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Starter greenhouses are one step up from smaller cold frames and are ideal for the individual who is ready for a full-sized greenhouse but do not have a ton of space to devote to the greenhouse. Many starter greenhouses have built-in shelves that come in handy for starting hundreds to thousands of seedlings. The material used to build starter greenhouses also vary greatly. Some examples of materials used for greenhouse coverings are:

  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene
  • Fiberglass
  • Acrylic
  • Vinyl
  • Glass

Each has their own pros and cons. Greenhouses made with more flexible paneling, like polyethylene, allow gardeners to take down or move their greenhouses as needed, but generally only last a few seasons at most. Greenhouses made with polycarbonate are heavier and thus are more difficult to move around after you’ve got them set up, but they can last you decades and more. With that said, the quality of the greenhouse covering varies greatly within each type of material, so you’ll have to make sure you’re purchasing from a quality manufacturer.

The space requirements for starter greenhouses also range a large bit and many great models come as kits with instructions that will have you up and running in a day or less so that you can start growing your flowers and veggies quickly. Given that there are so many great models of starter greenhouses out there, you’ll not only have to think about your space requirements and planting aspirations, but also about your budget. Starter greenhouses range in price from a hundred dollars to several thousand.

Given that there are two prominent types of materials manufactured for making starter greenhouse panels, our team decided that it was best to break down the best starter greenhouses into two categories: the best starter greenhouses with flexible paneling and the best starter greenhouses with polycarbonate paneling.

And now, without any further adieu, we present to your the best starter greenhouses.

Best Starter Greenhouses Made with Polycarbonate Paneling

Palram GreenhouseOur Pick

Palram Nature Series Harmony Hobby Greenhouse – 6 x 4 x 7 Forest Green

Our pick for the best starter greenhouse made with polycarbonate paneling is the Palram Nature Series Harmony Hobby Greenhouse – 6′ x 4′ x 7′. This greenhouse is a masterpiece all around, as is to be expected from Palram. This company really delivers with their greenhouses. The polycarbonate paneling on this greenhouse is incredibly durable, so you won’t have to worry about snow, sleet, or hail chipping away at the panels. Additionally, this greenhouse comes with vents so that you can better regulate the air flow and temperature within the greenhouse. The panels on this greenhouse provide over 90% light transmission, so you can be sure your plants are getting the sun they need to grow healthy and strong. Some other great features of this greenhouse are that the door is lockable and that you get about 25 ft worth of growing space, as well as a 5 year warranty, though it’s sure to last you many more years. This particular model comes in silver and green, and costs about $500 at the time of this post. If this is not enough space for you, there is a larger version of this greenhouse, Palram Nature Series Harmony Hobby Greenhouse – 6 X 8 X 7 Forest Green.


Palram ChaletRunner-up

Palram Four Season Chalet Hobby Greenhouse – 12 x 8 x 9 Charcoal Gray

The Palram Four Season Chalet Hobby Greenhouse was our runner up, mainly due to its price of $2,199.00. The growing space on this greenhouse is larger than that of our winner (95 sq. feet of gardening space) and our team loved the multi-functionality of this greenhouse. Given its aesthetically pleasing design, as well as its large interior, this greenhouse can serve as both a greenhouse and sun room. As with the Nature Series Hobby Greenhouse, the panels on the Four Season Chalet are made out of a 99.9% UV blocking polycarbonate material that allows for over 90% light transmission. The walls on this chalet are reinforced and double-walled meaning that they are well-insulated for growing purposes over the winter. Like our winner, this greenhouse comes with lockable doors and a rust-proof galvanized steel frame, as well as a 5 year warranty. If you intend on keeping your greenhouse for decades and have the funds to spare, we very highly recommend that you purchase this greenhouse!

 

Best Starter Greenhouses Made with Flexible Coverings/Paneling

 

Spring Gardener GableOur Pick

Spring Gardener Gable Greenhouse

Our pick for the best starter greenhouse made with flexible covering is the Spring Gardener Gable Greenhouse. At the time of this review, this greenhouse comes in three different sizes from 6′ x 8′ x 7′ to 10′ x 20′ x 9′. The prices on this greenhouse currently range from $199 to $629.99. This greenhouse features roll-up windows, wing nut assembly (which makes it possible for you to assemble it without any tools), rust-resistant frame, and UV protected translucent fabric. Another perk of this greenhouse is that it comes with insect netting to help control pests. Unfortunately, this starter greenhouse does not come with any shelving, but we at Gardening Supplies Reviewed don’t think that’s a huge con. However, as the covering for this greenhouse is made out of fabric, this particular greenhouse will last you a season or two, but it comes extremely highly recommended. Buyers generally love this model and give this greenhouse a rating of 4.7/5 stars.

 

Ogrow DeluxeRunner-up

OGrow Deluxe Walk-In 3 Tier 6 Shelf Portable Greenhouse

The very close runner up to the Spring Gardener Gable Greenhouse is the OGrow Deluxe Walk-in 3 Tier 6 Shelf Portable Greenhouse. Priced at only $62.70 at the time of this post, this starter greenhouse is quite the value! This greenhouse is equipped with 6 shelves, a roll-up door, and is about 6.4′ x 4.67′ x 2.4′ long (if you think this is too small, there is a comparable one that is 4.67′ x 4.67′ x 6.4′ here: Ogrow Deluxe Walk-In 2 Tier 8 Shelf Portable Greenhouse). With all of the shelving, you’ll be able to house many seedlings to jump start your growing season. With that said, it’s important to note that the shelving that comes with portable greenhouses like these are generally strong enough to hold seedlings, but not much else. Another con of this greenhouse is that aside from the main door, there is no additional ventilation. As far as longevity goes, this starter greenhouse will also only last a few seasons at most.