectors and it wouldn't stay tightly together. So we sent it back and received a replacement which went together fine - so if you are buying this as a gift my advice is just to make sure to check it first. The greenhouse arrives in a cardboard box with full instructions.
The greenhouse, when constructed, is sturdy, and well balanced. It has two shelves and the base, which can also be used as a shelf, however I use it to store spare pots and compost. The shelves are strong, and can hold as many pots as you need - smaller ones for seedlings and larger ones for plants which need the protection, like tomatoes. The 'door' panel holds up with two ties, and is fully waterproof - it hasn't let us down despite a pretty chilly winter and a few very very windy and wet thunderstorms. It also stays standing when birds and cats land on it!
We've had ours about three years now, and it's still good as new, in fact my dad's bought one too. You can pick them up well under £20, around £17 - £18 now, with free delivery, and given that a small greenhouse would cost five times that, I think they're brilliant value for money and well worth the investment putting it together!
Variations of the Gardman are available on the high street - Argos, Wilkinsons and all good garden and DIY centres, I can't vouch for their quality against the Gardman brand, but as the Gardman is so cheap I would go for it. You'll have a blooming lovely garden to thank for it!
This is one of two unsatisfactory greenhouses we currently have, one an injudicious purpose made by ourselves. The other an ill-conceived gift purchase from one of our sons - the product of flawed thinking.
Our main greenhouse is only small - a 6 x 4 affair with polycarbonate sides and a cheap lightweight frame. I have had trouble with this on several occasions, resulting in frayed polycarbonate, sections of which no longer fit the frame properly and frayed tempers as I literally tried to hold it all together in the middle of the night at the height of a storm last winter. However, that's another story.
The other issue which we had and which we had mentioned to our sons was that the 6 x 4 greenhouse wasn't really big enough for our needs, especially in springtime when we like both to buy and raise our bedding plants and then later in the season grow some tomatoes.
My sons know me well enough to know that I wouldn't throw out the albeit unsatisfactory existing 6 x 4 (currently held together with Duck tape) and that maybe some supplementary capacity was required to get me through the early part of the growing season when greenhouse space is at a premium - hence the gift purchase of this Gardman 3 tier mini greenhouse.
It was hard not to show my disappointment when the present was handed over since I felt it would be too small and flimsy to survive our exposed garden. Still, they say it's the thought that counts, but he hadn't thought. Rather than ask whether he still had the receipt, we decided that we had to make the best of what we had been given.
The frame for this mini-greenhouse is made from tubular steel and it was an easy peasy job to erect it, with no tooly woolies required. When fully erect, it measures just over 4 feet high, just over 2 feet wide and about 18 inches deep so if the seedlings ever grow to be decent sized plants, they'll need to be out of this quickly and into their finished position or potted on in the larger greenhouse.
Of course, we wouldn't really have needed this mini greenhouse had I been allowed to borrow some space within a very large room which faces south and which has three floor to ceiling windows/patio doors. My wife said no, she didn't want that space cluttered with plants so I investigated other workable options and discovered that for us, there aren't any.
The real issue with this greenhouse is that it is very lightweight and needs to be located in a very sheltered spot. The only suitable spot doesn't get very much sun at all and when it does it's at the butt end of the day when the sun's rays have no strength or warmth.
Clearly some thought has gone into the design of this 3 tier greenhouse which makes the most of the available space. The shelving is not very sturdy but is sized such as to fit standard trays of seedlings. Overall, the capacity is good given the size of the unit and it is reasonably heavy when laded with a full complement of trays. However, tethering options are limited and our location is such that a stiff breeze can actually move the greenhouse and if I were to move it to a position where it would get enough sun, it wouldn't survive.
It has a facility whereby you can raise and lower the front of the greenhouse to allow more air in and give ready access to everything contained wherein, but really this is an unacceptable apology for the real thing and no self-respecting gardener would seriously consider using this. My neighbour just laughed when he saw it.
I would say to those that are considering this purchase that unless they live in a breeze free zone or intend to use it indoors, they should consider paying a bit more and go for something more substantial that will last.
Our son has recently moved into a new house himself - with limited garden space - I wonder if he would appreciate a greenhouse - seconf hand - little used?
You can pick these up for between 20 and 30 pounds and replacement covers are readily available if yours disappears across the fields.
As a novice gardener I thought I'd try my hand at starting to grow vegetables from a green house to give them a good start.
As I could not afford a large glass green house I thought this would make an excellent alternative.
The frame consists of metal tubes which you just push together into the plastic connecters and then pull the thick plastic cover over the top of the frame.
This cover took two of us to pull over the top of the frame, but I think it would be possible to do this by yourself if needs be.
Once the cover is in place you then need to tie the ties which are attached to the cover on the inside of the frame. There are guide ropes and metal pegs which attach to the outside cover to hold the shelves in place. As with all pegs you will need a firm ground to push them into.
The green house came with easy straight forward instructions and no tools are needed to put it together. It was very easy to construct taking me around 40 minutes from start to finish. I have placed mine against my fence to keep it out of the wind as I was concerned it might blow over in the strong wind, however, as off yet it has been fine.
The green house itself
The whole green house is light weight and easy to move around the garden. There were wire shelves supplied to put my plastic planting trays onto. The cover is thick and seems to be very strong. The cover has two zips which you can undo, then roll and fasten up with the attached strings, giving you plenty of room.
I kept the instructions and took it down for the winter as I was worried the harsh weather would shorten the life of it.
My wife bought this green house from Amazon it cost her around £20 to £30.
