The best plastic greenhouses are a cheaper alternative to greenhouses, but they also have advantages in their own right:
- Plastic greenhouses come in smaller sizes than glass greenhouses
- They are easy to erect
- They are easy to take down
- You do not need to worry about building a firm base for plastic greenhouses (like you need for a glass greenhouse)
- There is no glass to break (and fall apart into your garden or allotment)
- Plastic greenhouses extend the growing season (especially early sowings) and can increase success with heat loving vegetables
But what are the best plastic greenhouses? This will depend upon your needs. Also, it is helpful to understand common problems with plastic growhouses, such as:
- They can get damaged in the wind
- They typically use zip doors - and these can be fragile and break easily
- The plastic gets damaged by the sun
- Some designs of plastic greenhouses lead to water pooling on their rooves, and this weight can damage both the plastic and the supporting poles
My experience has taught me not to think of plastic greenhouses as a durable investment - rather a convenient one. The lifetime of the best plastic greenhouses can be extended by:
- Positioning in a sheltered spot
- Securing plastic greenhouses either by using wire or guy ropes and tent pegs
- Taking plastic greenhouses down at the end of summer to protect them from the winter elements
Depending on the weather and the quality of plastic greenhouse you buy, my suggestion would be to allow for a lifespan range from 1-3 years. Therefore the best plastic greenhouses may actually be the ones that you can easily, and cheaply, buy replacement plastic covers for.
See the range of plastic greenhouses currently available on Amazon.co.uk.
Best Plastic Greenhouses - Features
The following features can be used as a checklist to help you decide on the best plastic greenhouses for your needs:
- The shape of the roof
Does it allow water to run off easily?
- The strength of the plastic
Is the plastic re-enforced, often with a woven green mesh stuck onto the plastic?
- Are replacement covers available?
This is actually a good aspect! Rather than a sign of sub-standard materials, expect to need to replace the cover of plastic greenhouses, and therefore investigate the ease and cost of doing this.
- The strength of the poles
The covers may be replaced, but the poles will not. Are the poles made out of strong materials?
- Shelving or racking
Does the plastic greenhouse come with shelving or racking? This can be helpful, especially in the spring for growing or hardening off seedlings
Does the growhouse come with guy ropes or tent pegs, or at least does it have the hooks to allow you to secured the greenhouse?
This may be obvious, but does the plastic greenhouse fit where you would like to place it?
Selected Plastic Greenhouses
At time of writing, the plastic greenhouses shown below were available on Amazon.co.uk. To see the full range of plastic greenhouses and customer reviews please follow this link: all plastic greenhouses on Amazon UK.