Portable greenhouses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and they can be built with many different materials. Before you select what kind of portable greenhouse you want to build for yourself or buy, you may want to consider the pros and cons of your available options. Below we discuss some of the different options you can choose for portable greenhouse frames and coverings, and highlight some of the benefits of opting for portable greenhouse kits.
Portable Greenhouse Frames
The frames of most portable greenhouses are often comprised of piping made of PVC or some other rigid plastic. These result in structures that are lightweight, easy to assemble and that usually don’t require the use of any tools during assembly. Steel, copper, and other metal tubing can also be used as materials for portable greenhouse frames. However, they are heavy, can be prone to corrosion from rain and humidity, and are more expensive than plastic parts. Some of the more elaborate portable greenhouse kits feature wood as the frame material. Wooden frames are lightweight and aesthetically pleasing, but are also the most expensive material to use. Assembling wooden greenhouse frames also requires some carpentry skill and proper tools.
Portable Greenhouse Covers
The covering material of a portable greenhouse needs to meet several requirements. It needs to be able to let solar energy in (the sun) while preventing heat and moisture from escaping. It also needs to be durable enough to stand up to exposure from the elements and any pests and critters that try to get in. Glass is the traditional material used in many greenhouses, but it is heavy, brittle, and fragile, and is not at all suited for a more mobile or portable application. Acrylic plates are lighter, cheaper, and more durable than glass. They can easily be cut to any size and shape, but are prone to scratching. However, because acrylic is a rigid material like glass, it makes moving and re-assembling a much tougher task, although it is safer to use acrylic than glass if you will be moving the greenhouse around.
For portable greenhouse applications, plastic fabric-like coverings, such as woven polyethylene are your best and cheapest option. They can be folded up for easy storage and transport, and are very easy to install on a portable greenhouse frame of any material. These coverings aren’t as durable as the rigid materials, but they are easy to patch up or replace altogether when the need arises. There are some companies that specialize in portable greenhouse coverings and replacement covers, so if you need to replace just the cover and not the whole structure, you can do so rather inexpensively. Just do a search on the internet for “portable greenhouse replacement covers” and you should have no problem finding them.
Portable Greenhouse Kits
You can buy portable greenhouses completely assembled, or you can start from scratch and buy the component materials for the frame and cover to build your own portable greenhouse. One other option, which offers cost savings off of buying a fully assembled model but saves you the headaches of having to plan, measure, buy and cut materials to build your own, is to buy a portable greenhouse kit. These kits include all of the materials for the frame and covering in the size and shape specified on the particular portable greenhouse kit you buy, along with instructions as to how to put the whole structure together. Portable greenhouse kits provide the best of both worlds – savings of time and money off of the other options.