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When I moved into my first house a couple of years ago my parents both raved about the fact that we'd managed to find a terraced house that had a garden... like it was some sort of miracle! They promised me the garden would come in handy and would help sell the house in the future... I'm still hopeful for the second one! As for the first one I can't say it's been overly "handy" as such, yes it's been great for drying washing and holding the odd barbeque when the English weather permits but it's also a pain to have to cut the grass (I think my dad has taken the hint and started doing it regularly now, either that or we've suddenly got a garden fairy)! Still unfazed by my apparent lack of enthusiasm towards the garden my mum bought me yet another present for it before Easter... a greenhouse!
As my heart rate began to race at the thought of my entire garden (it's only very small) being taken up by a big glass house that I'd actually have to do something with, she quickly reassured me it was a "compact" greenhouse. Thankfully she was quite right as when it arrived it was boxed up in a reasonably sized box and was, in fact, a Growbag Greenhouse. It's advertised as being a portable greenhouse which gives you all the benefits of a larger one, but takes up much less room in your garden. Its main selling points are the fact that it's easy to assemble (we'll get onto that) and an inexpensive alternative to the traditional glass greenhouses. Despite my initial predictions of some glass monstrosity I was very surprised when I unpacked the Growbag Greenhouse as it wasn't what I expected at all!
The Growbag Greenhouse is, quite simply, a green cover to put over plants and above a growbag (or a bag of soil almost) in order to shelter whatever it is you're trying to grow. It's incredibly easy to assemble as it merely needs unfolding and the frame putting together (which took about a minute) before placing the green cover over the frame. The frame requires some minor DIY in order to assemble it but I managed it easily and the basic instructions that came with it were more than adequate for me to follow fine. I've placed mine in front of my little shed as it provides a bit of stability for it to lean against.
When using the Growbag Greenhouse plants need to be planted, either in pots or a bag of soil (a Growbag ideally) before placing the frame and the cover over the top of them for protection. This is basically a bag which you fill with soil (or sometimes they come filled with soil) which you then plant your plants or seeds in. You can, of course, just place pots into the Growbag Greenhouse if you wanted. The green plastic cover can be rolled up at the front in order to let the air and light in more easily, or rolled down when you want to fully protect your plants from the weather. The zips do take a little bit of getting used to and I do worry about breaking them! When the Growbag Greenhouse is fully assembled it measures 35cm (diameter), 90cm (width) and 110cm (height). If I were to suggest a single improvement to this product I'd recommend making it taller ideally as I can imagine some plants grow higher than the height of this, I even had to cut my canes down to fit inside.
So far I've had mine assembled in the garden for about a month and have tried growing a couple of things that my mum bought me at the same time as the Growbag Greenhouse. I'm attempting to grow peppers and tomatoes at the moment, heavens knows if I'll actually end up with any after forgetting to water them for a few days over Easter though! I'm going to try some strawberries I think as well when it gets warmer as they're delicious! From what I've read you can grow most salad items and vegetables in them... with varying results!
With regards to the quality of the product I have to say that the reinforced green plastic cover is actually very sturdy although the zip can stick a little sometimes so you do need to be quite gentle. The frame is also fairly sturdy and has withstood some quite windy days and nights already without being blown away at all. The only downside that I've found so far is that when it rains (which is does an awful lot in England) the water can pool on the top of the cover which eventually starts to weigh down the top. It's not been a problem yet but I can imagine if your plants are starting to reach the top of the cover then the cover might collapse on them in a sense. It also results in the front, back and sides of the cover lifting up somewhat so I do tend to check it whenever it has been raining usually.
My particular Growbag Greenhouse was purchased from Homebase where it currently retails at £9.99 (apparently this is a £5 saving on the normal price). We also purchased it with an actual Growbag which was around £3 from what I can remember. There are plenty of variations on the market that all offer similar things but from what my dad said they don't seem to be nearly as sturdy as the one we bought from Homebase. Despite my original reservations I must admit that I've grown quite fond of my little Growbag Greenhouse and am eagerly awaiting the harvesting of my first crop! Call me green fingers!
Thanks for reading!