We’ve been pouring through all the seed catalogs to see what new vegetables we’d like to try this coming growing season. We’re in zone 7a, and it’s getting close to time to start setting up our seed flats.
Santa brought me the #1 thing on my wishlist: an indoor greenhouse and I’ve been playing around with it and getting it ready for seed trays. Maybe next year I’ll put an outdoor greenhouse on my wishlist! ?
For now, I’m having fun with this one and the following write-up is a combination review and general how-to. I’ve included a few other products we’re using that will enhance the seed starting and indoor propagation for the new season.
So we got this U.S. Garden 4 Tier Greenhouse
I decided on the one particular indoor growing rack because:
- The reviews were decent.
- It had 4 shelves with room for lights above each shelf.
- It fit the space we had and could easily manage 10″ X 20″ seed trays on each tier.
- It looked sturdy.
The assembly was fast and easy, in part because I had the right tool: a plastic (non marring) mallet. But if you don’t have one, there are workarounds.
The fittings were quite tight, which is good, but I can see where some online reviewers got frustrated during the assembly if they didn’t have something to pound the tubes into the socket.
If you don’t have a plastic mallet, you could improvise with some other non metal objects such as a:
- short piece of 2 X 4
- regular hammer wrapped in cloth material secured by a rubber band
My Review of this Indoor Greenhouse
The Shelves, are flimsy but serviceable when seated on the sturdy tubing. I used small zip ties to keep them from shifting. Tape, string, or twist-ties could do the same trick.
The cover, as reviewed on-line, is “meh”. It’s seamed and has a two-zipper door. Tying the bottom to the frame caused a minor rip. No big deal but indicative of the general quality and care needed not to cause more damage.
The frame sockets are designed so that another tube (not included) could be run over the middle of each shelf. This would be quite handy for hanging grow-lights. I’d already engineered a system using small carabiners and wire for the bottom three shelves. However, the top shelf needed an extra overhead tube that could suspend a light. A rigid piece of 1/2 PEX PVC was slid into either end of a slightly wider diameter, shorter length metal tube and once extended into the sockets the joints were taped.
Our first resident in the new plant house was another gift from Green Santa whom we dubbed “Gnomeo”.
Hey, what’s a garden without a gnome..? Gnomeless. ?
After adding two kinds of lights – a blue spectrum double and a 2ft 4-lamp T5 light-weight grow light – we set in four pots of longevity spinach (gynura procumbens) cuttings, to grow them, with plans to grow more. Loving that one!
Once we work up the seed flats we’ll add heating mats to give them a warm start.
Mobility: This little greenhouse is small enough to move around. I’d love it if it was on casters, but since it’s not, I placed stick-on furniture pads under each foot to make it easier to slide around without marring smooth floors.
Indoors use is best: When it comes to outdoor use, the flimsy covering probably won’t hold up.
This wonderful gift is one that shall keep on giving into this growing season and beyond. Prior setups for starting indoors have been fun to engineer but not nearly as practical.
If you have anything to share about these or other indoor type greenhouses you are most welcome to post on our Facebook page or send us a message. We’d be glad to publish your experience and photos on this or other garden related topics.
G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson