By mraja at 2011-12-12 18:52
As my collection grew, I realized that I will need more than my windowsills to house and grow my Cattleyas. I desperately needed an affordable greenhouse suited for my particular needs and the specific climate of my region. My first web searches, including those on Ebay and Amazon, were quite discouraging as most so-called “orchid greenhouses” offered on the web were way beyond my reach.
I then further honed my search according to the criteria specific to my needs:
* I live in Denton TX, which has a mild winter and a very hot summer season.
* I only needed space for about fifty plants.
* I needed a greenhouse that could be easily assembled and disassembled in case of a move.
* And, most importantly, I needed a greenhouse that I could afford.
I was aware that I can house my plants outdoors, on a shaded porch, during the summer, and I only need the greenhouse to get the plants through three months of winter. After a through search, I found my perfect greenhouse through Gothic Arch Greenhouses website. This company, based in Mobile Alabama, specializes in commercial and hobby greenhouses and has a long list of affordable hobby greenhouses. My choice:
M-L Small Greenhouse (Description from Gothic Arch Greenhouses website)
The clear, twin-wall polycarbonate panels on the M-L small greenhouse have twice the heat retention of single layer panels so it’s great for over wintering those pampered patio pots.
The M-L small greenhouse is sure to get you up and growing in no time! Save money by starting your plants early from seed, and extend your season by protecting plants from fall frosts. The clear, twin-wall polycarbonate panels on the M-L greenhouse have twice the heat retention of single layer panels, so it’s great for over wintering those pampered patio pots. Conserve water by using the downspout to collect rainwater! So many ways you can go green, and a great way to get maximum use out of your green thumb. Get growing today, and let the M-L Greenhouse help you bring your green dreams to life.
The price, then, was $469.00 with free shipping. This was the least expensive greenhouse available in the market in 6′x8′ size.
I must also admit that in my dealings with the company, I found them to be extremely courteous and helpful. The greenhouse arrived in about two weeks and I installed it on a frame built of appropriately sized 4x4s. The assembly was pretty easy and trouble free.
If you purchase this greenhouse, do not bother to buy their Shelf kit as the shelves are pretty flimsy and cannot hold heavy pots. Rest of their additional stuff, especially the shade cloth, is pretty effective.
My greenhouse is now fully functional and can be warmed up by a small portable heater that also has a thermostat to set the temperatures. I have also placed a fan and a maximum/minimum thermometer in the greenhouse to monitor daily temperatures.
So far the plants are doing great and the temperatures are easy to maintain. In the summer, however, I will either have to move the plants out to the porch or add some bottom level vents and add extra shade to keep the day time temperatures low.
On the whole, if you are a hobby grower with a limited budget, this could be the greenhouse for you.