The green house has lasted me one summer and I haven't had any problems yet apart from the shelves which are a little bit flimsy. I am very pleased with it and it has grown some great veggies
After gaining inspiration from my parents rather large grow your own display of vegetables, I decided to try growing my own. However my garden does not have any grass or borders and I suffer from probably all the neighbours cats 'spraying' their scent all over the place so I couldn't have anything out in open..
So, I found this 3 tier greenhouse on amazon and purchased it about 4 months ago.
The frame of the greenhouse is fairly sturdy, however I've put some old patio slabs in the bottom to help it remain upright in the recent windy conditions and I've not had any problems with it collapsing on me...
It was easy to put up..took me about 15 minutes to put up on my own and the cover fitted over the top easily.
The cover is plastic and has two zips up the front so you can pull up the front and there is also a 'toggle' so you can roll up the front and it keeps it tidy.
The top shelf has more height clearance which is great for my garlic which has grown very successfully in the last 8 weeks! So I tend to find that I'm moving my plants around as you can't adjust the shelf heights but as its essentially for seed germination this may be why..
It does get alot of condensation in it though which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it can get quite wet inside...when we had the really cold period my seedlings have survived in this green house though which I was worried whether they would or not!
Its really compact so easy to store when not in use too so when you have finished for the winter it can be stored away and than bought out again for the next season..
I have tried various types of these plastic greenhouses and unfortunately non of them have survived winter conditions such as wind.
I got this one about two years ago, when I first started growing my own veg and salad. When I got it, it cost about £20.00. They have come down in price now and they are widely available from a lot of shops and on the internet.
The greenhouse consists of 3 tiers, each tier has a metal grid which hooks on to plastic shelves, which have metal rods which create the sides. They are extremely easy to assemble, and the plastic cover fits over the whole structure with a front that has two zips (one on either side) which creates a flap at the front which can be rolled up and tied with a little green tie to keep it in place.
You can then use these shelves to grow plants and they are especially great for growing things like trays of salads, nothing that gets too high.
The greenhouse if not opened during summer days does get incredibly hot and if you forget to open it, it will kill some of the more temperamental plants, but during the proper summer months I found it better to leave the flap rolled up the whole time.
I found this green house great, when you are using it. When it is full of trays it is very sturdy and extremely useful, but in the winter when I wasn't using it and had removed everything I found it very unstable and it would blow over a lot in the wind, which caused the plastic cover to rip, and I eventually threw it out before the next summer arrived. I think if you have a lack of garden space these are ideal for growing things in.
I also found that the grid like shelves bent very easily, and that meant they kept falling off and and wouldn't go back on properly.
I think these are great little gadgets, and if you put them away for the winter then you will have no problems re-using it, if however you leave it outside during winter, expect it to get a bit battered.
There's strange things happening in my garden. For the first time ever, I managed to grow sweet peppers and chillies outside the house last year. Of course, I used one of these Gardman mini greenhouses, as my kitchen window sill was getting fed up with being used as a pepper nursery every year, and I was getting fed up with the measly return the window sill normally yielded of a 2 or 3 small peppers from a collection of 4 or 5 plants.
The mini green house did a superb job. To be fair, it needed some support structurally as the wind can get a bit rampant in my garden, so weights and string were used to help the greenhouse stay upright - top tip.
The temperature inside the cover when the zips are down does become noticeably hotter than the outside temperature, to the point where if you leave the sides down all the day, the plants inside need constant watering as the soil dries out quick time. Its this high temperature that enabled my bumper crop of peppers last year.
The grid shelves can be removed as the plants inside get taller, but the drawback of doing this is that you lose out on shelf space if you are taking the shelves out.
So long as you are careful with the zips, and choose to put the greenhouse out of the wind, it should last quite well. The plastic cover does get a bit droopy on very hot days, but if you dont start tugging it, it should be ok if left alone. My greenhouse has survived being blown over many times - the plants inside weren't too healthy for it but the frame and cover survived!
It doesnt take up too much space, so I would highly recommend it as an addition to a small garden where a proper greenhouse isnt viable yet there is a need for extra warmth for growing plants more exotic than kale that require a more tropical heat, something we dont have too much of in the north west of England.
I brought this recently as part of my grow my own vegetables initiative and have found it to be invaluable. Although I have quite a large garden I don't have any room for a greenhouse and was therefore having problems with plants that were not hardened off, so I saw this as a good option. It cost me £19 from Old Barn Nurserys (which is part of the Wyvale group).
It comes flatpacked with easy to follow instructions and you need plenty of space to put it together. You have to assemble the outershape of the greenhouse first and then put in the shelves. The shelves don't necessarily sit flat, but I got round this by putting cable ties on each shelf to hold them flat. Once it is assembled you then put the cover over. It comes with a clear plastic cover for spring and summer, but you can by a warmer cover for winter, although I will probably just bring the greenhouse into my sun lounge.
When I got is assembled I found it to be very strudy and well made. The struts are not flimsy and the outer cover feels strong and not liable to tear easily. I was very pleased with this.
Once it is fully assembled and the cover is on It needs to be possitioned against a sunny wall where you can secure it. You don't have to secure it but I think it is advisable as strong gusts of wind could blow it away. It has two rings at the back on the cover which I have secured to a solidly attached trellis. It is been outside safe and sound since April (I can't say the same for my tomato greenhouse from Wilkinsons but that is another story.)
I use it to put all my seedlings in and then once they are strong enought to plant out I move them out to pots. I am looking forward to using this more fully next march when I will be trying to grow as much as possible from seed.
Constructed of robust tubular steel frame with a strong plastic cover: can be dismantled and stored when not in use. Features a roll-up zipped door. All fitments and assembly instructions included no tools required.